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09 November 2010

Quality of work

 One of the companies Duane works for has a number of different divisions, including one that sells the toys and accessories for RVs.  They sell these covers, large size, and wanted a small one for a display.  They had me make it (i was rather reluctant).  I did most of this, Duane (who manages pretty well on the sewing machine) put the top on it.  They then took it to a company that does the embroidery who added the logo info.  

They are getting ready to ship it off somewhere, and wanted to know if i want to go see the finished product before it goes.  Um, not really.

The truth is, i can see all the flaws in this thing.  I kind of dreaded making this, and procrastinated quite a while.  It came out okay, but that doesn't mean it meets professional standards.  What looks really good on this thing - to me anyway - is what i did not do, the embroidery. 

My mother taught me to sew, and she is professional in all the sewing she does.  So, when i make something, i usually see all the flaws rather than the assets.  

I'm very happy that Duane's company is pleased with this . . . thing, but, i have a hard time looking at it.  I know exactly what it should look like if it were professionally done, and this falls very short.  I guess they want a few of these.  I told Duane that i will try a second one, but that if that one doesn't meet "professional standards" in my eyes, i would prefer to recommend someone else.  I can think of at least 2 places that would do a good job with these.

He didn't understand this at all.  I could make a little pin money on the side.  I kept trying to explain, but he didn't get it until i said, "Sweetie, imagine you wrote a computer program that works.  It works.  It works just fine.  But it isn't perfect.  The margins don't line up.  The color isn't quite right.  It works, but it isn't right.  Tell me you wouldn't be bothered every time you opened that page.  Tell me you would not be bothered if it was just okay instead of really professional."

I could tell from his face he knew just exactly what i was saying.  I've seen him work hours and hours to make web pages of things look perfect, well designed, professional.

So, i don't know where this will go.  If i do something that will be taken to stores and used in displays, i want it to look right.  If i can't make it look right, then, please take it to someone who can!

I'd ask your opinion on this, and i'd be glad to hear it, but frankly, the way i feel about my work and the quality of my work is not something anyone can change.  It doesn't go by opinion!  There are some things in my life with which i'm fine with "okay." (How well the wood is stacked in the basket by the stove doesn't matter all that much.  "Smoothing up" the bed - at home, not my MIL's - is fine.  I'm not too perfectionistic about having the forks on the "proper" side when i set the table.  Sewing a shirt or clothing for myself, something that no one else will be examining, doesn't have to be perfect/professional. So many things just don't matter all that much.)  

There are other things that need to be done right!



Meadowlark said...

I won't say a word because I know exactly how you feel. There's right and there's not right. Pretty black and white, that. :)

Anonymous said...

First, congrats on getting your certificate. I used to be a black and white person too but I have slowly become a muddled grey person over the years. In my last work, I tried to be a perfectionist but with the workload and datelines, it meant working 18 hour days and I became very old very fast. So I had to make do with "good enough" if I was to have any sort of life outside of work. It's a sad fact that the world today mostly favors quantity over quality. Just go to the fast food joint and you'll know what I mean. But if you can stick to your standards, I applaud you for doing so.

That corgi :) said...

I understand what you are saying and I think that quality is not one shared by lots of workers entering the work field these days. We do strive to turn out the best product we can (I work hard to produce good quality medical reports). It always irks me to see a "typo" on something I read in a newspaper etc, wondering why someone didn't proofread (of course I realize we all are humans and make mistakes, but when it is an obvious typo, you know what I mean, or several in a report, makes you wonder)

I think it is a cute concept that they gave you an opportunity try out. Hoping the next one comes out a bit better to your liking :)

Moms are great when they teach us things, aren't they? Just remembered my mom said the only clean floor was one that you got down on your hands and knees to scrub and years later, guess what I think too? And although I don't always wash the floor like that, when I don't, I can see the difference between clean and CLEAN!


Amrita said...

That 's real neat Kathryn. You did a fine job. You are so talented at the sewing machine. I can 't even thread a needle.

I am catching up with the blogs. Your photos ar e great.

Kathryn said...

Hello, Meadowlark. Always a joy to see you. :) Happy BD to you & all fellow marines!

Thank you, i'm glad it arrived, too. I'm not completely B&W on everything, Mr. Squirrel. There are some things about which i'm very perfectionistic, and other things, as i said, that don't matter so much. But other things it just is impossible for me to call "good" when i know they are not.

Hi Betty - typos (& poor English Grammar) drive me nuts, too, although on some things i'm not 100% sure I do them right, either. (I thought i knew the difference between affect and effect, but reading Pioneer Woman today, i'm more confused than ever.) The improper use of me/i frequently bothers me, but then the fact that i choose not to capitalize the letter "i" first person bothers others. (And i just mis-spelled "capital" there as "capitol" - i'm pretty sure i usually know that one.)

Amrita, thank you. Hope all is going well in your part of the world. I know about "catching up with blogs." At least once a month it seems i get days behind. I love the blogs i read, but goodness! I then have so much reading to do.