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#2070306 - 04/24/13 11:13 PM Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again)
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2389
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
I found out today that I start Monday as the piano technician for the San Diego Unified School District, and there are nearly 500 pianos in the district.

Woo Hoo!
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2070316 - 04/24/13 11:17 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1311
Loc: Michigan
Don't do 'em all in one month!!
laugh
Congrats!!
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

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#2070320 - 04/24/13 11:19 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3348
So, how many days off per decade do you get? wink
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2070346 - 04/24/13 11:54 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2389
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Thanks, Keith!

B986, Maybe one...

Seriously, I estimate half of the pianos aren't on any kind of maintenance schedule; as a matter of fact, the whole shebang might be demand-only. The few elementary schools I've seen has pianos that are never seen, while middle and high schools (with music programs) get regular attention.

I don't know how it all works yet.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2070365 - 04/25/13 12:46 AM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2194
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Congratulations! If you have a smart phone take photos and tag them with serial # and room location. Then you can create files regarding work done, work needed, and overall condition.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2070395 - 04/25/13 01:32 AM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2389
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Ed, I like that idea. I've been taking photos of the serial number of every piano I work on, so that would be right up my alley.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

Top
#2070429 - 04/25/13 04:54 AM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7901
Loc: France
Congratulations,
what kind of service are they asking for and what kind are you wiilling to provide ? on 500 pianos one person can only tune, do you take the opportunity to have your professional's friends and colleagues net growing ?

OR will you put your shoes in the precedent tech job (no maintenance, minimal job)
.
Those kind of contract decided without evaluating the need, no competition, and asking for different offers from different qualification companies, sound as usual bad decision to me.

Not knowing your experience as a school tech or value, this I do not say for you, but because I know that maintening the value (musical but even resale) of a large amount of pianos in schools is a job for a pool of technicians with directions, or with a plan.

That said even now that competition is mandatory, the ones that decides choose the cheapest offer, generally being unable to understand the differences between offers and what mean experienced maintenance techs vs simple tuners.

I would be happy to have such "sure job" but the quality of the instruments would be a problem (particularly here).

Without any maintenance budget for decades, uincontrolled heating and difficult "pianists" the problems are numerous.

May be you can help the situation to evolve, which can be good for the students and the next techs that will be working there.

It is easier to "take the money and run", as most techs probably would do.

WIthout plan, without experience, without specific training to school pianos (that deos not exists but that should be agood idea) I see you will have problems to make jobs that can be satisfactory for yourself (money apart).

I do not know if you are the kind that can work collegiality, but if they ask one person to take care of 500 pianos, something is wrong there yet.

That said I have no idea of the way things are decided for maintenance, repairs, resale, buy of new pianos, etc.

Congratulations again, I'm curious to see if you have any time to post once your job will begin wink

Greetings




Edited by Olek (04/25/13 05:14 AM)
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2070485 - 04/25/13 08:15 AM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
Ah, now I can see this thread. So, CONGRATULATIONS !

I, as does Olek, have some suspicions about this great opportunity, so here are some random, quick thoughts:

1. Understand fully the paper work methodology of your new situation.
2. Get to know the persons at the top of this new food chain and personalities who now control your life - yep, 500 pianos will dominate your work life. Those personalities will only make it worse, if you don't know them all by name. I am speaking of the accounts payable folks, as well as the direct decision makers at the top, now, not the individual piano users. They come later.
3. Propose, and have approved, a modus operandi which will limit the on-demand calls, and maximize the pre-scheduled tuning.

4. Plan to have your apprentice begin an intensive work plan with you, going to most of the pianos, especially going to any schools which have multiple pianos. Plan, if possible, to have that apprentice do some trouble-shooting, minor repairs, and capstan adjustment, etc. ahead of you, so that you come behind and tune. Have a complete understanding of charges for this with the powers that be, beforehand. They hired you, not an apprentice, so somehow you have to make this palatable to them. It is a plus, since they will get more for the dollar, due to the lower hourly cost of the assistant, but they may not clearly see this.

5. Consider getting access after-hours for most work. No, do more than consider it. You simply must do it! In the long run, you will save needless aggravation and countless hours of wasted time. Think of this as working evening shift, or working and ultra-early morning shift.
6. Severe case and wheel damage is common in schools. If you can work with a trolley which can easily carry your tools kit, a piano cradle, and an action cradle, this may be of benefit. Your apprentice, of course, is in charge of handling your trolley and making use of the cradles. (Ah, thank you Lord, for younger backs.)

7. If you will not be paid for an extensive review upfront of all these pianos, plan to have a pre-agreed list of potential repairs, with a price list which includes, but is not limited to: Replace castors, repair loose toe block, replace pedal/pedal set, Lost motion, key bushing set, etc. Time waste will kill you, if you don't have some understanding in this area. After all, a complete review of every piano, up-front, would take weeks on this many pianos.

8. Since your primary challenge will be logistics, seek to schedule this work on a route system, just as though you were leaving town for a distant work trip. In the long run, you can waste just as much time in this multi-school situation, due to school schedule confusion and zig-zag travel, as you would waste going too far for too little work.

9. If possible, get authorization from the top to simply start geographically and plan logical routes to begin to knock this work out, regardless of demands from the piano users. THIS IS NOT LIKELY, but we will pray for you here.
10. OR, IF YOU MUST, AND PROBABLY WILL BE FORCED INTO, set up a priority list based on criteria which you will share with your task masters. Have the central office do a work requisition announcement, so that the users help with the process. The paper trail/system probably already includes this, but you are coming into a wild, wild situation IMHO. Build a database, contact list of all the piano users and contact people for the individual pianos, but at the same time, hope that you are shielded from their individual requests as much as possible. (not likely)
A. The priority they set as best they now know.
B. Your knowledge of which pianos are not even used and what they desire to do with them
C. Travel logic
D. Special needs and extra repairs
E. Piano transfers of unused to take the place of "special needs" instruments (Beware political landmines. Don't let these transfers be your idea. Submit to the powers that be and let them request the transfer.)

This is a really big deal for you. The management demands can undercut the best of technical work, so I hope that this helps. Hopefully, your working of the system artfully, while you actually help fine tune their system, can prevent this great opportunity from becoming a nightmare instead.
_________________________
Lavender Piano Services
Established 1977
Tuning, Concert Maintenance,
Rebuilding & Restoration

Top
#2070509 - 04/25/13 08:56 AM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3876
I agree with the above - You need to find out fast how it works. In fact, the time to find that out would have been before bidding the job. I would also build a team of technicians to call on if needed. Pianos in Sandy Eggo will hold a tune longer due to the mild weather, so that will help, but take a look how universities with 250 pianos are set up:

One head tech, 2-3 full or part time tech, and student help as well.

You, on your own will maintain twice that number? Isn't going to happen. There is simply too much for one person to do, or the pianos will never be properly maintained.

I suppose if the pianos get tuned every three years..........it could work.....

School districts often leave it up to the teachers to tune the piano, and find the money as well - so this could be more of an on call thing, which means you could get calls to tune 100 pianos in 100 different schools the second week of December for all the X mas concerts.

A better approach from the school district would have been to split the region between 5 techs, geographically - and pay the going rate so enough technicians would be interested.

_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






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#2070582 - 04/25/13 11:23 AM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: RestorerPhil]
kpembrook Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/10
Posts: 1311
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
Ah, now I can see this thread. So, CONGRATULATIONS !

I, as does Olek, have some suspicions about this great opportunity, so here are some random, quick thoughts:
<snip>
This is a really big deal for you. The management demands can undercut the best of technical work, so I hope that this helps. Hopefully, your working of the system artfully, while you actually help fine tune their system, can prevent this great opportunity from becoming a nightmare instead.


This sounds like the voice of experience to me.
thumb laugh
_________________________
Keith Akins, RPT
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair

Top
#2070593 - 04/25/13 11:40 AM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: Bob]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3220
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Bob


One head tech, 2-3 full or part time tech, and student help as well.

You, on your own will maintain twice that number? Isn't going to happen.


500 pianos, 50 weeks a year with 2 weeks vacation, 10 pianos a week, 2 a day?

<grin>
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2070637 - 04/25/13 12:31 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Congratulations! (I think)

Remember to take your vitamins. Or, you could obtain liquid fortification from the Shout House.

grin
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2070641 - 04/25/13 12:39 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: TimR]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3348
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: Bob


One head tech, 2-3 full or part time tech, and student help as well.

You, on your own will maintain twice that number? Isn't going to happen.


500 pianos, 50 weeks a year with 2 weeks vacation, 10 pianos a week, 2 a day?

<grin>



Unfortunately, pianos need more than tuning. Especially institution pianos....
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2070810 - 04/25/13 05:19 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: RestorerPhil]
Herr Weiss Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 153
Loc: New York, N.Y.
Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil

6. Severe case and wheel damage is common in schools. If you can work with a trolley which can easily carry your tools kit, a piano cradle, and an action cradle, this may be of benefit. Your apprentice, of course, is in charge of handling your trolley and making use of the cradles. (Ah, thank you Lord, for younger backs.)



Why do you assume that Opera Tenor's apprentice(if he even have one)is 'YOUNG' with a healthy(young)back.
I think, quite frankly, that this is an age discrimination reasoning. Disturbing and political incorrect.
I'll make a point to never ask you, if you have any apprentice openings.

-Herr Weiss

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#2070829 - 04/25/13 05:46 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Phil D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 551
Loc: London, England
I think you might have had a sense of humour failure there Mr Weiss. He didn't assert that OperaTenor should have an apprentice, and that his apprentice necessarily should be young and have a healthier back. It's just generally true that apprentices are usually younger than those they serve under, and younger people usually have healthier backs. I guess RestorerPhil probably has the odd bit of back trouble himself, and so is projecting that problem onto the topic at hand.
_________________________
Phil Dickson
The Cycling Piano Tuner

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#2070837 - 04/25/13 05:55 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: beethoven986]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3348
Originally Posted By: Herr Weiss
Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil

6. Severe case and wheel damage is common in schools. If you can work with a trolley which can easily carry your tools kit, a piano cradle, and an action cradle, this may be of benefit. Your apprentice, of course, is in charge of handling your trolley and making use of the cradles. (Ah, thank you Lord, for younger backs.)



Why do you assume that Opera Tenor's apprentice(if he even have one)is 'YOUNG' with a healthy(young)back.
I think, quite frankly, that this is an age discrimination reasoning. Disturbing and political incorrect.
I'll make a point to never ask you, if you have any apprentice openings.

-Herr Weiss


Traditionally speaking, apprentices have been "young", regardless of what field they are apprenticing in. Am I missing something? confused
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2070841 - 04/25/13 05:59 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Olek Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 7901
Loc: France
There is no pleasure having an apprentice if he/she does not carry your bags, shine your shoes, and do all the dirty work.

Old farts are the best technicians , anyway !

Personally I find it very normal to practice some sadic vengeance for all the humiliations I received from the old techs.

When the apprentice is well broken in (back inclueded) , you change for a new, it is easy now with al those cheap asian made apprentice we have on the market.

etc...

Regards
_________________________
It is critical that you call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to cosponsor S. 2587 and H.R. 5052. Getting your legislators to cosponsor these bills


Top
#2070854 - 04/25/13 06:12 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Phil D Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 551
Loc: London, England
laugh
_________________________
Phil Dickson
The Cycling Piano Tuner

Top
#2070862 - 04/25/13 06:23 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Herr Weiss Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 153
Loc: New York, N.Y.
Sorry for jumping the gun, my fellow members; but I was not joking.
My apologises to all and especially to Restorer Phil for my comment.
The point is that I'm no 'Spring Chicken' and know first hand that
many doors are closed because of age.
I'm grateful to all for the knowledge I learned so far here in this wonderful forum. Will think twice before posting again.
Peace, H.W.

Top
#2070872 - 04/25/13 06:54 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: Herr Weiss]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
No offense taken. Some of us really enjoyed your comments, especially (and most obviously) Olek. (My wife guffawed out loud!)

I have a back that lifted too many pianos until I pretty much stopped doing all the primary lifts on moving jobs a few years ago at age 55. My doctor had said stop about 25 years before that, so you can understand that I sleep but little at a time.

Hopefully, H.W., you will be like my friend Everett Grizzard who lifted pianos, in spite of being a blind tuner and never had back pain until years after his retirement. He is now 79 or 80 years of age and enjoying travel as much as he can. My back just didn't get the set of genetics that his did. (His loss of vision, by the way, was due to two separate accidents which blinded him, one eye at a time. He and his wife made one heck of a piano service and sales Yamaha operation - the longest standing Yamaha dealer in Georgia, until he quit!)

Of course, I have found that if I don't tune and don't lift much, my back doesn't bother me, except when I try to sleep. Oh well, can't turn back the hands of time, nor change my lot so far as the back I was given. Also, I do carry my own cradles and tools - no apprentice out there on the road with me, but the Original Poster does seem to have one.

This comment was from a thread titled "Wish Me Luck." I picked up on his humor and remembered his mention of a helper. Because of that, I worked the concept into some sort of idea which might make it possible for Opera Tenor to manage his predicament, ...er blessing.

Originally Posted By: OperaTenor
I do have something of an indentured servant/apprentice( laugh ), and he's anxious to learn the craft. He may become my employee.


What I wrote was my way of saying, "Put that guy to work right now and think creatively on how to let him help you manage this heavy work load right away."

Oh, before I forget, I said "guy" and "him," only due to the fact that Opera Tenor's helper is male, and therefore hope I am not guilty of any sort of discrimination, improper implication, heresy, or political incorrectivity.

whome "incorrectivity" ??? Hmmmm... Is that a word? My spell-checker says no.
_________________________
Lavender Piano Services
Established 1977
Tuning, Concert Maintenance,
Rebuilding & Restoration

Top
#2070893 - 04/25/13 07:36 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: RestorerPhil]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
whome "incorrectivity" ??? Hmmmm... Is that a word? My spell-checker says no.

Ahem, I do believe that you are searching for incorrectivitness. It is more better when being politicalily correctissimo.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

Top
#2070894 - 04/25/13 07:38 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Herr Weiss Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 153
Loc: New York, N.Y.
Thank you for the kind words and a forgiven heart,
Restorer Phil!!
You, along with Olek, gave Opera Tenor the best advice
possible for somebody about to undertake such a Herculean task,
and I, acting like a spoiled brat teen ager, came along to mess things up. Shameful!!
But your friends came to your defence very quickly, showing that you are a well respected member of the community.
And I see that humour has not left us, despite of the loss of our friend Jerry.

With the utmost respect, Widmark Weiss

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#2070897 - 04/25/13 07:41 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
accordeur Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1207
Loc: Québec, Canada
That is very nice of you Herr Weiss.

All the best to you.
_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

www.actionpiano.ca

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#2070898 - 04/25/13 07:43 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: Olek]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2389
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Olek
Congratulations,
what kind of service are they asking for and what kind are you wiilling to provide ? on 500 pianos one person can only tune, do you take the opportunity to have your professional's friends and colleagues net growing ?

OR will you put your shoes in the precedent tech job (no maintenance, minimal job)
.
Those kind of contract decided without evaluating the need, no competition, and asking for different offers from different qualification companies, sound as usual bad decision to me.

Not knowing your experience as a school tech or value, this I do not say for you, but because I know that maintening the value (musical but even resale) of a large amount of pianos in schools is a job for a pool of technicians with directions, or with a plan.

That said even now that competition is mandatory, the ones that decides choose the cheapest offer, generally being unable to understand the differences between offers and what mean experienced maintenance techs vs simple tuners.

I would be happy to have such "sure job" but the quality of the instruments would be a problem (particularly here).

Without any maintenance budget for decades, uincontrolled heating and difficult "pianists" the problems are numerous.

May be you can help the situation to evolve, which can be good for the students and the next techs that will be working there.

It is easier to "take the money and run", as most techs probably would do.

WIthout plan, without experience, without specific training to school pianos (that deos not exists but that should be agood idea) I see you will have problems to make jobs that can be satisfactory for yourself (money apart).

I do not know if you are the kind that can work collegiality, but if they ask one person to take care of 500 pianos, something is wrong there yet.

That said I have no idea of the way things are decided for maintenance, repairs, resale, buy of new pianos, etc.

Congratulations again, I'm curious to see if you have any time to post once your job will begin wink

Greetings




Isaac,

The duties outlined are; tuning, minor service on site, and more in-depth service (action work, etc.) at the shop. No rebuilding.

I will be a salaried employee of the district with benefits. No commission base.

My predecessor is a technician and musician with a great reputation. I contacted him this morning, and he has been very helpful and encouraging. He got the job in 1995, and just retired.

AKAIK, some pianos are on a maintenance schedule, and most are on a demand basis. I will be captain of my schedule.

Yes, I too wonder if I'll have time to post in the future... laugh
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

Top
#2070907 - 04/25/13 07:56 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: RestorerPhil]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2389
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: RestorerPhil
Ah, now I can see this thread. So, CONGRATULATIONS !

I, as does Olek, have some suspicions about this great opportunity, so here are some random, quick thoughts:

1. Understand fully the paper work methodology of your new situation.
2. Get to know the persons at the top of this new food chain and personalities who now control your life - yep, 500 pianos will dominate your work life. Those personalities will only make it worse, if you don't know them all by name. I am speaking of the accounts payable folks, as well as the direct decision makers at the top, now, not the individual piano users. They come later.
3. Propose, and have approved, a modus operandi which will limit the on-demand calls, and maximize the pre-scheduled tuning.

4. Plan to have your apprentice begin an intensive work plan with you, going to most of the pianos, especially going to any schools which have multiple pianos. Plan, if possible, to have that apprentice do some trouble-shooting, minor repairs, and capstan adjustment, etc. ahead of you, so that you come behind and tune. Have a complete understanding of charges for this with the powers that be, beforehand. They hired you, not an apprentice, so somehow you have to make this palatable to them. It is a plus, since they will get more for the dollar, due to the lower hourly cost of the assistant, but they may not clearly see this.

5. Consider getting access after-hours for most work. No, do more than consider it. You simply must do it! In the long run, you will save needless aggravation and countless hours of wasted time. Think of this as working evening shift, or working and ultra-early morning shift.
6. Severe case and wheel damage is common in schools. If you can work with a trolley which can easily carry your tools kit, a piano cradle, and an action cradle, this may be of benefit. Your apprentice, of course, is in charge of handling your trolley and making use of the cradles. (Ah, thank you Lord, for younger backs.)

7. If you will not be paid for an extensive review upfront of all these pianos, plan to have a pre-agreed list of potential repairs, with a price list which includes, but is not limited to: Replace castors, repair loose toe block, replace pedal/pedal set, Lost motion, key bushing set, etc. Time waste will kill you, if you don't have some understanding in this area. After all, a complete review of every piano, up-front, would take weeks on this many pianos.

8. Since your primary challenge will be logistics, seek to schedule this work on a route system, just as though you were leaving town for a distant work trip. In the long run, you can waste just as much time in this multi-school situation, due to school schedule confusion and zig-zag travel, as you would waste going too far for too little work.

9. If possible, get authorization from the top to simply start geographically and plan logical routes to begin to knock this work out, regardless of demands from the piano users. THIS IS NOT LIKELY, but we will pray for you here.
10. OR, IF YOU MUST, AND PROBABLY WILL BE FORCED INTO, set up a priority list based on criteria which you will share with your task masters. Have the central office do a work requisition announcement, so that the users help with the process. The paper trail/system probably already includes this, but you are coming into a wild, wild situation IMHO. Build a database, contact list of all the piano users and contact people for the individual pianos, but at the same time, hope that you are shielded from their individual requests as much as possible. (not likely)
A. The priority they set as best they now know.
B. Your knowledge of which pianos are not even used and what they desire to do with them
C. Travel logic
D. Special needs and extra repairs
E. Piano transfers of unused to take the place of "special needs" instruments (Beware political landmines. Don't let these transfers be your idea. Submit to the powers that be and let them request the transfer.)

This is a really big deal for you. The management demands can undercut the best of technical work, so I hope that this helps. Hopefully, your working of the system artfully, while you actually help fine tune their system, can prevent this great opportunity from becoming a nightmare instead.


Thank you, Phil!

1. That is my first order of business. I start 6:30 Monday morning.
2. Already working on that. Fortunately, the top of the food chain is who came looking for me. And, it seems to me the scheduler at PPO is the real power broker there, and she knows it. I am supplicating accordingly.
3. I have that in my bucket list of opportunity.
4. I think I'm the Lone Ranger, but I have one or two Tontos in the wings if I can have them.
5. Probably won;t be able to do that. In order to do that, i have to have keys to the facilities, and the district doesn't want the piano tuner to have unfettered access to all 220+ facilities. I'm okay with that.
6. I already have a pull-along rig I use primarily for the Shout House that contains almost everything I need. Beyond that, I will definitely look for whatever other portability I need.
7. AFAIK, my predecessor has everything catalogued, and I'm anxious to see what his method and organization was like. I'm pretty sure that will be on Monday.
8. Yes, a big concern of mine.
9 & 10. AFAIK, there is a dispatch-type system in place to send me out to jobs. I don;t yet know how much latitude there is in scheduling in order to make my road time more efficient.
B. It seems to me most elementary school pianos aren't used much at all (my daughter's school has four, and only one is ever used, and no one remembers a tech ever coming out to service any of them), so it will be interesting to see if there is anything I can do in that regard.

I agree. Being involved with my daughter's school has shown me how slowly the wheels of SDUSD bureaucracy turn. It seems the folks at PPO have ways of circumnavigating it, but we'll see. I'll try to keep my eyes open.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2070911 - 04/25/13 08:01 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: Herr Weiss]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2389
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Herr Weiss
Thank you for the kind words and a forgiven heart,
Restorer Phil!!
You, along with Olek, gave Opera Tenor the best advice
possible for somebody about to undertake such a Herculean task


I agree, Herr Weiss! And no, you didn't mess anything up. smile
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2070958 - 04/25/13 08:50 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Zeno Wood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/07
Posts: 452
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Good luck with your new job!

You mentioned a shop - is it big/small, well-equipped, etc? Centrally located?
_________________________
Zeno Wood, Piano Technician
Brooklyn College

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#2070970 - 04/25/13 09:08 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
RestorerPhil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 212
Loc: Georgia, USA
Well I guess we two Mother Hens (myself and Olek) can now rest a little easier:

Wow. Salaried, AND benefits, and they actually don't want you having access at all hours!
What's that I smell?
It's the GRAVY TRAIN.
Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but some of us are gittin' a bit jealous!

Having the willing advice and record sharing from the former technician is really a boon! Who knows? Beyond that, he may be able to help you train your Humble And Lowly Indentured Assistant, brow beaten and bent over as he may become, to also become a good technician. Give the retiree some time to get bored. You can simply mention the idea lightly in passing for now. Considering the pace at which he has probably worked, he may be planning on keeping some private customers. If so, he could probably use a few hours help here and there from your HALIA [pronounced hah_lee_'ah] to get his own action work done. Ergo: Retiree helps you train him and benefits his own retirement period work as well.

NOTE TO ALL: Feeble attempts at humor may be found in this post.

Some words defined per Olek's own previous confession:
Olekization: Humble And Lowly Indentured Assistant, brow beaten and bent over as he may become. The process of HALIA modification.
Olekizombee or Olekizoid: : one who has become the above; synonym for the HALIA
_________________________
Lavender Piano Services
Established 1977
Tuning, Concert Maintenance,
Rebuilding & Restoration

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#2071011 - 04/25/13 10:02 PM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: OperaTenor]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Does Vandaking sell Olekizoids? Do they ever offer free shipping?
How 'bout Schaff?

Remember, never give your Olekizoid the Schaff.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2071130 - 04/26/13 12:34 AM Re: Almost 500 Pianos (Let's try this again) [Re: Zeno Wood]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2389
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Originally Posted By: Zeno Wood
Good luck with your new job!

You mentioned a shop - is it big/small, well-equipped, etc? Centrally located?


I don't know how well-equipped the shop is yet, but it's ten minutes from my house.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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