Monday, April 06, 2020


8/10/2012 - The Piano Tuner and the Po-Po

I made the appointment on Monday of this week for Friday afternoon (today) to tune the piano of a long-time client who lives in Hampton, GA.  As usual, we make the arrangements that a key would be left under the front door mat and that I would let myself in, tune the piano and a check would be left.  This makes for what usually is my quickest and cleanest piano tuning equation, meaning I can arrive without worry if I am late or early, go straight to work and leave without having to make polite conversation (even though I enjoy that)!

But today, that was not the case.  I arrive about 15 minutes earlier than expected, find the key under the mat as discussed, unlock and open the door and then...... Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!  The burglar alarm goes off.  I call my client (so glad that I saved his number from earlier) and had to leave a message that they had forgot NOT to set the alarm before leaving.  By the time he calls me back (about a minute later) the real alarm has sounded so that now the whole neighborhood knows something is up at so and so's house.  My client gives me the pin to cancel the alarm as well as the secret code to give the security company to notify them that "all is well" if they should call.

Well they never called, or if they did, it was while I was still on the front porch waiting for my client to call me back.  So, now that it's quiet again, I get busy with the tuning hoping to get done and out with further complications.  Today not being my lucky day, I hear a knock at the door after about 15 minutes into the job.  Knowing, who it would be, I thought to grab the check that was left for me and proceed to answer the door.

Sure enough, I open the door and there are two law enforcement officers, one on the porch near the door and the other behind him standing on ground level.  We just look at each other for a second and the I say, "Well, I'm a piano tuner and the owner of the house asked me to come and tune the piano and gave me permission to use the key under the mat so that I could do the job without the owners having to be there."  I proceeded to tell them that obviously someone forgot to NOT set the alarm before leaving and that all I could do to prove my story was legit was to show them the check.  Then the officer in back asked to see my ID and called the drivers license number in on his radio.  He then asked to see the check and said:  "Well we saw your car in the driveway which says your a piano tuner, and you have this check made out to you by the owner of the house - we'll just be on our way and have fun tuning that piano!"  I apologized for making them waste their time and went back in and finished the job.

Having made the appointment just a few days earlier, I didn't feel that there was a need to call to confirm (as well as remind them NOT to set the alarm) on the evening prior to the appointment.  Next time I will, especially if arrangements have been made for me to tune while the owner's are not there.  Also, I am very glad that I do have piano tuning lettering on my car and that I wear embroidered shirts that both identify who I am and what I do.

And, after all was said and done, I am glad to know that at least in this case, the owner's security system works and that the local law enforcement agency responded.  Also very glad that the officer's were perceptive enough to see the situation for what it was and didn't haul me off and lock me up in the local jail until my wife could get off work and come bail me out.  By the way, after hearing my story today, my wife claims that if they had locked me up, it might have taken her til tomorrow morning for her to get there with the bail money......

8/7/2012 - Best BBQ Sandwich Found at Corner Stop Grill in Loganville, GA!

My first two piano tuning jobs in Conyers, GA went long today and I was looking for a quick place to stop for lunch before my last job in Oxford.  As I was traveling east on GA HWY 20 I saw a nice looking place called Corner Stop Grill that had a flashing "OPEN" sign so I pulled off the road and walked in.  The inside was tastefully decorated and super CLEAN (bathrooms too)!  Sat down in a booth and asked the waiter what was recommended.  He said the BBQ is "to die for"!  Good enough for me!  Just a few minutes later he brought my meal with a big pile of hot fresh french fries wrapped all around my sandwich.  The BBQ was moist and full of flavor and the sauce was AWESOME - just the right combination of sweet & tangy that perfectly complemented the meat.  Looking over the menu, I see they have a lot of variety in their offerings: seafood, pasta, BBQ, wings, chicken tenders, burgers and salads.  And let's see, for appetizers they have ...... what?  FRIED PICKLE CHIPS?  Those are my favorites - I am definitely going to have to go back just for those!

The Corner Stop Grill is located at 6550 GA HWY 20 in Loganville (770-686-3743).  They also have a Facebook page that you can visit - be sure to hit "like"!

8/5/2012 - Some Services I'd Rather Do For Free...

Yep!  Believe it or not there are some services I would gladly do for free if by doing so it would make for a better all around experience later on.  As a matter of fact, I did exactly that just the other day.  I received a call from a young lady who was inquiring about my tuning fees saying that she was about to have a piano given to her by her mother-in-law.  So we talked a few minutes and I soon learned that both she and her mother-in-law lived in Monticello, GA.  I told her that I was scheduled for two tunings in Monticello later in the week and would be happy to make a quick stop to inspect the piano, at no charge, BEFORE she and her family went to all the trouble of moving it into her home.  I further told that I would much rather take a little time out of my schedule to make sure the piano was both tunable and playable so that I would not have to possibly be the bearer of bad news when I arrived for my first visit informing them that they had just inherited a 500 pound PSO (piano shaped object) that wasn't good for anything other than scrap metal and firewood.

She gladly accepted my offer, called her mother-in-law to see if she was OK with me coming by for the inspection.  So a couple of days later, I inspected the piano and was pleased to find a really nice console piano that was in mechanically sound condition.  It had not been tuned in several years, so I informed the mother-in-law that all it needed was a pitch correction (2 tunings in 1 visit) in order to bring the piano up to standard pitch and it would be in great shape for her grandson to begin taking piano lessons.

Is this something I offer as a "free" service under any and all circumstances?  No.  But generally speaking, if the piano in question is fairly close to my home, or like the case above, is in an area where I know I will be in the near future, I am happy to offer to inspect the piano at no charge.  Of course, there are times that circumstances require me "charge" for inspection services.

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