When the plaque was originally made, there were 15 individual name plates. The last name was added in 2010. It took me a few years to make plans with the Gottes-editor to rearrange the plaque to fit in more names. This spring I took it to the guy who makes trophies and plaques, the same guy who'd been doing a perfectly decent job of updating each year's name-plate.
Start: "Do you need this finished this week?" Oh, no, I answered. Two weeks is fine. If you have other, more urgent jobs, that's okay too. We don't really need it until the beginning of June. "Okay, I'll have it for you in two weeks then."
Two weeks later -- no phone call.
Another two weeks, I called him to find out if I could pick up the plaque. No. It wasn't done. "Another week," he said.
Two weeks later I called. Not done.
A week later I called. Not done.
A week later I called. Not done, but I could fetch it next Monday.
Part 2: I picked it up. Hmmmmmm.
In place of individual names on the original tiny plaques, I had requested five plaques to go on the board, each plaque containing one column of eight names. What I got back was three wide plaques, two columns on each one, with eight names per column.
I had requested that the names be printed in lower-case letters with appropriate capitalization at the start of names. What I got back was all-caps.
I had requested a font-size such that the capital letters be 1/4" tall. What I got back was lettering 13/32" tall. (Even though that's only a tiny amount of space, it's more than 60% taller than I requested.)
I had requested a font-style for the names that would match the rest of the lettering on the plaque. What I got back was a vastly different type-style, as well as the names in bold. It was as different as This is from This.
Oh, and there was a name misspelled.
And one of the plaques was slightly askew.
Part 3: Pastor took the plaque back and requested that it be fixed. He didn't ask for everything to be put right. He just asked for corrections to the misspelling, the font, and the lower-case letters. And we still need it by June 1. It wasn't ready by June 1. It wasn't ready the next week either.
We finally picked it up less than 48 hours before our symposium began. Hmmmmm.
Part 4: The font was smaller -- a nice size. (Hooray!) But now there were eleven names per column. This means the plaques were less than one-third full; it looked very empty. And it means there's currently room for 45 more years of Sabre bearers' names. That's a bit excessive at this point.
The previously misspelled name was corrected. (Hooray!) But a date was changed from 2012 to 1012. And "gallantry" was spelled with an S. And another word was misspelled.
And the font was still in the unmatched style, and still in bold.
When I called the shop owner, he told me I could bring it back and he would fix it for me by the next day. We had plenty to do in preparation for symposium and didn't want to take time to run the extra errands. Besides, based on previous promises of "This is when I'll have it ready," I was skeptical as to whether the repairs would be done. I told him I would bring it back the next week.
He questioned the misspellings. He told me he proofread it three times after I complained about the errors, but he could find no misspellings.
Part 5: When I returned the plaques, I told him I wanted the font for the names to match the font on the rest of the plaque. We weren't going to demand that, but as long as he had to remake the plaque because of the spelling error, we might as well make the font right. "But then it won't be in bold." Right!! I told him we never wanted it in bold. We had asked for the fonts to match. He insisted that no one had asked for that. I did when I first came in. And it was written down in the instructions I gave him. Pastor did. And Pastor saw him jot down a note in response to the oral instructions.
Then he told me, "If I do this the way you want, it's going to be hard to read. It won't be bold anymore. I don't want you looking at it and being unhappy with it, because I am NOT going to change this for you again for free."
Funny, I never thought that
his fixing his own errors
was the same as
his making a new sign for me for free.
Part 6: He did the work right away. It was ready when I arrived to pick it up. The corrections were made. (Hooray!) And the matching, unbolded font looks great. As I left, he wished me a good summer ... because he didn't want to see me back with any more complaints. I suppose that was intended to be good-natured and funny. But it hit my ears as though it were blame, and that he was a pretty good guy for humoring us in our pickiness.
Next year there will be yet another name chosen to bear the Sabre of Boldness. At that point, I will take the plaque to a different engraver. I want to start fresh and remake it according to the original plan in March.