While we were in Bali last year, LagosDad and I bought six new paintings for our home. I left them rolled up in their containers. We always said we’d have them stretched and/or framed after we painted our downstairs.
A year later and we still haven’t painted downstairs and the paintings were still rolled up!
A friend told us a few weeks ago that we’d better unroll them as the paint might crack. As soon as we got home from that dinner we opened them all up and checked them. They’re all fine, thank God.
Now that they were unrolled, I wanted to get them stretched and/or framed. I asked several people where they went or who did theirs for them. All the paintings we’ve had done previously don’t sit properly against the wall as the wood has become warped.
1. People who asked carpenters to make the frames for them weren’t too happy with the job that had been done. One friend said she even sat there and measured the wood, etc for her carpenter to make sure he got it right. I can barely tell one end of a tape measure from the other – so this was not going to work for me.
2. Another friend suggested a frame shop – owned by her friend’s family. This sounded like a plan. I set off one morning, arrived in the area where the store is and drove around in circles for forty minutes as I couldn’t find it.
3. On the way back from Number 2 (above), I came across an art shop in Ikoyi. This place was also suggested to me. I had gone to look for it before, but didn’t find it.
So I stopped and took my paintings inside.
Two ladies work in the store. Lady 1 (L1) stood immediately and came to help me with the paintings and asked what I wanted to do, etc. Lady 2 (L2) sat slumped over the desk, head resting on arms. She made no attempt to move.
L1 told me they couldn’t tell me how much it would cost to stretch the paintings until she knew the size of them all. She then unrolled them, one-by-one, and measured them. L2 was still sat at the desk. Her job was to write the size of each painting on a bit of masking tape and stick it on the back of each painting.
Each time L1 gave L2 a measurement to write down, she wrote down the wrong thing. Or she didn’t hear her. Or she couldn’t be arsed. I don’t know.
This continued for all six paintings.
After the measurements were done, I approached the desk so that L1 could get the calculator out and figure out the cost. As I stood at the desk, L2 started tearing up bits of paper, rolling them up into little balls and throwing them at L1.
WTF was going on?
I just kept staring at L2. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. If this is how she wants to behave when they’re on their own, that’s just fine. But when there are customers around? This was unacceptable.
After receiving the quote, I rolled up my paintings and took them home (I had to clear the cost with LagosDad first).
I went back a few days later to give the paintings in to be stretched.
Thankfully L2 would have nothing to do with the process. Having said that, she was reasonably professional during my second visit.
On Wednesday I got a phone call. I couldn’t hear a damn thing the woman was saying because someone was singing (very loudly and very out of tune) in the background. She kept trying to tell me where she was calling from and that my paintings were ready. I told her, “I can’t hear you because someone (I bet it was L2) is singing in the background!” She just talked louder.
On Thursday I went to collect them. I got there at 10.30am. L1 was waiting outside. L2 had the key for the store and was still on her way. They are meant to open at 9am. I know that public transport is a problem here. And getting around isn’t easy – but L2 didn’t arrive until nearly 11am!
Another guy was waiting to buy masking tape and some paper or something. It took L2 ten minutes to write the invoice!
Anyway, I paid the balance of my bill, took my paintings and left. They’ve actually done a really good job, as well. (I have to give credit where it’s due!)
I forgot how beautiful they are. Two of them are LagosDad’s choice – I wonder if you can work out which ones…?