End of another phase of my life

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End of another phase of my life

Post by Barry on Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:06 pm

Ya know...as if dealing with Mother Natures bitchy moods, and moving, ain't enough excitement for me, sometimes the world just smacks ya upside the head.

The day I never wanted to happen, finally happened. I am no longer working as a guitar tech in my local shop, Guitars 'n Amps.

No, I did nothing wrong. We were simply a victim of a lousy economy and an inexplicable drop off in interest in guitars and gear generally. Apparently, we're not alone and we join a growing list of "music" shops which have closed their doors. Particularly hard hit have been piano dealers followed very closely by guitar shops. It appears to be a wide spread phenomenon according to our sales reps, and no one seems to know why.

Online sales have had something to do with it, but that doesn't account for everything, and even that has trailed off. No, it seems as though the physical act and effort and dedication required to learn to play an actual instrument is just too damned hard for this smart-phone-tethered, and instant-gratification-on-demand generation. It's easier to play the bloody phone I guess.

The owner, Bob, has been struggling for a long time and just today finally announced that he's liquidating and moving on. He can finally leave all the stress and aggravation behind. It has been brutal. I have watched the business change dramatically in my 4+ years there, from 3 of us being rushed off our feet, to swatting the occasional fly to relieve boredom. Even restrings have all but evaporated. Just a head shaker.

I am happy for Bob, who was diagnosed about 2 years a go with Multiple Sclerosis. He's been dealing with that reality while attempting to keep the business breathing. I have done what I could to assist but in the end it was his baby and his passion that started the thing, and his sweat and stress that kept it going this long, beyond all hope really.

The action was not unexpected. I have known for some time that he was going to shut down. It was just a matter of time. But I was selfishly hoping I could hang on to the end of this month as a kind of neat closure, and then concentrate on my move.

Still, I'm grateful for the opportunity he gave me and for his support and comradery over the years. I learned and experienced much. It was a great ride. It all will be greatly missed.

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"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Tripi on Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:26 am

wish you peacefull, joyfull new phase of your life Barry Smile

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by corsair on Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:34 am

Yeah, mate.. doors closing, others opening etc. etc. Shame about the shop closure and your impending joblessness, though. 
On a positive note, you now have more time to spend with your nearest and dearest, eh!
Take care out there....

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:49 am

Sorry to hear this Baz,  but never be afraid to start a new chapter eh? 
Out with the old, in with the new! 

There is another positive here,  a lot of local guitars live to breathe another day Yes yes!

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Barry on Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:46 am

Tripi wrote:wish you peacefull, joyfull new phase of your life Barry Smile
Thank you. It will be peaceful once the move is over.
corsair wrote:...On a positive note, you now have more time to spend with your nearest and dearest, eh!...
Thinking Thanks. I think.
Sgt. Vimes wrote:Sorry to hear this Baz,  but never be afraid to start a new chapter eh?
Cheers. Brain is usually willing. Body is often not interested however. Crying or Very sad

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Guest on Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:51 am

If it is something you enjoy, put an advert on Craigslist or an equivalent.  I see people place ads for guitar setup/repairs in the locals down here.  Then you can set your own schedule and pace and it keeps ya in the game.  You can charge less than a store and keep all the $$ for new guitars, or new tools for guitars Smile

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Meadows on Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:29 pm

Hey Barry, sorry to hear your news but as the guys have already said, you never know what is around the corner, got to stay positive.

As to the demise of yet another music store, sadly also been there. Used to work in mainly Woodwind and Brass shop, which employed 26 staff including repairers, specialist for each instrument, a whole floor dedicated to sheet music, instrument rental dept and it had a great rep. Then along came the internet and we could no longer compete with people selling instruments out of boxes (untested or settup) from their spare bedroom with zero overheads. The owner had to sell his home in the end to pay the tax man, very sad indeed.

The very of luck with the move, time to badly pack that porcelain dog the mother in law gave you twenty years ago that you have to keep bringing out every time she visits Mad , Go easy Barry Smile

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Barry on Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:55 pm

sarcaster wrote:If it is something you enjoy, put an advert on Craigslist or an equivalent.  I see people place ads for guitar setup/repairs in the locals down here.  Then you can set your own schedule and pace and it keeps ya in the game.  You can charge less than a store and keep all the $$ for new guitars, or new tools for guitars Smile
I've thought about doing just that. I have no idea what the new local demand is likely to be though. It's a relatively small market compared to where I am now, and this one sucks like a Dyson. Neutral

Meadows wrote:Hey Barry, sorry to hear your news but as the guys have already said, you never know what is around the corner, got to stay positive...Go easy Barry Smile
Thanks for that Si.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by The Chad on Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:13 pm

I have to say that I'm sorry to hear all that, It's never easy to say goodbye to an enjoyable chapter of life.   Good thing is your identity isn't wrapped up in what you do, it's who you are.  As the other men alluded, i too am looking forward to hearing about what unfolds for you next.  Head up and chest out, great things ahead.

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Barry on Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:42 pm

Cheers Chad.

As these life events materialize, you tend to oscillate a little between sadness and happiness. So, with a heavy heart I dropped into the store today to pick up a few things and turn in the keys.

But I must say I was pleased to see Bob looking much better than he has been in some time. Since he finally made the decision, the stress that was crippling him has all but disappeared. Nothing left now but to sell off whatever's remaining in the next week and get on with his life.

And the vultures are already circling. One regular popped in yesterday and bought a bunch of gear...including the Fender and Martin branded clocks on the wall! (sheesh)

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Iceman on Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:21 pm

Sad to hear of this poor news, Barry.  

I very well may be joining you by the middle of December. The owner of my current place of employment sold out to a larger concern, who announced they will move us by the 15th of that month at the latest.

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Barry on Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:11 am

That sux. In my case it was a part time deal with a small supplementary income. I feel for those livelihood is in jeopardy. Fingers crossed for you that it works out OK.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by The Chad on Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:27 am

We're all with you on that, Steve.

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by mortarman120gang11c on Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:36 am

Things can change and come and go but remember where there is faith in your abilities and a never give up attitude new and better things will be found. Best of Luck to you both. Never surrender, always advance.

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by hoax on Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:11 pm

That is now three of the good guys having doubts about future employment, Barry, Iceman and Westcoaster.

Right now, I am feeling a bit of survivor guilt, having left the rat race on my own terms five years ago.

I wish all three of the very best of luck. I know some of the character attributes of all of you, and I am sure that you will come out the other side stronger.

Good luck!!

Hoax

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Iceman on Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:43 pm

Well, I did not mean to sound quite as hopeless as it came across above.  I am free to choose to continue with my present employer, though it will become a nearly impractical choice to do so.

My current commute is roughly 35 minutes each way of stress free driving for a 4 day work week.  Overtime has been a nearly weekly necessity for the last 8 months but 1.5 times my hourly rate for 10+ hours on a Friday tends to soften the blow.

In deciding to move us lock, stock & (2 smoking) barrels to their main campus the commute would shift to a 90+ minute drive in the morning, the same drive home in the afternoon a dead lock for closer to 2 hours given afternoon traffic... and all this for an 8 hour day M-F.  Any overtime would then consume a Saturday entirely, and there will continue to be overtime.

At any rate I find myself in the most advantageous position I have ever been in regards to changing employers as I have until December 15 to come to a final solution.

Barry, I'm finding myself in agreement with others who have suggested you look into hanging your own shingle, so to speak.  When I find an issue with any of our axes I do not care to tackle, I use the same luthier I have for over 20 years now, who himself has been "retired" for 5 years or so if my memory serves, and he loves it.

I'm sure that you will find your solution as well as (to turn a phrase slightly) a good penny always turns up.

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Barry on Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:38 pm

Thanks Graham, Steve, et al.

It's humbling to have that kind of support from all you folks who only know me from the few bits n bytes I scribble on the Interwebs.

Much appreciated by this aging master debater.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by DimensionIV-addict on Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:29 pm

All the best to both of you guys Barry. So sorry to hear bro.
Won't see the shop no more Sad nor tease Bob about our Uncle Mats..
You fellows ranked pretty darn high for me to travel an hour and half each way to see you.
Genuine GOOD people, now where are we gonna catch-up?

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Re: End of another phase of my life

Post by Barry on Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:14 pm

Hey thanks for the kind comments Steve.
Your patronage and loyalty is well appreciated. It was always a pleasure to see your smiling face coming through the door!

As for Bob, he's die-hard Gretsch guy, so there's no hope for him. Razz

I guess we'll just have to hang out here, next to the coffee machine! Coffee Drinker

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: http://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)

Barry
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Re: End of another phase of my life

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