Rrrrrrrrrh have to get this off my chest !

Submitted by Cecil on 1/29/05 at 6:02 PM. ( )

Had a customer pick up a brown trout yesterday and all was fine. I did turn it the opposite way that he requested (I've only done this twice in my career), and apologized for that and that did not seem like big deal to him. But he is also hard of hearing so maybe he didn't understand. Additionally I told him if he came back in the fall he could catch one of my big brook trout out back and than he could have a fish facing the other way. Even took him out back and he caught and released one and had a blast. The guy left happy as a clam.

Today I get in the mail a letter with pics of the original fish and that he is not happy. The fish does not look like the picture he says. Well hell no it doesn't -- the fish picture is bland faded dead fish and I added a little color to it. What's interesting is much of the color came back when I thawed it out and I recognized the color them that I have seen before. He talks about how he had a rainbow done by another taxidermist that is a friend that was painted exactly like when he caught it. Uh huh.. I saw it. The quality is no where near the brown I did.

I will call this gentlemen and be nice but firm but something tells me this other taxidermist, whom he didn't take the brown to because he didn't want to wait a year, and who's supposed to be a friend, has put some ideas into his head. I know this other taxidermist and he is the most arrogant SOB of at taxdermist I have ever met. The guy hasn't competed in 20 years and it shows. He thinks he's God's gift to taxidermy and won't let you get a word in while he talks about himself.

Rrrrrrh! I fell bad right now! I guess what really makes me mad is this guy got a competiton quality fish and he's mad because it doesn't look like a dead fish laying in the cooler half the day!

Any advice before I call? The customer didn't ask for anything in the letter, and I really can't repaint it as the two part polyurethane that I used for a clear coat is impossible to remove without destroying the fish. Besides I refuse to repaint something that looks that good!

In your opinion should I offer anything, or if he wants his money back should I firmly say no?

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This response submitted by Jack F on 1/29/05 at 6:16 PM. ( )

If he didn't ask for anything in righting I wouldn't offer a refund. Stick to your guns on this one. Your right the other taxidermist has filled him full of ideas. Probably because your fish blew his in the dirt. Jack F

I would'nt call

This response submitted by Jim on 1/29/05 at 6:30 PM. ( )

him or take his work, unless you charge him much more. let him go to the other taxidermist.Get rid of him, you will feel alot better. You can never please a person like this. Been there,done that. hope you make out OK. And don't give him any money back.We work hard at what we do.


This response submitted by Dennis D on 1/29/05 at 6:31 PM. ( )

well from what i read you did do what any ethical taxidermist would of done and you right the other taxidermist put some sh** into that customers head . well what i would do is to tell the old guy to put his hearing aid in and listen to what YOU have to say about your work , I would give him about 30min more of your time and show him the difference of a dead fish a what it looks like after it goes through your shop. And tell him as well the fish that you mounted for him is between you and him only . and if that don't work shake his hand ,and tell him to take the rest of his fish to the other guy that surpose to be his friend and wait the year .customers like that aren't worth getting sick over .
Good luck!

brown trout

This response submitted by matt on 1/29/05 at 6:37 PM. ( bearclawtaxidermy@hotmail.com )

tell him good bye!

!st thing

This response submitted by John M on 1/29/05 at 7:06 PM. ( )

the guy did was bring it over to his pals place to show it off and his bud started cutting it down, After an hour or so the guy started to beleive it. I don't see what you can do, it's all in his head.

The other taxidermist

This response submitted by 9 Fingers on 1/29/05 at 7:13 PM. ( )

has him brainwashed....put it behind you, you know what kind of work you do, be polite to the customer, but that's it, period. Do you reserve the right to change pose if deemed necessary? Should have that on your invoices.

I sat don't bother

This response submitted by Hogger on 1/29/05 at 8:12 PM. ( )

Cecil, you know you can't please all of the people all of the time. The more you stir crap up the stinker it gets. Next time he'll go to the other guy again and that's good for you.

But I'm wondering... you said you turned it the wrong way. Was it that he wanted it to the right, but you had to go left because "left" is all you know? LOL! Just kidding. Let'em go.

Thanks All you're making me feel better!

This response submitted by Cecil on 1/29/05 at 8:24 PM. ( )

And Hogger that was funny! You really made me laugh on that one! I feel so much better! I think I'll tell my customers left turns only from now on!

Between a rock and a hard place...

This response submitted by marty on 1/29/05 at 8:28 PM. ( )

If he won't listen to reason, why can't you just tone it down? Lightly spray some silver pearl or silver (tough call on exact color to use w/o seeing the pic, but you know what I mean) right over your gloss coat and that should tone down any underlying colors that are too bright (in your customer's eyes). Dry and re-gloss...

Maybe so Marty but what if...

This response submitted by Cecil on 1/29/05 at 8:40 PM. ( )

He doesn't like that either and just wastes my time?


This response submitted by Richard C on 1/29/05 at 8:59 PM. ( )

I feel your pain but I think the guy really likes the fish,you do a great fish but he must have seen a old Kerry sticker around your shop and is just pissed because he had the fish done by a Democrat. I told you after the election to scrap all the stickers and take the Kerry photo off the wall.

You can please some of the people...

This response submitted by Craig on 1/29/05 at 9:15 PM. ( )

some of the time but not ALL of the people ALL of the time.

If you deem it absolutely neccessary, offer to show him some pics of other fresh fish taken from the same waters at the same time of year. Let him know that sometimes the conditions of the lighting on the day of the catch wasn't ideal for the picture he took. Point out that the colors on a fish begin to fade the minute it leaves the water and even more so when it dies.

You neglected to mention as to whether he left(there goes that word again) you a picture for you to work from and if he did I would assume you pointed all these issues out to him then.


This response submitted by MKS on 1/29/05 at 9:18 PM. ( )

I would'nt call him back unless he presses it. His letter is duely noted. If he's unhappy he won't come back. Your work is not going to turn others away. If all that is wrong is the pose, oh well, accidents happen. If the work is first rate, I would'nt sweat it.
You do reputable work so you have no worry's. If he keeps pressing it, I'd offer a small discount on his next mount, thats it. Don't sweat it anymore. (I know it sucks though, and it can happen to us all a some point along the way)


This response submitted by Alex on 1/29/05 at 9:42 PM. ( )

That just goes with the territory, some people are unappreciative of good taxidermy no matter what, we get 1 out of 10,000 will complain about something, just shrug off and forget it.
Let the law of Karma come around for the other a** H*** taxidermist.

That is what I do, Iam still in business and the others are gone.

I like MKS's answer...

This response submitted by marty on 1/29/05 at 10:10 PM. ( )

...I don't read anywhere that states he wants you to call him. Let him make the first move. Sounds to me like he's going to go to the other guy in the future anyway. His loss...

geez Cecil

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/29/05 at 10:20 PM. ( )

Lets see, you get hundreds of satisfied customers, and one guy whose not happy. Dont you think thats a bit one-sided? Youre darn right! Id call that a pretty good average! Fire back a quick note that simply acknowledges his comment. It will say that you have built your good reputation on the high end work you do and that your customers, including him (as of the time he left with it), have always appreciated your artistic and professional interpretation as to what a LIVE fish should look like. Thats it. No discounts, no offers, and no explanation. He walked out of there pleased. You did good. Let his buddy do his future work, if he changed the guys mind.

I still say that fish work can be the hardest taxidermy out there. Fish swim around all day looking almost see-through and chrome, then we pull them out of the water in intense fighting colors and handle them as they fade to dead. Somehow you guys need to pull that all together and give the customer the "right" paint job everytime, including variations in species, location, season, and even water temps. I think you guys that achieve that 90% with customers are doing just fine.

I agree with Yox

This response submitted by Doug on 1/29/05 at 10:33 PM. ( )

He hit every point I would have made. You've done the man a great job and he left happy. Complaining AFTER he left happy REEKS of what you suspect, and is unworthy of a second thought.

Don't sweat this guy

This response submitted by Bradlee on 1/30/05 at 7:13 AM. ( )

The man left happy so he obviously had to have taken it to the taxi down the way who felt jelous of your fine work . Heck Cecil , you even let him catch and release one of your fine fish and he should have noticed what they look like alive ! It was more than kind of you to offer him to come back and catch one for a mount just for the wrong turn . I like what Yox said and think I would do just that and no more . OH yeah , and keep that old fart away from your pond ! He would probably pretend to fall in and sue you ! LOL Bradlee

Its the Kerry sticker!

This response submitted by jim on 1/30/05 at 2:39 PM. ( )

I agree with Richard C. I to have had this happen with fish a few times, it also sure upset me and now I only do a very occational fish, if you are good, and you are, you have more work than you need or can do in an reasonable turn over anyway , I say just totally ignore him forever because no matter what you do or say will ever make him OK with you or the fish.

Yep I better take the Kerry sign down

This response submitted by Cecil on 1/30/05 at 3:58 PM. ( )

Come to think of it he did do a double take as he drove off when he saw the sign. LOL

You guys sure make me feel better and I can't wait to give him my answer if he has the gall to call me this fall and want to fish my trout pond. Here's my reply:

"Sorry can't do it. Not a chance. If I had to mount the fish you probably wouldn't be happy with it anyway."


This response submitted by Bill Yox on 1/30/05 at 9:55 PM. ( )

Dear Cecil,

Hi, this is so-and-so, you did a fish for me and I fished your pond. I know I sent you that nasty letter saying on second thought I didnt like the mount. But, could I come by and fish your ponds again?

Thanks, so-and-so.


Dear so-and-so,

Cecil here. No, Im sorry but the ponds will not be available to you. These ponds are used as part of the success of my business. Surely you understand.

Regards, Cecil

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