The shop needs work, so contrary to your intuition, you accept the furniture contract from Mr and Mrs.Smellfungus. Experience has taught you that no matter what you do, these kinds of people will find something wrong with the job.


A person who complains and bickers to everyone about meaningless matters. Never find  positive in situtations and try to bring mutual misery amongst people in their surroundings.

I remember a job where the customers demanded the authentic look of hickory wood, then complained about the alternating tones within the wood. When we questioned them on what they meant by "authentic" they showed us a piece of homogeneous laminate labeled "Hickory".

We had a second customer that would call every 6 months to have us come in and "touch up" the finish on the cabinet doors.

Just like our hickory issue, Many of the complaints from a smellfungus come from their unreasonable expectations and uneducated understanding of the inherent limitations in woodworking.

So, when those smellfungus alarms go off in your head, use them to remind you to back up the conversation and re-start by spelling out exactly what you will and won't do for the customer. Show as many physical samples of color, wood grain, and similar projects as you can to cement in their head what the job will look like.

Spend extra time asking and listening to their needs. Make sure to talk about limitations for any after sale service issues they may expect and If possible, get as much of your service guarantees in writing.

Lastly, never, never promise "satisfaction guaranteed" to a smellfungus.

Read more of Rick's blogs>

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.