This summer my job has been varied. I’ve taught Sunday classes and led the music, as well as assisting all the new volunteers each week. Along with that, during the week we’ve been remodeling all of our classrooms. I’ve been busy recruiting volunteers to do a lot of painting and organization work and making sure a lot of things get done. Our bigger classrooms I’ve only done a little here and there on like making more huge curtains for the Theatre, but mostly I’ve been upholstering diner booths.
For a very low amount, we were able to purchase a whole restaurant’s worth of booths from a local place who wanted to redecorate. They all needed to be recovered as the fabric was worn, unattractive and smoke-filled.
I started out with a regular heavy-duty staple gun. A few years ago a reupholstered a very nice living room easy chair and ottoman so I was familiar with the basics of the upholstery work as well as the gun. Fortunately, we had volunteers do most of the un-upholstering. I was getting carpal tunnel from pulling staples!
The blisters didn’t take long to appear. I tried new positions of holding the staple gun, different methods of shooting it to ease the pressure, but the work was going very slowly.
Then there arose a real problem. It’s always a numbers situation. I carefully counted how many booths we had (20), how many of each piece I needed to cover (14, 17, 17), how many more pieces needed cutting (9, 9, 6) and how many more needed to be brought in from storage (just a few). Another staff member was kindly cutting out the rest of the pattern pieces that I would later use to cover the benches. But she cut using the largest numbers. This resulted in running out of fabric. I don't blame her, it was an honest mistake. And frankly, I find myself finding that situation pretty funny.
So, I ordered more fabric. Then realized I would need more due to the cut and ordered more. Rushed the shipping even. Both rolls arrived today and I got to work. This morning I believed I only needed to cover 8 more pieces and would have plenty of fabric to work with. No worries.
Then the stapler jammed. A chunk of the plastic flew off. I couldn’t get more than one staple out without it jamming. I wasted several rows of staples. I got angry.
I started putting the booths together. Previously, I had been just covering and piling the pieces as I went and figured when they were all covered I would put them together. There’s a pretty simple system to getting everything pounded in, screwed tight and sitting correctly. When the screws aren’t stripped. When the pieces are all there. When the lights aren’t shutting off automatically every hour as I’m holding a power drill.
After putting together as many as I could, I recounted. I need 5 more pieces from storage still when I thought I had them all. Which means I actually have 10 more pieces to recover. Plus, I am going to end up sewing a couple pieces together to make them wide enough to cover the pieces I need.
I suppose after typing this whole thing out it doesn’t sound as frustrating as it was when I was experiencing the anger. I think with the lights shutting off, the stapler jamming and more pieces left to be done all together just left me feeling unproductive. Yet I look around the room and see many finished booths sitting patiently to be installed along the walls.
If you read all this and think now I’m just a big whiner, sorry ‘bout that. Geez, if you read all this, you get a prize or something anyway. I guess that’s why we journal our thoughts, isn’t it? Get it all out and maybe you’ll feel better afterwards.
Oh, and I made a pie. It was really yummy.