Non Paying Customers

Some Non-paying customers!

I’m about to do another break in the time line…back to the sign painting!  Here I go again… all over the place! Want to follow along?

My husband worked for a sign shop.  He made wages for the jobs that he did, and the company “got the gravy”. He was discouraged  thinking about how much he took in for the company with his days’ work, and how little they paid him. No overtime…straight time, no matter how long he worked to get a job out on time. They showed no appreciation for his talent… and he had a lot of that.

He had served his apprenticeship with them to become a ‘Pictorial Artist’… but when the time was up, they refused to give him the papers. Jobs were difficult to come by in those days, so he stayed there until the war came along. When he came home from the army, he went  to his old working place and got his old job back.

I had complete faith in his ability to handle any of the sign or display work, including gold leaf.

We had three growing boys , and ninety-six cents in the bank! We took a huge chance…and started out on our own.  It was well worth it to see his confidence in himself come back.

This was one very big reason for not buying anything that we couldn’t pay for…a very good habit to get into!

We started going looking for sign work. If I remember correctly, the first thing we got was a show card… so I went to Henderson’s Paint store and bought one sheet of show card. When we got a silk screen job, I went to Henderson’s and got one piece of Profilm to cut the stencil.

This way, we paid cash…. but when we could afford to pay for more , we saw how much difference there was if you bought in quantity.

A roll of Profilm was $21.00. Buying a sheet at a time, for three dollars…. it would have cost over a hundred dollars for that same roll!   If we bought 12 sheets of show card, it was like getting two sheets free over what we paid for a single sheet at a time. It didn’t matter, we didn’t owe anyone!

One time Mickey was out on a job and ran out of something he needed, so went to one of the other paint stores that we dealt with. The young clerk would not let him have what he needed without cash.  Mickey didn’t carry much money with him, so asked for the manager.

He told the clerk to let him have anything he wanted in the store. His reference card did say ‘cash’, but meant that he ‘preferred to pay in cash’.

We had two or three customers that had decided they wouldn’t pay our bill when it was due. Always something else had come up that they had to pay for and there wasn’t enough left for them  to pay us. In each case, this story had been going on for more than a few weeks.

Our first stop was a trip to the butcher shop. We ordered a roast of beef, and five steaks, Then we got some of the different cheeses until we reached our limit.When it was all added up. we owed him another twenty five cents. He was flabbergasted, but there was nothing he could do about it.


The other one  that owed us at the time was a furniture store, We went there to get a new dinette suite. The  owners  were  quite pleased that we were shopping there, until they suddenly realized what we were doing.  I think we had to pay them ten or fifteen dollars and marked their bill paid in full! I still have that dinette suite!  (Not the one shown in the photo!)


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