Organ tuning priorities
  • Matilda
    Posts: 76
    I have to schedule the twice yearly organ tuning. The organ is old and the technician must drive several hours each way to get to our church. Problem is I cannot get a guarantee from the office to avoid scheduling funerals on any one date- the most i can get us " we'll try". This church is empty most of the time. It seems inconsiderate to be so unwilling to guarantee the gentleman who does the organ work a specific date. Previously when tuners arrived at least once a service had actually been scheduled overriding their work. Is this the normal way things are arranged in churches? it seems so rude to the person maintaining an organ repair business...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,886
    Our tuners come from out of town as well. They call the office and set a date on the calendar with the parish secretary. Then we schedule around the tuners. They tune other instruments when they are in town so we can adjust the schedule by an hour or so if an emergency comes up.
    Thanked by 2Matilda CHGiffen
  • Matilda
    Posts: 76
    That's the way I think it should work.
  • When our organ tuners come, we initially schedule them around what is on our parish calendar. For example, we would never have them plan to come during the time for daily Mass. Beyond that, we would schedule around them; funerals would be set at another time. Organ maintenance is expensive enough as it is, and I have no desire to pay the gentlemen to stand around with their hands in their pockets while a funeral takes place. I remind myself often that each dollar I spend on our music program comes to us through the collection basket.

    As a side note, my organ tuners are talented, interesting, but very chatty guys. I have to intentionally not distract them or I end up paying them to talk.
    Thanked by 1Matilda
  • Matilda
    Posts: 76
    I would never interfere with daily mass and I certainly understand emergencies. What puzzles me is the seeming attitude that we're the church, thus we're special and we don't have to abide by the normal rules of business consideration that most people honor. Having come to this part time job after retirement from a post in the "real world" it shocks me.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 995
    If the organ tech shows up, and they've been scheduled over, they are absolutely within rights to bill you for a service visit. My assistant is a tech, and believe it or not, this happens much more than it should.

    Also, depending on where you live, I'd like the tuner to schedule with ME, then I inform the parish secretary, etc. Our last tech did not do this, and we eventually let them go: here in the South, the weather is wildly inconsistent, and the organ here is infamous for its temperature and pitch variance between Summer and Winter. If they come for "winter tuning" on a warm day, we've just lost thousands of dollars. And so on. Something to think about, even if you have a small instrument.
    Thanked by 1Matilda
  • Matilda
    Posts: 76
    Never thought about the weather issue- thanks for the information. I agree the church could be billed if they schedule over the tuner's visit; I doubt this was done.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,372
    I agree the church could be billed if they schedule over the tuner's visit; I doubt this was done.

    I know that this may sound mean, but sometimes it pays to think like the stereotypical "Parish Council Lady" (no offence to anyone here who happens to be on a Parish Council and/or a Lady), but perhaps you should call up the tech, and suggest to him that the next time he comes and is scheduled over he bills the parish anyway, perhaps with a note attached about travel time, etc. You can kill more rats with poison than with honey...or something like that.
    Thanked by 1Matilda
  • Matilda
    Posts: 76
    Yes and there are some church rats out there!
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • >> I'd like the tuner to schedule with ME, then I inform the parish secretary, etc.

    this.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,653
    I have always cleared a day and time with the pastor before scheduling the organ technician to make his visit. If necessary, we have taken a lunch break during a regularly scheduled mass. I have never had any problems following this regimen.
    Thanked by 1Matilda
  • Matilda
    Posts: 76
    Hmm...pastor not really that accessible to me except through multiple secretaries...I don't think I'm annoying to him, just unimportant....never responds to texts , etc. He's very complimentary if I accidentally run into him though.
  • Matilda
    Posts: 76
    It's a yoked situation with 3 churches,actually 2 pretty big organs, poverty. We do our best as musicians but I think we're sort of down the list.