I must be getting old, I've been in a relflective mood...
Once upon a time, I did a 3 year stint as an electrician, this was mixed
in with various carpentry and masonry jobs.
We did mostly industrial work but filled in with new house work and
rewiring old houses.
One job was the rewiring of a 30's era house, the lady that owned the
place had a minor electrical fire and wanted everything replaced and
brought up to code, all light fixtures with the exception of one was to be
The fixture in question was a huge, many socketed affair made of cast
brass, probably weighed 50 lbs, a price was agreed on to repair the
fixture and one rainy day work began.
Some one in the past had painted the fixture with a brown enamel paint,
we disassembled the fixture, soaked the whole thing in stripper. cleaned
it up, polished it with a buffing wheel, reassmbled with new wiring and
sockets, and finally give the whole thing a clear coat to prevent
It was a work of art and shone like new money.
Made the trip to hang the refurbished fixture and unboxed it in front
of the owner, she turned white, then red, sputtering in anger
saying that it had to be painted brown.
A can of brown spray paint returned the fixture to its former
tacky glory and everyone was happy.
Main lesson learned: never assume anything when dealing
with a client.