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The Piano-Tuner’s Wife

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Piano-tuner’s wife is a relatively new role for me. I realize the correct term is “technician,” but for the layperson, I still call myself the “piano-tuner’s wife.” It just helps keep the conversation moving. In fact, we attended a concert for which my husband had tuned the other day, and I was quite proud to be the piano-tuner’s wife. As scheduler, one client recently called me the “calendar girl.” Although I liked it, I don’t think I’ll put that on my business card. But what should I?

My grandfather was a piano technician. He just retired this year at the ripe young age of 89. My grandmother was the perfect piano-tuner’s wife, helping carry his bags to jobs with him and being his scheduler – complete with a log book and ledger. I’ve asked her what she actually did, sitting in people’s homes while he tuned. But she was “a grandma” and gave a vague answer then turned the conversation back to me.

What is the piano-tuner’s spouse’s job today? Many of us are still the scheduler, with a computer and cell phone taking the place of log book and ledger. And our independent technicians have their bags packed so efficiently with all their gadgets and tools, they rarely need an extra hand with them. No wonder Grandma isn’t talking – we practically speak a different language between QuickBooks, email, Blackberrys and Google Calendars!

Many of us have our own careers. Yet we still want to support our significant others. How can we accomplish this in today’s world? Certainly every one of us carries business cards, knows the website address, and has the business phone number memorized. You never know when you’ll meet someone who needs piano service. I kicked myself the other day for missing an opportunity to give his card to my manicurist. We don’t have to know everything about pianos to be our technician’s biggest marketers.

Joining the PTG Auxiliary is another great way to support your spouse. Men join the Auxiliary, too, so if you are a piano tuner’s husband, don’t pass on the opportunity to be part of this group. We have activities at each National Convention to learn from and support each other, while helping the PTG, and we have a lot of fun in the process.

It may sound trite, but a backrub at the end of long day of tuning and repairs is always appreciated by your other half. And of course, we can always be a sympathetic ear to complement our husband’s musical one. These things will never change. Even with modern technology, I’m sure that Grandma and I will still have this in common as long as we’re piano-tuners’ wives.

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