I'm working on this 2006 Ireland calendar project, and have taken it to one of the better printers in the area. The reason I chose this particular printer is that they came recommended from a client that I have that uses them. Additionally, they have a Kodak NexPress 2100 digital printing press that is perfect for short runs, like my calendar.

They've had my files for nearly 2 weeks now, and I've been to 2 seperate press checks to see how it's turning out.

Problem is...it's not so good.

I'm finding out that I am actually doing a lot of education, both to my sales rep. and to the press operator.

I'm teaching advanced and complex color theory and color management techniques that they should *already* know in order to make the print job go well.

I was at this press check for nearly an hour, and we mostly went over Photoshop settings, ICC profiles, soft proofing and other geeky printing-tech stuff that would leave your head spinning.

I could see that I was losing him and that he was really in over his head on this job, and I'm starting to wonder how I proceed.

Here's the problem. The press that they have is absolutely fabulous. It will make this project look beautiful. But, the operator needs some training and is missing some profiles to make it perfect.

I've called Kodak and had their tech rep talk to the printer, and he's going to speak again tomorrow.

It just seems like I'm doing a lot of hand-holding and education, and it's me that's spending my time helping them.

I know that the project will turn out great, I've invested a lot of time with these guys, and frankly I don't have much time to find another printer before the end of the year.

I *should* have been doing this about a month ago, but you know how deadlines are...they sometimes get pushed back.

So...do I just eat my time and get through this project? Do I send them an invoice for my time and training? Do I pitch myself to the owner of the company after this is done and tell them that I can do some training with their staff?

I really feel like they need to reciprocate in some way here. I've been VERY patient with them and they will end up benefitting a lot from me raising the bar for them.

Thoughts?