Just Following Orders

“Why can’t this one be in the Book?” The Little Old Lady says and points to one of the approval shots.  “I don’t really like that one.”

“The one for the Book has to have the same background and the same cropping.”  I say and show her a sample Book where all the portraits look much the same as the one she doesn’t like.

“Well.” She says still unhappy. “I still don’t understand why I can’t have this one in the book.”

More annoying that people who don’t like the picture that will go in the Book are people who want to guilt you out about being in a Church at all and having the nerve to sell something.  These are mostly people my dear old Mom used to call Poor White Trash, in our modern, more accepting world of today, I tend to call these people poor white trash.  These are people with serious entitlement issues who honestly believe that they are owed something by everyone they met.  A typical argument from this group is that they can go to Wal-Mart and get a hundred picture for what I am charging for two-Yeah, you can.  Feel free to do that.  If you can find a Wal-Mart that still has a portrait studio.

There are a few rules in place at a Shoot designed to keep people from ripping us off.  These include rules such as The Same Person Can’t Appear in The Book Twice and People with the Same Address can’t have Two Directory Shots.  These are the rules that I run into the most problem with and people bitch and moan about the most.

Why can’t Gandma be in the Book with me?  She was already in The Book by herself.  So?  Why can’t she be in with me, too?

We won’t have the same address for long, can I just use my Mom’s address instead.  No, I already know you live at the same address, you can’t put down another address.  Well, we’ll just come back some other day.

This is supposed to be something for the church! Yeah-your getting a free book and a free 8×10.  I don’t want an 8×10, I want a 5×7.  Or-I want this for free, not that one!

I’m not much into conflict myself, but my paycheck depends on keeping these bastards from ruining my Sales Average, so I have to enforce the rules.  I sometimes bend the rules a bit because I’m at a good shoot and don’t want to piss of a lot of people, but I can’t break them too often.

I had one of those White Trash women the other day who wanted me to give her the proofs, because I was just going to throw it away anyway.  I sold her the proofs-which I’m supposed not to do-and then she wanted me to give her her grandmother’s proofs.  Because her sweet old Gran was 91 years old and didn’t have any money.  Hmm, really?  Go down to that Wal-Mart you love so much and load up a basket-then see how much of it they will give to your Grandmother because she is 91.

It was clear from her reaction to my refusal to give her anything else that she was used to stomping her foot and making demands and then getting what she wanted.   This was a good Shoot and most of the people there bought portraits, and many bought a lot of portraits.  So what would happen if I did reward this rude and nasty woman’s behavior by giving her the proofs?  She would go out and tell everyone there that I was a fucking sap that would believe a sob story and give something away.  Then everyone who actually bought those proofs for $40 would tumble back in and demand that I give them their money back.  Of course, the poor white trash woman only cares about herself and would likely take great satisfaction if people came in to cancel their orders.  The fact that such behavior does not benefit her in anyway would never cross her mind.

One of the Companies I worked would send out the Freebie for free, but if you ordered anything, the shipping and handling would be something like $14.95.  This was only a major problem for cheap bastards, who were quick to point out that we could just put the second 8×10 in the envelope with the free one.

It doesn’t really help that there are plenty of times that I tend to agree that the rules don’t make a lot of sense.  I can’t really tell them that the only reason for most of the Rules is to weed out the Nonbuyers and keep them from ripping off The Company and stealing money from my paycheck.

There are always going to be people who just want the Freebie, I can handle that, it’s the people who want more than the Freebie that I want to slap into next week.  Again, they are not the norm or there would be no Company and no Church Directory Business at all.

Most people buy something, even if it costs more than they were expecting it to cost.  Most Nonbuyer just say they can’t afford anything right now and leave.  It’s just the occasional drama queen that can’t understand why the world doesn’t revolve around them-usually poor people who think they are Neo and that the Rules Don’t Apply To Them. Sorry, Charlie-the rules were written because of YOU.


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