You’ve Been Living in a Dream World, Neo

“The rumor is that The New Company is going to fire everyone at The Plant.” I say to my Supervisor in our ongoing talk about the New World Order of Assembly Line Portraits.

“Well, I don’t believe that.” He says with a snort. “Why would they buy all this stuff if they weren’t planning on using it?”

“They were just buying The Competition.” I say.

The New Company did, in fact, announce that they were closing the Old Company’s Plant and letting go a few hundred people who work there.  I can only hope that the Old Management is part of the deadweight that the New Company is jettisoning.

All of us in the Directory Division of the Old Company have been floating along in that dream world of hope where nothing much has changed yet.  So now we have been given the word that change is happening.  We are to be retrained, new equipment was mentioned, and life, such as it is, goes on.  The wording is odd and still a little too vague.  But it doesn’t sound all that good.

Time to get that book wrapped up and see if I can be the next self publishing success story on Kindle Direct Publishing.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. ~Douglas Adams

I’ve never really had a deadline.  Oh I used to put a bit of pressure on myself to blog once a day, or once a week, or once in a while, but that’s not quite the same.  So now I have a couple of months to think about what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it.  This whole drifting from place to place has worked out well enough, but maybe a couple of goals might be in order.

I’m pretty much thinking the writing is on the wall now for how the New Company feels about its stepchildren at the Old Company.  It’s just a matter of time before the end of the line for old curmudgeons like myself.  And short of rounding up all the other disgruntled castaways and starting my own Assembly Line Portrait Directory Company, I don’t see anything good in the tea leaves.

I read a book about the Roman Empire one time.  It talked about how Rome would conquer a territory and how it was not all that great an experience for the folks being conquered.  The former Ruler was either exiled or killed outright, unless the were smart enough to plunder the Treasury and make a run for it-not unlike our Fearless Leader at the Company.  Then the Romans came in and took over everything, like The New Company.  Anyone who still wanted to fight was killed or enslaved.  And finally, all traces of the Old Ruler was replaced with the banner of Rome.  We’re still working on that one, but it won’t be long.

I have a couple of weeks worth of work using the Old Company model, and after that, who knows?  I have a couple of names of Managers I can call and see about going returning to work for, but I am not all that optimistic.  After all, the odds are good that a couple of hundred Directory Photographers will be pounding the streets looking for work pretty soon.

I’ve done Shoot-N-Show before, back in the Dark Ages when I first started in Assembly Line Portraits.  I sucked at it.  I shot a lot of people who bought nothing but the Special, which was the crap collection of 110 portraits, 60 of which were the size of a postage stamp, for those of you old enough to know what a postage stamp is.  The people who were good at this kind of thing were good Sales People and so-so Photographers.  That was when I left that Company and never looked back.

So I find myself once again pondering what I will be doing in the not too distant future.  The latest memo from the Big Boss contained many signs of the coming Apocalypse, the most worrisome for me being this line: transition to a unified photography platform and portrait sales approach-in other words; Shoot-N-Show.

Damn, it’s a very exciting time, as Tank said to Neo.

I’ve read the memo at least a dozen times, and each time it only gets worse.  That’s the masochist in me.  I should be working on my novels, polishing my nonfiction book, thinking of something I can turn into an information product, learning how to write better eBay listings, and so on and so forth.  At the very least, I should be trying to narrow down my focus a little.

I have somewhere between 28 and 60 days, judging from the memo, before the New Company reaches the tipping point where I won’t be able to take it anymore.  I’ll have a few hours a day to work on The Plan, assuming I can narrow my focus down to one Plan.

Of course, there is the very slim possibility that everything will be hunky dory at the New Company and I will love the new Shoots, New Equipment, and—yeah, like that’s gonna happen.

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