Trying To Copyright The Wrong

| ON, Canada | Right | March 19, 2015

(A customer comes to me a wallet sized photo of a baby that was clearly taken in a studio.)

Customer: “Can you enlarge this for me?”

Me: “Oh, was this taken by a professional?”

Customer: “Yes, of cour— No. No, it wasn’t.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Unfortunately, without written permission from the photographer, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “I don’t care about copyright.”

Me: “I do. Company policy says that we can’t copy any professional photos.”

Customer: “No, it wasn’t professional. The mother took it. Can you just show me how to do it in self-serve?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it looks professional, so I can’t assist you with it.”

Customer: “It’s not professional!”

Me: “It looks professional to me, so unfortunately, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “Are you serious?”

Me: “Yes. I’m serious.”

Customer: *rudely* “Fine. Are you working tomorrow?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “UGH! Fine, I’ll just buy this then.”

(I meet her at the register to ring up her item.)

Customer: *in a snotty, ‘I’m better than you’ tone* “Life is too short to follow the rules.”

Me: “It’s also too short to get fired.”

A Professional Approach To Professional Photography

| ON, Canada | Right | March 12, 2015

Customer: “I want to get these photos copied.”

Me: “Okay, I can copy these, but these ones here I can’t unfortunately, due to company copyright policy.”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “This is a professional photo, so I can’t copy it without permission from the photographer.”

Customer: “Oh, no, you can copy it.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t.”

Customer: “But one of the people in that picture is dead now!”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that, but our company’s copyright policy is actually pretty strict; it goes until 50 years after the death of the photographer. I honestly don’t feel comfortable copying professional photos until they are at least 65 years old.”

Customer: “Well, this photo is 65 years old.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this picture isn’t that old. I can do these photos for you, though.”

(I go through the stack of pictures and find some school pictures, which I put aside.)

Me: “I can’t do these ones, though.”

Customer: “WHY NOT!”

Me: “Because these are also professional.”

Customer: “No! They’re school pictures!”

Me: “Yes, that would be professional.”

Customer: “But these people died in 1992!”

Me: “Um, I’m sorry about that, but that doesn’t mean I can copy the picture.”

Customer: “YES, IT DOES!”

Me: “Maybe you didn’t understand me earlier when I said—”

Customer: “YES, I DID UNDERSTAND YOU!”

Me: “Then why are you telling me this person died in 1992? That doesn’t change the fact that the photographer has to be dead for 50 years before I can copy it.”

Customer: “THE PHOTOGRAPHER IS DEAD!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “Then why are you copying this one?” *points to a photo that looks like it was taken with a point and shoot*

Me: “Because it’s not professional.”

Customer: “Yes, it is! A photographer took that!”

Me: “Well, it didn’t look professional to me, but since you’ve told me that it is, I can’t copy it now.”

Customer: “WHAT?!”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Customer: “NO! YOU CAN COPY IT!”

Me: “You JUST told me it was professional, after I JUST told you that I couldn’t copy professional photos.”

Customer: “I want to see a manager, then!”

Me: “Okay.”

(My manager proceeded to tell the customer EVERYTHING I had already said, and the customer yelled back at him everything he had yelled at me. He left in a huff.)

Time To Stand And Deliver

, | OK, USA | Working | December 23, 2014

(I am the supervisor in the copy department of a retail chain. My department also handles shipping through a well-known third party shipping company. This company has been rather famously off the ball this holiday season and has missed several pick-ups at my store, which leads to irate customers yelling at me for something I have no control over. Finally our guy comes in for a pickup.)

Me: “There you are! Where were you yesterday? We were supposed to have a pickup. There are packages in there that were supposed to be DELIVERED today!”

Delivery Guy: “Well, uh… We were off for Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.”

Me: “I’m aware of that, but Christmas Day was Wednesday. It is now Friday. Where were you yesterday?”

Delivery Guy: “We were off Christmas Day and Eve.”

Me: “… I know. Neither of those days was yesterday.”

(He just shrugged, finished loading, and left. A week later, I was STILL fielding calls from people demanding refunds for items that were not delivered on time. Now, once a package left our store, any refunds/etc. were supposed to go through the shipping company, but our customers told us that when they called, they were told the fault was with our store!)

They Should Start Printing Money

| OK, USA | Working | August 27, 2014

(I work in a copy shop that runs on pretty high margins. Because of this, we will often offer up to around a 30% discount to new, possibly large clients in order to hook them in. That kind of discount will often be reflected in our program for businesses should they choose to continue working with us anyway.)

Me: “So [Client] is finally ready to print?”

Manager: “Yep. She wants 1000 double sided color copies.”

Me: “Really?! Great! The price on that will make up for all of those revisions that we did for her.”

(We had been working on revisions with this client for months. Most of the revisions were simply her changing her mind.)

Manager: “Eh, heh… Yeah… Well, uh, [General Manager] apparently set up a discounted price with them.”

Me: “Oh, well that’s all right. What’s the discounted price?”

Manager: “[Price that’s roughly 90% off of the normal price].”

Me: “… WHAT!”

Manager: “I know. He made me go to [Online Print Supplier] and quote their price.”

Me: “But… they can give those prices because they have a massive printing factory! And slower turnaround! We’ll lose money on that price! And they’ll expect that kind of pricing from now on!”

Manager: “I know… but [General Manager] said—”

Me: “Why didn’t he bring this up with me? I’m the supervisor now! I’ve been working on this project! I could have explained to him why this was a terrible idea!”

Manager: “That’s just what he said to do…”

(Lo and behold, we didn’t make our budget for that week.)

A Seedy CD

| CT, USA | Right | June 10, 2014

(Part of the territory of working in a copy and print shop is you are going to see some ‘private’ photos sometimes. While you are allowed to refuse to print something you are uncomfortable with, most of us don’t care and just turn the print upside-down once done to avoid offending other customers. On this particular day, a regular customer comes in, who we all know manages a ‘gentleman’s club’ in town.)

Customer: “Okay, the image is on this CD, it should be the only one there.”

Me: “Okay. Let me just look at it on the computer before you go, so I know it’s the right one and it copied to the disk properly.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Me: *realizing immediately that I can’t describe this image in front of other customers* “Er… sir, do you want to come around the counter and look to make sure the image is correct?”

Customer: *very loudly* “IS IT A MIDGET STRIPPING?”

Me: “…  Yes. Yes, in fact, it is…”

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