There Were No Children In The Wild West

| Right | June 10, 2015

(My husband and I own one of those photography studios where people dress up in Wild West costumes and get a sepia toned picture taken. Our sitting fee is based on how many people will be in the picture, regardless of their age.)

Me: “Welcome, how many people do you have in your picture today?”

Man: “Five, and one child.”

Me: “So six people?”

Man: “Five and a child.”

Me: “Six people, then. That will be—”

Man: *getting frustrated* “You charge for children?”

Me: “Yes, we charge the same for children and adults, considering we have to costume and pose them just the same.”

Man: “Even if they’re sitting on laps?!”

Me: “Does having a child sit on a lap for a photo make them magically morph into one entity?”

(Anybody who has to ask why a photographer doesn’t charge less for children has clearly never photographed children.)

1 Thumbs
1,656

Recovered For A Picture Perfect Finish

| Right | April 8, 2015

(A mother comes in with her children for a photo session. I’m directing the kids about with a ‘Hey, could you move over here?’ or ‘Could you stand there?’ None of the children seem unhappy, and we’re having a blast. The mother suggests the exact pose I’m about to set up for. I can’t help but speak.)

Me: *bursting out laughing* “Wow! That’s amazing! Get out of my head; it’s a really scary place, you know!”

(I think nothing of the comment, as it’s happened before.)

Mother: *tone darkens* “Oh.”

(She turns around, frowning, and begins fiddling with her phone. I set up the pose for her daughter and take a few variations of it to try and make sure I get it perfect. The daughter, a completely delightful ham, distracts me from noticing the absolute anger on the mother’s face.)

Mother: “I can’t believe you! You’ve completely spoiled the mood! My children don’t even want to do this and they hate being here.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “I’m sorry… What? Was it what I said about being in my head? It’s not meant as an insult to you…”

Mother: “I don’t care! You’re so terrible! Just give us the picture of the kids together. We don’t want anything else from you. You’re just a horrible person!”

(The kids seem stunned, and the daughter practically droops. They were just getting ready to get solo shots, something they were all excited for. If I have any weak point, it’s disappointing kids. I try to save the moment one last time.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry. If there’s anything I could do to make you feel better so we can get the last few pictures your kids seemed to want—”

Mother: “I can’t believe you! How dare you refer them as ‘my kids!’ They have NAMES you know! I can’t believe you’d say such a terrible thing to them. I want my picture, and I want to leave right now. I’m going to speak with your manager!”

Me: “Ma’am… I am the manager.”

Mother: “Wait, YOU’RE the manager? Oh, I’m going to customer services, then.” *turns to her children* “Can you believe it? This idiot is the manager? I can’t believe someone would be so awful and stupid to hire this sorry excuse for a manager. I can’t believe they let people like you work…”

(This goes on for a solid minute. I’m too stunned to speak. I get to the point I can’t take this mothers continued diatribe of insults and degradation in front of her children.)

Me: “Ma’am, I have to ask you to leave. No person deserves this level of abusive behaviour from any customer or person. I said one thing that normally wouldn’t be considered offensive, apologized for it, attempted to fix the problem and despite this, you chose to mistreat me. You’re already seeking to go above my head to report me for something pretty minor, so I haven’t got much to lose by asking you to leave and stopping you from using me for a verbal punching bag.”

(Her husband has just arrived on the scene as I finish my speech, so she turns to him.)

Mother: “Can you BELIEVE that? She’s telling me to leave! She doesn’t have that right! She’s just a terrible person!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’ve told you to leave, and I mean it. I will call security and have you removed.”

(I move to pick up the phone. Her husband shrugs his shoulders and reminds her that they need these pictures for someone other than her. Her body crumples and her tone changes entirely.)

Mother: “Please, this is for my son’s [relative] who’s [in a very far away place]. My son is going to [far away] university and we won’t be seeing him for a long time. It’s very important to them.”

Me: *hangs up the phone and sighs* “Fine, I’m going to put something together for them. But I want you to leave once I’m done.”

(I move around to gather a CD and put their session on it. Every time the mother looks at me, her composure crumples a little more.)

Mother: *meekly* “I could pay…”

Me: *I hand over the CD* ”Ma’am, I have never, ever in my time here have had to ask someone to leave like that. That was a terrible experience to have and your payment to me is to never, ever treat another human being like that again.”

1 Thumbs
2,162

Not Married To The Idea Of This Photographer

| Working | August 21, 2014

(We are shopping for a wedding photographer but not having much luck finding one we could afford, when…)

Me: “Hi, I see your offer. Can you tell me about it?”

Photographer: *explains detail*

Me: “Not bad. We are getting wed at [Location #1] and the reception is at [Location #2].”

Photographer: “Oh, is it set in stone?”

Me: “Well, yes. We like them and they mean a lot to us.”

Photographer: *makes a face* “Well, it’s not very photogenic…”

Me: “I’m not changing it.”

Photographer: “Well, I guess we could drive to [Park] and do it there.”

Me: “Drive 60 people clear across town in a rainy month? No.”

Photographer: “Well, I don’t really like shooting in churches.”

(Safe to say we found another wedding photographer cheaper, and one who didn’t mind working in a church!)

1 Thumbs
943

Picture Perfect Racism

| Right | July 8, 2014

(To generate more sales, we offer the customers a deal where, if they purchase $50 worth of extra sheets, they can purchase a full session CD for $89.99, which is regularly $250. The customer I am working with is First Nations, as I live in a community with a large Native population.)

Me: “So with this coupon, if you spend over $50 in extra merchandise, you can upgrade your CD for $89.99 if you’d like!”

Customer: “Not interested.”

Me: “Okay, not a problem. We’ll continue looking through your photos.”

(This goes on for some time while the customer’s two children, aged four and six, run around the studio lobby screaming and knocking things over. The customer finally puts the four-year-old girl in the uncomfortable looking mall stroller, where she promptly begins to scream in my ear. I continue with the sale.)

Me: “In this shot I felt like the kids were very posed, it has nice smiles from both of them though.”

Customer: “It’s ugh… Ugh! They’re all ugly! Why didn’t you take pictures of my kids like that! *gestures to stock photos on the wall of a little girl dancing around*

Me: “Generally the sessions that these types of pictures come from are sessions that start in the morning and last all day with corporate level photographers.”

Customer: “Whatever…”

(The little girl next to me is still screaming as her brother is banging away on the other computer’s keyboard. I pause so that the mother could intervene with the noise and turn slightly towards the girl to indicate why I’ve stopped. As I turn I see that the girl has raised her skirt, showing clearly soiled underwear that are the cause of her distress.)

Customer: “Hey! Don’t you f****** look at her! You f****** pervert!”

Me: “Sorry. I thought you might want to calm her down.”

Customer: “She’s my f****** daughter; I’ll do what I want! Don’t tell me how to raise my f****** kids, you white devil b****!”

Me: “I wasn’t trying to say—”

Customer: “I’M the customer. You pay attention to ME! GOT IT?!”

(Gritting my teeth, I continue with the sale. When she starts to order sheets, I realize she’s going to be buying almost $50 worth.)

Me: “If you buy one more sheet you’re over the $50 mark and you qualify for our CD deal! $89.99 for the full session, a savings of $170!”

Customer: “I’m. Not. Interested.”

Me: “Okay, I just wanted to make sure you didn’t want to take advantage of this awesome deal.”

Customer: “Seriously! Give it up! You just want more of my f****** money! You think I’m stupid, b****? ‘Cause I’m not!” *mumbles under her breath* “Stupid f****** white girl.”

(Finally the sale is coming to a close, and as I go to get up and go to the till, the customer stands up, and turns around.)

Customer: “So, I get all those images on the CD for free, right? Because I bought more than $50 with that coupon?”

Me: “No. I said you could get them for $89.99, which you refused three three times.”

Customer: “LIAR! You f****** lying white racist b****! You just don’t want to give me the free stuff because I’m Native! RACIST! RACIST!” *pointing at me as she yells*

(All the commotion has attracted the attention of the photographer in the back room, who comes out to see what the matter is.)

Photographer: “What’s going—”

Customer: “This f****** white girl is trying to rip me off because she’s racist!”

Photographer: *looks at me and then back at the customer* “I somehow doubt that, but let me see if I can find you a better deal.” *gets out paper, pencil and a calculator*

(After a few minutes the photographer concedes defeat.)

Photographer: “The deal you’re being offered is the best deal we can offer you, so unless you want to take that deal, you won’t be getting the full CD.”

Customer: “You’re a f****** racist, too! You’re all f****** RACISTS!”

Photographer: “You do realize that by assuming she’s racist because she’s white, and calling her various names pertaining to the colour of her skin, YOU are in fact being the racist?”

Customer: “Nice try! Only white people can be racist! Like the two of you!”

Photographer: “… I’m just going to let you know that my father is African Canadian, so by all accounts, I’m not ‘white.’ That’s just the colour my skin leads more towards.”

Customer: “Oh, um… I didn’t…”

(Wordlessly I walk up to the till so that the customer can pay for her photos before she leaves.)

Me: “Okay, have a nice day!”

Customer: “F*** you, you racist s***! Just because she’s black doesn’t mean you can treat me like s***!”

(The customer finally leaves. When she returned to pick up her photos she acted like nothing happened. Three years later, we still tell the story about her and her crazy attitude when we all need a laugh.)

1 Thumbs
1,617

Appointment Disappointment

, | Right | June 12, 2014

(I work in a retail portrait studio that gets very busy during the holiday season. It is a busy Saturday, and we are completely booked. A woman walks in with her family dressed to the nines and says she’s checking in for her appointment, but I don’t see it.)

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t see you in the system. What time was your appointment for?”

Customer: “10:40 am. Are you almost ready for me? My daughter won’t cooperate for long.”

(The current time is 3:30 pm.)

Me: “Oh, well, since your appointment was for this morning I won’t be able to get you in now because we are fully booked—”

Customer: “What do you mean? I made an appointment and I expect to be seen!”

Me: “Yes, but you are five hours late for your appointment. As I was saying, we are booked today but I do have time tomorrow if you like.”

Customer: “This is outrageous! I can’t believe you don’t honor appointments!”

Me: “We do, but you are five hours late.”

Customer: “But you should be ahead of schedule!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I didn’t show up for my appointment earlier so you should be ahead of schedule now since you had one less appointment to do!”

Me: “Ma’am, unfortunately, all of the other guests we’ve had today didn’t magically know to show up earlier for their appointment because you wanted to come in later.”

(She continued to rant about how we should be ahead of schedule for her until we finally asked her to calm down or leave. The other guests in our very crowded studio started clapping when she left.)

1 Thumbs
2,166