Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Good Thing You’re Not Married To This Job

, , , , , , , , | Working | January 30, 2023

Over a decade ago, when I was just out of university, I had one of my first jobs as a designer and retoucher at a photo studio. It was a tiny place where [Boss] was the owner, photographer, QA, Art Director, Alpha, and Omega.

His main clientele were newlyweds, and when he got too bored or overwhelmed with the number of people wanting photoshoots and albums, he hired first a [Secretary], and then me, as a designer.

My job was to go through a few thousand photos per wedding, choose a few hundred good ones, retouch all of the people in those photos, select twenty to fifty of the best photos of the newlyweds, and design a wedding album with their best photos creatively combined into something decent with a general theme.

There were many oddities with my boss being an old, conservative, non-tech-savvy guy, though I will be telling only the last story. Just for a general idea of what kind of man he was, his favourite joke was to buy me and [Secretary] lunch which had lamb brains as the main ingredient. Because it wouldn’t hurt two girls to have more brains, of course.

It was another Monday after another wedding, after roughly nine months of me being unofficially employed there. I got the flash drive with approximately two-thousand photos.

Boss: “[Husband] specifically said that his mum needs to be beautiful in the photos. Go through all the photos and make her look young; she’s the old cow in the leopard print dress.”

I was already annoyed with his attitude, but what could I do? He was the boss. I opened the photos and quickly found the mum in question. She was a regular lady in her sixties who looked normal for her age.

Me: *To [Boss]* “Making her look young would make her a different person. I think the best approach would be to do the normal amount of retouching, with removing some of the wrinkles and skin imperfections, but not going too far or it would look unnatural. Let’s make her a happy old lady, not a blow-up doll.”

[Boss] was immediately annoyed, condescending and talking to me as if I was an idiot.

Boss: “Did you hear what I told you? I specifically said that [Husband] wants his dear mommy to look young. So, you will make her look not a day over forty-five and that is it, are we clear? Do you hear and understand me?”

I shrugged and went back to my PC to absolutely butcher that woman’s face to the point of next to no wrinkles, a thinner face, no skin pigmentation, and other atrocities. It took me twice as long to go through that wedding, since normally even the bride and groom don’t get THAT much editing. When I was done, the boss approved the set and told me to proceed with the wedding album, which was nothing special.

Fast forward two weeks, after the album and the CD of additional photos were delivered to the clients. An angry man stormed into the office, past me, and into the room where [Boss] was. After some muffled shouting, he left, and [Boss] came up to me.

Boss: “[Husband] was very unhappy with what you did to the photos of his mum.”

My thoughts were somewhere between “I told you so” and “No s***”, but I just nodded.

Next Monday was my payday. I was not officially employed (yes, super illegal, but it was extremely common back in that day back in that area for people of my age), so I was receiving my salary in cash. I got my money, and I was $50 short. I shrugged it off, since sometimes [Boss] didn’t have enough cash and paid what he had on hand, to add the remaining amount the next day.

Tuesday came and went, and on Wednesday, I went to ask him when I was going to get the rest of my paycheck. It was not an insignificant amount for me.

Boss: “You are not getting more; you don’t deserve it. You mangled that poor lady in all the photos, I had to refund him for the retouching and give him unedited photos. You have ruined their wedding!”

I silently went back to my PC, unplugged the mouse and headphones that I brought from home, and walked out, my only two words to him being “I quit”. He followed me, trying to shame me.

Boss: “People don’t just leave like this! You have a job to do! There’s an unfinished pack of photos to retouch… You have responsibilities! Decent people don’t do this. And what about two weeks’ notice?!”

Well, I was never employed there, so there was literally no way he could make me do anything else.

A month later, I was in a different city, studying in a different industry, with an entry salary three times higher than my previous one. I never heard a word about that guy and his business again. Good timing, good riddance!

You Might Want To Sit Down For This One

, , , , | Right | June 8, 2021

I am with a group of volunteers doing work in Ukraine. We have just landed at Boryspil Airport and gone through customs after a long flight from San Francisco, with two transfers along the way, so we are all tired, and we are trying to make our way to catch a train for the next leg of our journey to the southern coast of the country.

Several of us have packed extra suitcases full of supplies for the organization we are working with. My suitcase with my personal items arrives at the baggage claim, but my extra suitcase does not, so the group leader and I make our way to the baggage office. There is a long line there and we spend about an hour until we are able to speak about the issue to a harried-looking woman at a desk somewhere in the middle of a large room. There is a single chair across the desk from the woman, and I offer it to the group leader so she can sit down, while I, a generally large man, stand. I am not sure if my standing feels imposing to her, or if the woman senses that I am tired and wants to let me rest. Either way, she gestures over to a wall against which are parked a few chairs and says, “Take a seat.”

I walk across to the wall and select a chair as close as I can to the desk, settling down into it to wait for the baggage agent and the group leader to handle things. After a couple of moments, though, the baggage agent waves me back over. I get up and approach the desk. She gestures to the wall again and repeats, “Take a seat.”

Somewhat confused, but trying to follow directions, I head back to the wall and sit down again. The baggage agent again waves me back. As I’m about halfway over, she says, louder, enunciating each word, “Take. A. Seat.”

Suddenly, the light bulb goes on. I go back to the wall and literally take one of the seats there, bringing it over to the desk to sit down next to the group leader, where I somewhat sheepishly go about helping with filing the report for the missing suitcase.

Moral Of The Story: Don’t Gossip About Your Neighbors

, , , | Related | June 17, 2018

(From the time I am five until I am about eight, my parents and I live in an apartment in a gigantic Soviet apartment block that has a large common courtyard and playground for kids to play in or just hang out. I have a bunch of friends that live all over the block; we’d play with whoever happened to be at the playground when our parents allowed us out. My mom usually lets me go there for half an hour to an hour per day at most, so I am only casually acquainted with most of these kids. One day at home, my parents somehow get on the topic of my friends, and my mom decides to talk with my dad about one of the girls I sometimes play with. I am very obviously sitting right there, only a few feet away, listening and looking at them, and they make no sign that I shouldn’t be listening.)

Mom: “[Girl] is so bad-mannered. She is rude, and she clearly learned it from her family: they’re all rude and uncouth. She is always dressed terribly, too, like a gross and dirty street urchin. Her entire family is so poor; they can’t even dress their daughter in clean clothes, and what she wears is dirty, torn, and often unbuttoned and just falling off. They’re so low-class, and I’m pretty sure they’re drunkards, too, and have other problems, if you know what I mean. Oh, and [Girl] is so incredibly stupid, too; my God, she’s just such a dumb girl. Can you believe it, [Dad]?”

Dad: “Uh, huh. Yeah, I guess she’s one of the poorer-looking children in the yard. She certainly doesn’t seem well-looked-after.”

(My mom continues ranting at dad about this extensively for several more minutes. Dad doesn’t seem to me to be that interested in the topic, but we both know that trying to quiet mom in any way, ever, will just not end well, so he lets her rant as she wishes. I am sad to hear this, and being only about six and unsure what else I can do, the next time when I meet up with the girl in the playground, I take her off to a corner and quietly tell her that my parents don’t like her and mention a few of the things my mom said. I’m not sure what my thinking process was exactly, except I somehow thought this would be helpful to her to find out. The girl looks pretty disheartened to hear about this, but doesn’t say much in response except a vague, “Oh. Okay.” Then she goes off somewhere. About half an hour to an hour later, my mom calls me over to the other side of the street from the playground. My dad is also standing there, and they’re both looking angry and giving me accusing looks.)

Mom: “Did you actually tell [Girl] what we said about her at home?”

Me: “Um, well, yes, I did tell her some things you said.”

Mom: “Dear God. How could you do that? How could you be so utterly stupid? It was obviously meant to be a secret! Her parents just spoke to us about it; they’re very upset with us! This is so embarrassing! I’m so upset with you, [My Name]! Why do you behave like such an absolute, gigantic idiot? You’re obviously not ever supposed to tell anyone what we talk about at home!”

(She ranted on and on in this vein, upbraiding me for being terribly stupid and revealing a secret that made them look bad, before she finally towed me home. Dad didn’t say much, but clearly agreed with her. I was very upset and confused, thinking I’d done something completely awful and was the cause of my friend and her family being offended. However, later it did occur to me that it was in no way “OBVIOUS” to me, a child, that my parents, two adults of sound mind, intended for what they said to be kept secret, since they never in any way whatsoever told me that, not about this stuff and not even about anything they ever said at home previously, either. This was definitely not one of the lessons that was ever taught on any children’s TV show I’d seen, or in any children’s book.)