Saturday, September 13, 2008

Parents lie

I once had a woman show up with her three year old daughter wanting a walk-in appointment. I was, of course, working alone. I had two other appointments that were soon approaching so I told her that unfortunately I wouldn't be able to take her as I had an appointment that was less than 45 minutes away (appointments usually take a hour to see through to completion and I didn't want to make all my future appointments late) but I would be happy to schedule her a time another day or I could give her an appointment in a few hours after my other appointment.

She told me that this was the only time she could do the appointment. That there was no other time. She told me that her daughter was great with pictures. That she would be easy.

I took her word for it. When I photographed a good four year old, I could get them in and out in about 45 minutes. This still sounds like a stupid move, I realize, but CPI has a zero tolerance policy: if you refuse an appointment, you are fired. And I didn't want to get stuck in some grey area.

To make sure she knew what to expect, I explained the situation again. I told her that if I couldn't do anything that would make my following appointments late. I told her if we went over on time that I would set her up on the computer herself and she would be able to pick out her order while I photographed the other session.

The daughter was not good with cameras as promised. She was shy. Shy is fine. I'm good with shy. But I'm not good with shy when I don't have the time to connect with the child because the mom is a rushed, walk-in, last minute appointment. The mom also wanted to add on a mother-daughter shot, which I happily did. She wanted to do some shots with the big #4, which I was more than happy to do. I got a lot of good photos and made pretty good time and then asked "so is there anything else I can do for you?"

And from her backpack she pulled two other dresses. I should have asked if she had outfits, yes, but you don't expect someone to pull two dresses from a small backpack.

Oh, and she wanted to do some individual shots of herself. On a different background than the one that was out.

It was a rush to get everything she wanted and I, as we previously discussed, had to set her up at a computer.

Midway through my next session, she interrupted the session to ask how much longer it was going to be until I could help her because she "felt like I wasn't paying enough attention" to her.

To make matters worse, she came in the next day (a day she said she absolutely could not make) to add onto her session so she could get more individual photos of herself (you can't make these things up) and complained to my boss about how rushed I seemed when in the camera room.

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