Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why can't you bring in more money after I ruin things?

I love getting all these story submissions! Here's what today's new submitter has to say:

"We had our district manager come in to "help" with our Santa event one year. Aside from not knowing our associates or how our studio worked, she looked messy and was somewhat awkward and quiet with the customers. She hadn't been behind a camera in so long that we figured keeping her on a sales table or as a floater would work out. Little did we know the extent to which she would screw up our day."

"Let me preface the rest of this story by saying that we had our Santa Event down to an exact science. Our fastest, best shooter was in the room with Santa, and the room stayed the same with very little variance. Santa did not leave that room so that we could get the pictures in as fast as possible. Six poses...ten minutes? No problem, we could handle it. The other room was booked consistently every half hour, for the customers wanting an appointment on that day, but not for the Santa event. With a sales person on each table, one at the register, and one in each camera room, our studio ran like clockwork."

"So there it was: the perfect system consisting of one event room (which had different pricing and its own two sales tables) and one regular portrait room. All the customers knew that Santa was completely booked and that no walk-ins could be made for him. They also knew that if a baby started screaming, they might be expected to wait a few minutes. After all, how often do you get the opportunity to have Santa and a camera room all to yourself? In other words, the Santa event customers were prepared for some craziness. The non-event customers were not. After all, they didn't sign up for it."

"Our district manager decided that she knew a better way to do things. She put herself in the non-event camera room and began shifting things around, moving Santa from room to room in order to push the non-event customers into paying the (higher) Santa event price without knowing they were doing so. As a result, the event room got backed up, our system got screwed, and one of our best and most loyal customers was forced to wait over an hour for her grandchildrens' non-event session. All the while, the DM was taking her sweet time with Santa in the non-event room, shooting substandard photos for customers who didn't want an appointment with Santa in the first place."

"Because of this incident, we almost lost the business of three customers who had come consistently for years, none of us got breaks, our sales were down as compared to previous Santa Events, and Santa (begrudgingly) had to stay late. To add insult to injury, our DM had the nerve to chastise us for our decreased sales on that day. That was four years ago. She is still the DM and delights in coming into our studio, unannounced, in order to "check up" on us and throw away props and other items that make our camera room look "crowded." She denies us money to replace those props and expects us to keep our sales up when we don't have the items that the customers want in their pictures. She is never certain about anything, and seems not to know how to return phone calls, but expects us to drop everything when she decides to grace us with her presence. "

"I love taking pictures, working with people, and training new employees, but this woman makes life at the portrait studio hell. With the amount of money they make, you'd think that they could at least hire clear-thinking people to run the districts."

I'm adding my thoughts to the comments. Why not add yours too?


SPS said...

I heard a story about a DM who had no photo experience whatsoever. Her/his job before that was as the manager of a shoe store.

My district manager was actually the one person I liked most. When she said "I really want to see you succeed" I felt like she actually meant it. Too bad I only saw her once a month and saw the studio manager every day.

HaveMercy said...

My DM for Picture Me is a known theif, who was promoted after he was cleared of a child abuse case, and has several sexual harassment suits pending. Seriously. He is DM #7 in the 4 yrs I was there.

Yes mommy and daddy, this is who you are trusting your kidlings to.

Anonymous said...

I feel you on the Dms for this company. I am a current management for a studio and in the past 4 months we are on DM # 3, non of which have been consistent, each and every one have told me to do things a totally different way. I have worked for this company for a long time, but the district I work in now is miserable. I am ready to pull my hair out. So I completely understand how everyone is feeling.