Saturday, June 7, 2014


Some day I will gain power over my emotions and I will not allow one person to upset me so much. Today is not that day. Henry spent the last week working countless hours to photograph the girls' dance school. It is his 5th time doing so. 98% of the feedback we get is overwhelmingly positive. People waiting in line tell me how much they love the pictures, what a great job Henry does, and how happy they are each time Henry takes their daughter's dance pictures. Occasionally someone grumbles about how long the wait is - I get that (although they never complain when their daughter is getting all of the great personal attention!). I have never actually heard complaints about the pricing. People have been disappointed in the past that they can't mix poses in a single package and that we don't offer digital downloads, but Henry did offer those this year. Do they cost more? Obviously, yes.

So why am I upset? Well, I took one of Henry's phone calls because he is out doing the lawn. I assumed it would be a "How do I see my pictures?" kind of call. I thought it was even starting out that way. Because I have (another) migraine, I am not as eloquent as usual, but I began to walk this woman through the process of finding the digital pictures. She then assured me that that was not the problem. She could find them. She just didn't appreciate our lack of options. She only has one daughter with two costumes, so she doesn't need a digital package with four poses (which is called a "Family Package"). She also wasn't interested in the multi-pose package because she didn't need that many pictures (I'm guessing she actually wasn't interested in the price). What she wanted was the ability to buy the smallest package and still mix poses.

As I tried to explain to her that Henry had designed the mixed pose packages and digital packages with the families of the girls with siblings/multiple costumes in mind, she informed me that that was not a viable option. She told me that she was a professional photographer and that we had no options for her (ironic since we have never had a problem selling packages to the moms of the littles - in fact, they are the ones who tend to buy the most). She informed me that she knows that Zenfolio has other options - we just chose not to offer them (well, duh - we did not offer everything in Zenfolio's catalog: the price list would have been 50 pages long!). She told me that she had been a professional photog for 12 years and that a little free advice was that we needed to cater to the needs of our customer better - blah, blah, blah. So what did I do? Did I take the phone to Henry (which he told me I should do)? Did I inform her that we *knew* our customer (well, I did tell her that we had been doing this for more than 8 years at CEDS) and that I know that school better than she ever could since my girls have a combined 16 years dancing there? No. I pretty much just took what she handed me. For people who don't know me well and think I am mean-spirited and insensitive and hateful and all of the other crappy things I get called all the time on FB, you don't know me at all. When someone goes off on me, I tend to fold and take it like a whipped dog.

Now this horrid woman who is nothing but a glorified Mom-tog (I looked at her professional photography page - not a single shot with real lights or a backdrop; it's all outside) and who just views herself as potential competition for the CEDS job has ruined my day. And I've let her. My stupid obsessive personality can't let it go. I'm playing over everything she said and everything I should have said (and might have, had I not been compromised by my stupid, stupid head). All because she doesn't like our package options?!? Oh, my word. At any time, I can talk to everyone I know at dance and find out her story. I can relate our conversation and the sympathy will be on my side. So what do I care? Like Henry says, if he is replaced as the photographer, that's okay. It won't be because he took bad pictures or had bad customer service (I was, literally, as nice as I could be and this woman *hung up on me*).

I can tell myself all of that and it doesn't matter. I can't let it go. And I hate myself for not letting it go because that is pure self-indulgence. Writing about it is pure self-indulgence, too. So I'll stop now. Gah!

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