Saturday, August 16, 2008

Time after Time

As my loyal readers (the check's in the mail) know, the DH and I own a photography studio. Thankfully, since we moved into the new place, a very busy studio, therefore one we run by appointments. Some appointments are made weeks in advance, and of course weddings, months, and sometimes years in advance. June 11, 2011 is already booked, right Becca? :-)

Not too surprisingly, time is important to us. We carefully schedule enough time for the type of appointment it is, whether a sitting for an executive, a full family, a senior, or wedding consultation, or get it. We make sure we allocate enough time to do a good job for our clients - and we do.

It would be oh, so nice, were the sentiment reciprocated.

As recently as yesterday, we had an athletic director for a major high school call and leave a message that he needed order envelopes - 250 of 'em - on Monday, and wanted to do all the fall sports pictures on Wednesday. Really? Less than five full days notice? We had a senior portrait sales appointment for one o'clock. The mother called at 10 after one and said they would be a bit late. Golly, really? She showed up after FOUR, saying, oh, gee, she couldn't get a ride. Really? You've had weeks to plan this, and it's our problem? Because no, we couldn't fit her in; we were booked up to closing, and even had one appointment scheduled to start at our closing time. One parent walked in, expecting us to drop anything we had going on to show her her kid's pictures, although she had no appointment at all.

We have people showing up over an hour before their appointments, usually with small cranky children in tow. They plant themselves in our reception area, where we have to try to field clients in person and on the phone against the background of their squealing child, or cell phones cranked to the max, or discussing intimate details of their lives to which, frankly, I do not wish to be privy. Always at a level far louder than required.

Then there was the senior whose mother decided they should not show up because it was raining. This in spite of the fact that they were told, both verbally and in written materials, show up no matter the weather, even if you have an outdoor session. May be raining where you are, but not here. May be just a quick summer shower. May be over by the time your indoor stuff is done, and if it isn't, well, we got your indoor work done and can reschedule the other. Much of our outdoor stuff has covering, anyway. But no, didn't show, didn't call, and the following week called to reschedule with not a word of apology. We were out two hours of our time. Thanks awfully, Mumsie.

And one of the most fun...we open at ten. Signs posted on the parking lot side of the building say so, so does one by the front door. We have a rope across the porch steps. All that would pretty much say to you, "Closed until 10," wouldn't it? But we have people brazenly remove the rope, and if the door is locked, hammer on it. A half hour before their appointment! If the door is unlocked (we had a UPS delivery, say) they walk on in, even though all the lights are off and that sign is STILL there.

It all makes me ache for a little common courtesy and common sense. As Mark Twain said, it's the least common sense of all.

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