Let's call today: 'Wednesday, 16 July 2008'
wrote in the notebook:
Advanced... a loose term for it.
Okay, since I've never made any further mention of my apparent 'other job' (as foretold in a post here), I thought I'd log in and share with you all just what happened and why I told them to go snap themselves.
Well, some background first:
I applied for a job doing school photography with Advanced Life Photography (yeah I don't care about using their business name here, I'm simply sharing my experiences and am no longer employed by them - if at all to begin with ??).
I got an interview and just pretty much welcomed aboard on the spot after chatting with the guy for about 45mins, at their base in Holden Hill. A bit of a trek and a pay-cut, admittedly, but worth it I felt. Doing something I loved again.
I was handed a bunch of forms and uniform order sheets - the usual new job paperwork - and told to come in for training the next week or so. When asked if my partner would mind me moving around the state alot, I answered that she was pretty laid back and was studying.
Evidently I threw him:
"Oh, you have a girl partner?... oh... that's great... yeah... we have a girl here who.... who... who has a girl partner too..."
(signing things and feigning interest) "Mm great."
(leaning back and thinking) "Yeah... maybe you know each other??"
"... Adelaide really isn't *that* small..."
(pause and forced laugh) "Oh nah!... That... that was just a joke!"
Off I went to the training day. I was caught in traffic as I made the 30-40km journey (and I'll accept that yeah, that's my fault for not planning my departure time earlier) and arrived 15-20 mins late. I was called by one of the girls, and I assured them that I was indeed minutes away, having just turned off the main road.
Training went well, a little disorganised, but there's not alot you can drill into people when you're not actually doing the job. The guy who interviewed me was out in the field that day, and he only returned as I was finishing up just before we left. Instead, I was trained with lovely girls who were very nice. One of the other trainees was... a bit stoic? I couldn't make her laugh for the life of me. Everything was serious business. I took a mental note that joking with this lady may be a waste of time.
I wasn't disproven the following day.
Getting up at some abhorrent time (I've never missed the early morning starts with Pixi), I called the cas many times to get the day off, in the end concluding 'well they better just deal with it, cos I'll be miles away' and meet up at the Holden Hill base, loaded stuff into vehicles and set off for our first shoot in Kadina (Yorke Penninsula).
I dozed most of the way, and chatted with the girl driving. She had at first seemed a bit standoffish but I found that by the end of the end, I got her laughing - mostly during the drives.
Anyway, we arrived at the school. And it was a huge day. I shan't bore you with the details, just that we were shooting portraits for EVERY student. I thought 'okay, big day, deep end - bring it on, it will make me a good shooter... well moreso'
Now and then I was allowed to shoot rather than assist, and I had to quickly come to terms with the off-centre viewfinder of the camera, using a monopod for the first time (not incl the day before), and instructing kids to sit awkwardly. Sometimes the guy came over and watched me work - standing over me - and commenting how crap my shots were. He pointed out my headlines and baselines; both of which were minutely off on the shots i asked approval on - those that were shit I automatically knew were so, but he felt the need to point these out also - and were due to the stupid work-it-out-yourself-which-way-is-north viewfinder.
Again, I thought to myself. 'He's just being picky so I don't pick up any bad habits and so I'm good from the start... no worries.'
After some shots of a some classes I was told that I'm too slow and that the other girl (now assisting) should take over.
thought:'too slow? it's my first fucking day and you want a rembrandt?'
spoken: 'sure thing.'
Sometime later I could go on break. I had no money and declined offers of people getting me something from the canteen. I chose instead to watch the woman I had trained with (the serious one) finishing up a class before going on her break. Again, no wind of a smile sweeps over the almost-emotionless landscape of her face.
I scoffed inwardly, thinking that what I may lack in shooting skills straight off the bat, I make up for in personality.
I don't remember looking at what her shots were like, they were probably just like mine. I heard someone saying that all 3 cameras are off centre in a different direction.
I raised my eyebrow, and watched as mr bossman takes a seat to shoot.
What I saw was incredulously annoying.
This manager, this man, who stood over me and told me in great detail what was wrong with my shots, was producing mediocre shots, suffering from all the sins my work bore. This guy took the high and mighty seat in pointing out flaws when he makes the same ones because theres no one standing there to tell him off for it.
I swallowed hard. 'I guess it's good to be the boss in this company.'
After the break, I made tentative comments about my observation to the work I was assisting, and she quietly told me that sometimes his work has mistakes in it, but no one would say anything for fear of being 'grilled'.
About this time I was wondering how my mates at the cas were going and how much I'd have made for them AND for me by now.
Long story short, I lug the equipment downstairs for them while a group school photo is taken, and eventually we all get back to the base.
When stuff is being taken in, I'm called in his office.
I swallowed harder.
He tells me he heard that I was late the day before. I said yes and apologized and explained the reason why but, drained from the day, didn't bother going into detail - I could tell he wouldn't be interested and would just think I was making excuses. So I settled for just apologizing profusely and assuring him it wouldn't happen again.
To this he says "I didn't know you were late, I was told after you'd all left and by then, yknow, you had gone already. But if I had known, I'd have told you to just not bother coming in today..."
Well you had my number fuckwit, what stopped you from calling me and telling me right then and there as I was driving home not to bother. I could have gone to my real job and made twice as much as you morons for making less effort.
After some discussion we agreed that I'd call him if I wanted to keep on with the position.
I left deflated, and said goodbye to everyone and wished them a goodnight, already half-knowing that I wouldn't choose to come back.
Only afterward, did I think about being paid. I had signed paperwork, I had worked a day. I was an employee surely?
I had given up a day of my normal pay to try something else, I should get something. Anything. Even if that mean 8 hours of their crappy wage.
I've emailed the guy. No reply. I should call them. Or seek someone legal to be my backup.
Eitherway, thats the story of my shortlived trek back into photography.
Nothing will be as good as how I used to work with Pixifoto. Pre-digital studio.
Man, those fucking days rocked.
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