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I Dont Like That

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  #1  
Old 08-21-2001, 01:15 AM
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thomasgeorge thomasgeorge is offline
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I Dont Like That

The words we all fear. When a customer,friend or family member utters them after viewing the results of hours of work, how do you handle it? Discouragment is a part of life but to be successful in this work either as a hobby or as an income producing affair certain "coping skills" are necessary to develop to avoid becoming demoralized to the point of just quiting. If you would care to share with the other good folk here an example of how you handle this rather uncomfortable aspect of working with the public, I for one would like to hear it. Exchanging "war stories" can be of great help to someone just starting out and encountering the displeasure of a wrathful individual. It lets all of us know "YOU are not alone---Listen to this if you think THAT was bad....." As always, at this pit stop on the electronic highway, EVERYONE is invited,yea,requested to sound off. In a civilized manner, naturally. I have delicate sensabilities!!! Tom
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Old 08-21-2001, 06:46 AM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Dealing with customers like that is a tough issue. There probably will be times when you feel like blowing your top at these people. I think we all know that's a huge mistake. At times, it *might* be enough to show people just why you can't make the image to their satisfaction, but when you get people who are just plain arrogant, I think the best thing you can do is keep your cool. One thing's for sure -- there's no magic formula to soothe the feelings of customers. You can refund their money, give them your work, let them shoot you, and they still want more. When you've done all you can do, show them the door, but in as friendly a way as possible. I think that's about all you can do.

Ed
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Old 08-21-2001, 09:32 AM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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My only horror story was the lady who wasn't happy with herself. She actually liked my work but she couldn't stand looking at herself in the photo. She paid for it but it left me with an empty feeling because I knew I couldn't please her. Even worse would be if they hated what I did. I dread the next situation like that and I know it's coming.
DJ
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Old 08-21-2001, 09:51 AM
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Yeah Debbie, there will be more. But the good thing is that you know it. Now you can be ready for it. And the person who will not like your work is out there too. Better get ready for that one while you're at it.

Ed
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Old 08-21-2001, 10:04 AM
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thomasgeorge thomasgeorge is offline
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I think Dj and Ed make a good point. Some people just cannot be pleased because they dont want to be. I spent 3 weeks of from 8 to 16 hours per day every day last year doing Sports Pictures for 5 schools which consisted of adjusting hundreds of pictures to compensate for incorrectly adjusted White Balance because the Photographer didnot yet know how to correctly work the digital camera and shot ALL the fall sports teams anyway( a radius of around 70 miles). THEN I had to mask,extract and create backgrounds to composit the individual and team shots with. Try masking a pale kid in a white uniform shot on a white background with some highlights blown out. THEN putting text on the pictures. After doing all this, NOT RIGHT> DO IT AGAIN. 3 TIMES!!! It finally dawned on me as I sat staring at the screen that nothing was going to be good enough but boy did I feel bad. Even worse, I had foolishly agreed to a fixed price for the work so when the dust settled I calculated I was working for $1.50 per hour. I almost quit doing ANY digital work after that. However, what saved me was to sit down and force myself to write down all the good that came out of that nightmare like the masking practice,tone adj. practice etc., and in the end the positive out weighed the negative. So when I encounter the unplesant situation of "customer rejection" now, I do the same thing. Sometimes its MY fault as no one is perfect, sometimes well, folks are hard to please. Sorry about being long winded but the point is that each of us has to develop a method of dealing with the "difficult" ones so as to not loose the joy and wonder this work offers. Tom
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Old 08-21-2001, 01:18 PM
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Tom,

I think you made an important point in saying that there was actually some good that could be extracted from this. Most often, there is a bright side to a dim situation, and we just have to be able to look for it. Many times it's hard to do, but it's usually there, one way or another. It might be only that you learned how to control your actions around someone like that.

Ed
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Old 08-21-2001, 02:50 PM
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thomasgeorge thomasgeorge is offline
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Ed, I agree with that. In the line of work I was in, I learned quickly to not respond to provication so that was not as much a problem as just plain discouragment and the " I GIVE UP " attitude. It is REAL hard to take personal sense out of a situation where you and your work product are being maligned and view it dispassionatly but if you are going to make it in business or life you just have to learn from the unpleasant experiences, shrug them off and keep going, otherwise you will go nowhere. Tom
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Old 08-29-2001, 09:26 AM
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Chris W. Chris W. is offline
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Well thanks to an earlier post from Tom I have experienced the customer from HE--. As Tom indicated to me and it did help is that some people cannot be satisfied no matter what you do and don't take it personally.

My solution to my customer was perhaps they could get the quality and work they wanted from a larger facility and I promptly gave them 2 names in a nearby city where they could take their work. I do know however that the charges would be extremely high as they use very high end equipment and someone must pay for it.

The customer went off to the city and came back to me on bended knee asking for the work I had originally done.

Seems like most people do have their limits on what they'll pay in this business and if they have an endless supply of money then all I can say is Bless Them.
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Old 08-29-2001, 10:01 AM
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Well, I have pondered that myself, and I'm fairly forward and don't really put up with much foolishness from people (remember, dealing with what I do, I have to defend myself constantly of being accused of being an "idiot" or someone who doesn't know what I'm doing) so my policy is probably going to be:

"If the user doesn't like the results, that's NOT valid reason, the delete key will be hit and the work is gone." The same thing would be done if they dont' want to pay.


It's harsh, I know, but if they are trying to get a freebie out of the deal, they certainly aren't going to get it from me.


Rick
<throws another two pennies out.>
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Old 08-30-2001, 04:58 PM
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thomasgeorge thomasgeorge is offline
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I am full agreement. There are those out there( I have encountered them) who seem to think that everything can be bargined down , your time isnt valuable or that by complaining enough you can be intimidated into literally "giving" it away. As I indicated in a previous post, if the results arenot to the customers liking and I feel I have done my best, I thank them and refer them else where. If they want the print(s) I've made, I politely tell them, "If it isnt good enough to pay for, its not good enough to leave here. I will shred them." Tom
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