I was hired with PictureMe in August of 2009, in the Lunenburg, MA studio. In the beginning I absolutely loved it. It was my first time working for Corporate, and although I had heard some horror stories of what it could be like, I decided to take the chance. I went in expecting some training in Photography, which is wanted more than anything. I had just recently graduated in 2007 and didn't have the money to go to school. Before going to PictureMe I worked for a privately owned Portrait Studio. I didn't take a photos there, besides events such as pep rallys or football games; I was a re-toucher. Anyway, I went to PictureMe to further understand what it could be like to be a Photographer. Needless to say, I was barely taught anything. Nothing about the camera, lighting, or ANYTHING! I was taught the basics on how to use there programs, how to sell, pretty much how to annoy the ### out of people.
I think that going off of what I knew beforehand, I did fairly well. I had done my homework. I read camera manuals, bought myself a $800 camera to play around with myself, and found answers to questions that I had online. And after an exhausting Christmas season had finally passed, I was offered a promotion. They thought I was "Management Material". I accepted the promotion and asked where I would be moving too. The District Manager [DM] at the time told me that she would have to look into it and get back to me. She calls me back and tells me that they need to fill a Managers position in Ware Massachusetts. I asked how far away from me that was from me. She told me that she was unsure, that she was estimating about a half an hour. I told her that I wanted to take the drive out there and then get back to her on weather or not I would accept the position or not, and that if I didn't want it, then I wanted my ORIGINAL position back. She agreed and told me that was fine. Sunday was supposed to be my first day out there.
That Sunday I woke up to an extremely swollen throat. I was unable to talk, or even swallow pills. I called my DM and tried to tell her that I was going to the emergency room, I was unable to make it in due to my condition. She fought with me, yelled at me, and tried to find some way to get me to come in, VERY RUDELY. Needless to say, I did go to the emergency room that day to find out that I had strep. Great thing to have with little kids around huh? I was out until that Wednesday. My manager of that studio was on her vacation and offered to come in and start on my training with me. I was supposed to get three days. The DM declined this offer and scheduled me to be in Ware that Friday.
That Friday comes and I leave my house at 8:30. After an hour and fifteen minute drive, I arrive at my destination to find that the DM isn't even there. We open at 10:00 am everyday, and I was only 15 minutes early. You would think that when a new person is on her way in, you would be ready for her to be there. Yeah, well so much for thinking. My name wasn't even in the computer meaning that I couldn't even clock in! AND I had people trying to pick up there photos who had balances. The way that their system is set up is that you need to be clocked in to be able to get into the cash drawer. I had no other options but to only accept credit cards, and ask for the people with cash to come back as soon as I was able to get into the cash drawer. People were upset, but I really didn't have an other options. I called the DM and told her my situation and she told me that she would get there as soon as she could. In the mean time, I looked at the schedule for that day and saw that I had an 11:00 am and a 12:00 pm. I figured that the DM had to be there by then, right? WRONG. 11:00 am comes in, I take them and act as though there was no problem. Before I begin to take the photos, I explain to her, not in great detail, the situation I was in and that at the moment I was only able to accept Debit/Credit Cards. She said it was fine, and I proceeded with her session. That session ends and still no DM.
The 12:00 comes in. Half way threw there session the DM FINALLY comes in. I poked my head out of the camera room to tell her that I am still not clocked in, and she says that she's gonna fix it. So I'm taking the photos for the 12:00 session and the DM pokes her head in and nit picks every little thing that she doesn't like. "Why would you use that background with that outfit" "Don't go so close" Don't this.. why this" All these negative things right in front of the customer! And then the last time she comes in she tells me that she needs to send me to North Oxford because there was no one else. At this point, I was ready to loose my cool. I let out a big sigh, rolled my eyes, and literally lost it, not all that badly yet. "Are you serious?!" "Is there a problem" she replied. "I'll talk about this with you after" and just completely shut her out. I can only imagine what the customer was thinking at this point. Sorry, to where ever you are!
So the session ends and I come out, trying to tame my bad attitude towards her since she is my boss. She tells me that I have to go to North Oxford, because the girl that was supposed to show up didn't. She asked why this upset me so much, and I told her that basicly the whole training thing. I was told three days minimum and got cut down to NOT EVEN five hours, which most of it she wasn't even there! I left and went to North Oxford instead of fighting with her, or taking a lunch. Yeah, my lunch break consisted of driving that day. Wasn't very yummy. =/
She meets me in North Oxford and I tell her that I need to talk to her. I told her that there was no way that would be able to drive an hour and fifteen minutes to work everyday. It was to much for me, and I wasn't getting paid NEARLY enough to be putting the unneeded miles or the gas into my car. She hesitates and tells me that there is a slight problem with that. They were already having someone transfer into my old position in Lunenburg. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! She then told me that she could give me a "Floater's Position." What the eff if that?! The whole reason why I turned down the job was because of the drive! HELLO!!
The next week I was in Lunenburg. The DM kept calling with different options that we could do. I turned every single one down, I wanted to stay in Lunenburg like the original agreement was supposed to be. Finally she calls me and tells me that the manager's position had opened up, and that unfortuntly there were no other options for me. So I took it. It was the closest studio to Luneneburg, and it was management. It was a 40 minute drive there, right below Worcester.
I was trained for a day. I was told that I "pretty much knew what I was doing." I went to North Oxford to find how rude people can truly be. I was screamed at by customers almost everyday. Even the Walmart employees would give me dirty looks. And it was this way for a good two weeks straight. Finally the hostility began to calm down. I began to receive compliments rather than complaints. People would tell me that they hoped that I stayed and that I was the best photographer that they had in that studio. I was even tipped $40 once, and the customer insisted! I told the DM about the compliments that I had been recieveing and her response to me was "don't get to comfortable, this position isn't going to be as permenant as we thought." I HAVE TO GO THREW THIS AGAIN?! was the only thing that went threw my head. My car had broke down and I was trying everything I could from borrowing my fathers car, to paying people to drive me. And I will admit that I was occionally late. She tells me that Walmart wanted to have a conference with her about me.
The day that she came in for the conference, I was nowhere near excited. The whole thought of the situation just had me in an all around bad mood. Pretty much everything that was feeling good about went out the window. She comes back from the conference and is going on and on pretty much about how badly I suck. And I finally I say something. "I want out." "What do you mean?" "I don't want to be in this studio, I really don't care, I want to be in Lunenburg and if I'm not in Lunenburg then I don't want to work for this PATHETIC company anymore!" I had finally lost it. I had lost control of every little thing that had been bothering me. I told her to send the girl that was in MY position in Lunenburg to the Managers position in North Oxford since that girl had originally came here thinking she was going to get management. The DM then told me that "There is no way that we will be able to do that because she has children and responsiblities that she can't be that far away from." "WHAT?!" I could feel myself loose it again. "YOUR TELLING ME THAT I CAN'T WORK IN LUNENBURG BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE KIDS. I didn't realize how different things could be by spitting a few out. I'm 20 years old with NO kids, I thought I was doing the right thing with my life. But it's okay, give me a few months and let me get back to you on that." As that last sentence came out of my mouth, all I was thinking was SHUTUP! I was put on a suspension kind of thing till that Saturday because she told me that I needed some time to cool off.
I used this time wisely and found myself a new job. When I went back I put my two weeks notice in but told them it was going to be more like a week. I did a new call no show for the last three days I was supposed to be there. I started a new job the next week, that thus far has been absolutely terrific. And they are also a Corporation. I actually don't get yelled at for mistakes that are accidently made.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO WORK FOR THEM, EVEN IF THERE ARE NO OTHER OPTIONS! ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS THE MONEY MONEY MONEY! NOT PHOTOGRAPHY, NOT CUSTOMER SERVICE, JUST HOW MUCH MONEY YOU MAKE!