I have worked for this company for 5 years as an hourly studio manager. Let me enlighten you as to how this company works.
They advertise a $4.99 package for 30 portraits of one pose. Then we're suppose to sell you at least $80 more, or we're written up & fired for low numbers. It doesn't matter how loyal we are to the company, or how good we are. Money talks.
We're harassed via email, and voice mail on a daily basis. Our jobs are constantly threatened because YOU, the customer, can't afford to purchase more. When an employee argues that the economy is bad right now, people can't afford luxury items, we're told this is just an EXCUSE. Do whatever it takes to sell more, or lose your job.
I've spent thousands of dollars on props for my studio, to give the customer what they want. I've gone out of my way to keep things new and fresh, and quite frankly my customers are spoiled.
Corporate doesn't provide ANYTHING other then equipment, cheesy numbers, and a god-awful bear.
I spend a small fortune on lollypops for "My kids" as well as balloons for those who can't have them. I do this because I love my job, and I love what I do. As a result I have a solid clientele base in 3 states. I have people who travel up to 3 hrs or more just so that *I *can photograph their children. What an amazing compliment!!
I will miss you all.
You see, I won't pressure sell. I don't like it when it's done to me, so why would I do that to my customer? In fact I'll go out of my way to show them how to get what they want at a better value. It's why they always come back.
I've trained some of the best photographers in this region, without being paid to do so. I'm the one my Market Manager, and Market Director ask to cover their vacations. I've been offered both jobs at the laughable wage of $28, 000 -$35, 000 a year for either job is NOT incentive for advancement. Since turning down said positions, I've refused to do either training, or cover for them due to no raise in years. I've gone above and beyond, and have had no raise due to "Low Numbers" and yet I'm offered a promotion?
I've won their portrait competitions; I've worked when my doctor wanted me hospitalized, under the threat of losing my job if my studio is "Dark." (Closed) I've been vomiting in the studio and told point blank "You can't leave."
I've also been written up for insubordination when I walked out of the studio the day my 7 yr old daughter broke her arm at school, and my boss said I should be thankful I wasn't fired for leaving.
This is how this company treats US.
Recently we were all told we had to be on call 24/7. We have to work on our days off, even if it is "Just a phone call" - mind you I am an HOURLY manager. I do not get paid to do these things, so I refused.
I recently found my job posted as available online and they (my boss') won't respond to me. So I don't know if I'm fired, or what's going on. Very professional behavior, don't you think??
I emptied my studio yesterday, and it was a sad moment to realize all I've done, all I've accomplished, and what I've lost because THE CUSTOMER can't afford to buy what I shoot.
We are harassed, humiliated, and bullied out of our jobs, and replaced by teenagers who will work for peanuts.
So for those of you complaining about horrible studio experiences, and how the photographer didn’t know what they were doing, etc. This is why none of the good ones ever stay.
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