Remembrance Card Blues

OK, I have two ladies that came in yesterday who are trying to do a remembrance card for her mother. I get it, you want it right. But first, they give me a picture that is 75 years old and has water damage and then complains that the picture is ‘dark and uneven’. Plus, the photo cuts off at the top of her head and it is either crop it there or have visible white space at the top. So I made an oval and fit the picture inside perfectly. Now it is ‘too big’. Then they hand me another picture to try. Great, the first one was too dark, this one has a black fucking background and she is wearing a dark colored top and is also 70+ years old! Not gonna happen.  So I scan it and just print it as-is to show her.  One agrees with me that it is bad, the other just keeps saying ‘but I like this picture…”. 

Next, they have a sample that one of her mom’s friends had done when she passed. They say ‘use that as a guide’.  So I use it as a guide.  Then, when presented with the text using that guide, it isn’t right. This line is too big, this line is too small, don’t you have this custom handwritten calligraphy? (serenity now!) They are debating point sizes with me that one is larger than the rest and doesn’t believe me even when I show them on the screen that they are the same size. Then it is borders! This one is larger than the sample! Well, you have 6 more lines than the sample, it is GOING to be larger. Unless you want the text itself smaller, but with your old eyes, readability might be an issue.

Next, they have another photo they want screened to go behind a poem of sorts that they wrote for the back page. No can do. If I make the photo light enough to read the text, you can’t make out the photo. If I make the photo dark enough to tell who they are, you can’t read the text.  On this one, at least, they don’t fight me as it is so obviously not going to work even they can’t argue for it. As for the text itself, they had one line with 4 words, the next had about 15. Fits great across an 8.5″ dimension, not so much on the back panel of a memorial card. So I made it fit, but now there is a problem. Things she wanted to be all one  one line were now on 2 lines, and in one case, three lines.  Also, she didn’t use any punctuation, and if I add it, there are sentences that just are not ‘grammatically correct’. And this would be bad because the mom was a teacher and so are half the people who would be in attendance.

25 minutes later they are STILL sitting in my lobby trying to figure out how to reword their back text to be correct with punctuation. One keeps saying ‘but it isn’t like the sample’ and the other one is kind of getting a bit mad saying that it doesn’t matter, she likes it as it is.

Ninety minutes from when they first came in, we have what appears to be a finished piece of work. I have added and subtracted so many periods and commas it isn’t funny. I have made text bold, then italic, then bold italic, then back to regular because it ‘stood out too much’. I have tried 4 different 70+ year old photos for her, each of them darker than the previous ones. So I printed out a sheet and told them to go home, eat dinner, relax and then look at this in the morning.  Tell me it is good then and I will run them right away.  I did this because I just know that if i ran them last night after they said it was good to go that this morning they would call up and say ‘Have you started it yet?  We found a typo…” As of 11 this morning, I still don’t have a call…

And some wonder why I hate people…

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