“But the other girls did it for me!”

Before I started at my current location, there were 2 designer/customer service ladies and the ‘manager’ that couldn’t manage his way out of a playground.  The 2 designers were of varying degrees of competency.  One was OK, the other was pretty good.  However both were slower than shit rolling uphill in a Minnesota snowstorm. In the few weeks were were all there (before they tried their coup, see way earlier post), I watched them price out jobs as if they could do the design part in 10 or 15 minutes only to take 45 minutes or more.  One lady came in and wanted a custom designed birthday invitation for her kid’s birthday party.  I watched her spend 20 minutes with the customer getting all the stuff she wanted on the card, then quote her for the printing of the card, never once putting in ANY charge for her time.  So I then decided to time her and see how long she spent on the card. She spend over 30 minutes looking for a dinosaur to use on the card and then another 30 minutes laying out the card and printing a few samples.  One hour of time NOT billed.  And this was the norm, which is why they would have both been fired had they not left. They sure wanted to be paid for their time from the owner, but couldn’t seem to try and get paid for their time from customers.

So maybe 2 weeks after the mass exodus, we get this lady who comes in. Apparently she is a regular, and ‘artist’ who makes stupid painting in weird shapes,  and immediately starts bitching because ‘her girls’ aren’t there anymore.  I resist the urge to tell her that her girls tried to put the store out of business and instead just ask how I can help her.

She hands me a flash drive and says “I have about 45 jpegs on here of my paintings.  I need you to size them all up at 4″x6″ and put as many as you can in even rows and columns on a 12″ x 18″ sheets of glossy coverstock and trim them out for me.” Ooookay.  I take the flash drive and copy the contents to my computer and look at it for a moment, determine that it would take me probably about 20 minutes to lay these out nice and neat then to make the prints.  So I tell her “OK, it will cost about $20 for the layout,the prints run $1 each and another $5 to trim them out.  I have a few jobs here that I need to finish first so I can have these for you around noon.”  You would have thought I told her to show me her titties by the look on her face. “What is this?  It should be $,99 each, total.  What is this setup? The girls never charged me that? And they did it for me while I waited!”

Being new to this location I still had some patience, but not much. “That’s one of the reasons they aren’t here anymore”, I say.  “The prints are $1 each at that size, regardless of whatever the PREVIOUS employees charged you. The setup time is a charge for my time to make the files how you like. You are welcome to lay the jpegs out yourself on a 12″ x 18″ page and all I have to do them is print them for you and we can avoid the setup charge.”  She is still glaring at me so I asked her “If I wanted to purchase one of your paintings but needed you to spend another 30 minutes to add things to it for me, would you do it for free? After a long, uncomfortable (for her, I didn’t care) silence, she said “I’ll be back at 12.” and left. I may be cheap but I ain’t a whore, I don’t work for free.


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