I have always went above and beyond the call of duty with my work. Be it my photography or my job at Debenhams. I’m always making sure those around me are happy at all costs and forget about myself a lot of the time.
I realised this today whilst carrying two table legs and a chair out of work for a customer to their taxi with my colleague, Michael. I had helped several customers this morning with their queries and as usual, my service came with a smile and friendly conversation. I had made a ladies morning by ordering the Kenwood Food Processor that she’d wanted since they bought it out a few years ago and now she could finally afford it. This left me on a bit of a high because it’s always nice seeing someone go away so happy knowing that your small simple action, has probably made their day. When Michael came up to me asking me to help order some furniture for two customers, I was more than happy to help. We found the exact table on our order system but there is always the moment where you wait for it to load the stock levels for the whole of Debenhams PLC and you hold your breath a little, thinking of ways to let the customer down that they can’t have what they want because nowhere has any in stock. This was the case, however we had one in our window that we were selling. I followed the usual paths of phoning the visual team to see if we can have the one out of the window and the couple looked like children at Christmas when I told them they could. All they had to do was hang tight whilst I went to wrestle it out of the window and find a barcode for it. When I managed to wrestle it out of the window and get it to our loading bay, get back to the customers and let them know all they had to do was pay for it, they had faces of thunder. One of my supervisors had said that all of a sudden I couldn’t sell the table. I pulled strings, got managers involved and got the table for my customers. They were so grateful at the fact we managed to get it for them, which is why we offered to carry it to the taxi for them. We don’t offer carry to car services, but we made an exception today. It was a nice feeling waving them off in their taxi, with their brand new table, knowing that we’d helped someone to a great extent. I treat my customers how I would like to be treated in a store.
I then realised that it is the same with my photography. I’m not going to mention names because I do not feel that is fair on the people who are guilty of this, but I’m sure if they read this, they will know who they are. I always put my 100% into shoots with people. If they’re friends or a brand new client, it has no change on how much effort I put in. I always go out of my way to accommodate clients with booking shoots. If I’m meant to be working at Debs and it’s the only time they’re free, I’ll ask for my shifts to be shuffled around a bit. On one occasion, I admittedly phoned in sick for a shift (I was suffering a spout of Laryngitis at the time too.) and done a shoot in a location that was a 3 minute walk from work.
Everybody I’ve worked with in my photographic career so far say thank you when we finish up a shoot. Some then extend their thank you’s on social media sites by using a photograph I’ve taken of them as their profile photo, sharing it on Instagram, etc. Others share my page around, take a couple of business cards and hand them out to people who ask. However a lot of the time, the ones I go out of my way most for, promote the most, and recommend the most, just let me tag them in the photographs and that’s the end of it. It’s these bands/musicians that I work with that make me wonder why I bother putting the effort into what I do, as much as I do.
I suppose this post has really ended on a rant, but it’s things like this that make me realise I always put myself out a lot more for people than they do in return. Which makes me wonder, why do I not become more selfish with my time? If you’re not going to help me out by sharing things or even just a simple thank you and recommendation, I’m not going to bother helping you out.