Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pissed Off, Pissed On. Ya Know, Whatever.

Sometimes people do things or say things that I just cannot even begin to understand.  On one particular occasion at Happy Time Portraits I got to witness both.

I was working by myself one day and this lady comes in with her mom and they were super, hardcore Martinez.  (If you aren't an avid reader of mine, the Operation Dumbo Drop post defines what that entails!)  They came in and the grandma was rather ornery from the start, but after sweet talking them for a few minutes at the front counter, she started to relax.  She told me that she had a bad experience at another studio because the lady was treating them "like they had no class", so I assured her that I would take good care of them.  Unfortunately, the people at the last portrait studio had it right, because these ladies were super unclassy!

On our way into the camera room her baby dropped a cracker on the floor, and instead of picking it up she ground it into the carpet with her foot because she thought I hadn't noticed.  When we got into the room, both of them took off their shoes and they were wearing the nastiest socks I had ever smelled in my life.  It was still okay, because I was going to do my job to the best of my ability and NOT pre-judge the customer.  The baby was really fussy and didn't seem like he had taken a nap that day.  He cried through almost every shot I took regardless of what sounds, faces or noises I made.  It was tough.  And the ladies brought in two outfits for him in addition to what he was wearing.  It was very trying.

After the third outfit change I thought that we were finally finished when the mom says "Hey, do you guys do the naked baby pictures like out on that poster out there?"  I told her that we did and she asked if we could do some.  I agreed cheerfully, but inside I was dying a little.  The baby was way past done and we had pushed our luck with the last outfit.  While they were taking off the baby's clothes the grandma made some super awkward comment about how happy the baby was to be naked "just like his daddy" and I had to turn away while I cringed.  I told them to leave the diaper on until the very last second so that we wouldn't have any accidents. 

We took a few poses on the black background with the diaper on and we had everything all set up to do the naked baby laying on his tummy shot where just the booty is showing.  The grandma took off the diaper and went to set him down but he got fussy as soon as she set him down, so she immediately picked him back up.  She said that he needed to try and eat something really fast to make him happy.  I let them know that they needed to put the diaper back on, but they wouldn't listen and I was so new at the job still that I just gave in. 

They were standing on the background still while I was on the floor thumbing through the shots that I had already taken on the camera.  The grandma was cradling the baby, still sans diaper, in her arms, when all of a sudden I hear, "Oh God!"  I raise my head up to see what is happening and the lady turns the baby towards me and a strangely powerful stream of baby piss is pointed right in my direction.  I try to get out of the way quickly, but I was kneeling down and I raced to get to my feet. I got up and the lady just keeps pointing it at me.  I was furious.  After all was said and done I ended up with baby piss all over my shirt and I was so shocked that it happened at the time that I had my mouth open in awe for a second, just long enough to get some in there too. 

I grabbed the nearest garbage can and spit into it a few times and grabbed some paper towels to clean off what I could from my shirt.  And I kinda lost it.  "What the hell?"  I yelled at the grandma. 

She looked at me sheepishly and all she could say was, "Sorry, I didn't wanna mess up the background that ya'll have in here."  So you thought you'd point it at the photographer instead?  I could feel my nostrils flaring.  Then she looks at me and says, "So, I think he's ready to take that last picture now."  I wanted to murder a grandma at right then and there. I excused myself for a minute and after I calmed down I came back out and took the last shot.  I think the baby knew on some level exactly what he did.  He lay there and smiled really big.  Snarky baby.

After everything was said and done, we got to the sales table and I showed her all of the amazing pictures that we had taken.  They both loved almost all of them.  So I ask her which package she was going to get and the fucking grandma pulls out a coupon for a one-pose package for $4.99 and tells me that that is all they can afford.  I am pretty sure that I turned bright red with anger at that point because I didn't understand why someone would bring in three outfits if they knew from the beginning that they were only going to buy one picture.  They wouldn't even add one extra sheet.  And to add insult to injury they didn't even get the naked baby picture!  RAGE!!!  I bit my tongue so incredibly hard that day and as soon as they left I was punching the hell out of a teddy bear that we had.

One of my fellow managers called me in mid-rampage and she asked me how my day was going.  All I could say was, "Dude!  I just got pissed on for five fucking dollars!"  And after letting me bitch and complain and explain to her what baby urine tastes like, she told me, "Yeah, I bet if you moved to Vegas you could get at least ten bucks for that." 

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