Category Archives: I actually get paid for this?

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I told someone that I was going to write this, so I guess it’s time I actually got to writing.

I am proud of the work I did on Z-boy’s senior pictures. I didn’t know what to expect for my first senior session. My only hope was to end up with something good for Z-boy, because he deserved to have a keepsake of his senior year.

Mission accomplished. Apparently.

The photo book I made as a graduation gift for Z-boy was a BIG hit with his mom and her family. To be honest, that kind of caught me off guard. Hearing that his mom and grandmother were showing everyone his photo book just sounded so weird to me. But this was what I wanted to happen eventually with my business, right? I guess I just didn’t expect it to happen this soon.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

It didn’t stop there, though. Sunday was Z-boy’s graduation party, and the accolades kept coming. It was one thing to hear the compliments from a third-party, but to hear them straight from the horses’ mouths… was both flattering and awkward at the same time. Oh, I sincerely said “Thank you!” to each and every compliment, but it still felt so surreal doing it. Is that normal?

I don’t know, but it does lead me to real point of this post.

During the party, Tim walked back in after talking to some people outside, and told me that I might be asked to shoot a wedding.

Wait. Did he just say wedding?

Apparently, the topic of conversation outside was the upcoming wedding for a couple of the party guests. Z-boy’s grandmother threw MY name in as a potential photographer for their wedding. Tim told the group that if I was chosen as the photographer, it wouldn’t be for free.

There is just onnnnne problem, though. The thought of shooting a wedding terrifies me. I’m hoping that they decide to go with another photographer. Actually, I’m praying for that very thing.

I’ve mentioned on one social media outlet or another that I do not yet know what my niche is. I have pretty much figured out, though, that weddings are not it. And there is a very good reason for that. Being a wedding photographer has one major downside.

There is no do-over.

You cannot reshoot. Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime events and I couldn’t bear the thought of, at best, not getting enough good images. And what if I fuck it all up? Yeah, let’s not even go there, ok?

So, I bet you’re wondering where we left it. Kind of in limbo, actually, since it was just a recommendation. I’ll just have to wait and see if they decide to hire me, and try to keep my anxiety on its leash until then. Oh, and maybe figure out what I might charge to do it.

It’s true what they say. Be careful what you wish for.

Hold me.

Does Size Really Matter?

This post is not about what you might think it is. Trust me.

My company had product that was damaged while it was in transport from one of our factories to one of our warehouses. The walls of the containers had holes, which allowed water inside. You can just imagine what that water did to the cardboard packaging, as well as our wood furniture. Needless to say, it wasn’t pretty.

I was tasked with compiling and sending the freight damage claim to the carrier. At the time, I was still fairly new here, but it still seemed an easy enough task. I gathered all the documentation and photos, wrote the letters (for which I received kudos from my boss), and sent the claims to the carrier.

Fast forward a couple of months. I hadn’t heard anything as to whether the claims were resolved or not. My boss called me into his office on Monday and let me know that the carrier was claiming they never received the emails. When my boss tried to resend the emails to them, he received an error message. The emails were too big; their mail server wouldn’t accept them. Huh? And why didn’t I see anything when the claims were initially submitted? On top of that, the files weren’t that big! I didn’t get it. With the current state of technology, and with email becoming the more common form of business communication, there are still organizations out there that have those kinds of limits? Um, ok.

So, my boss gave me a new task: reduce the file size and resend the claims. Loverly. But, I did it, and received confirmation of receipt from the carrier. Whew, that was over.

Or so I thought.

The next day, we were notified by the carrier that my calculation of pro-rated freight was incorrect. They clarified that it needed to be based on the number of cartons damaged, as opposed to cubic feet (or cube) damaged, because the bill of lading is listed in carton quantities. That seemed simple enough to me, so I revised the claims to match their calculations.

My boss thinks otherwise. He thinks it should be based on cube, because the carton sizes vary by product. And he wants to fight it.

I’m not saying he’s wrong (after all, I’m still the newbie here). I do, however, think he’s fighting a fight he won’t be able to win. The shipping documentation is listed in quantity of cartons, not cube. This is the information that is filed with U.S. Customs for entry into this country. What recourse do we really have to change how they calculate pro-rated freight?

I recognize that I could, in fact, be the one who is wrong. Maybe the fight is worth it. Maybe the carrier will agree. Maybe they will change their calculations.

Or maybe he’s trying to save face after the $56,000.00 anti-dumping duty fiasco.

Who knows.