Management Matters

10 Jun

The first day of any new cruise is always a sea day, so today we make a point of occupying the photo gallery, and advertising our services. My schedule says “please ensure 50 album sales”, so my apparent job is to stand at the merchandise table, and advertise small photo albums to our guests.

Those albums come with about a dozen beautiful picture prints of tourist attractions in Norway, scenic views that we will visit during the next two weeks. The album is well-made, and the photos are genuinely great. But at a price of ten Euros a piece these albums are not exactly a bargain, so most of our guests just flip through the pages, and then browse over to the postcard stand, where prices are lower, and the selection greater.

Once more I am left to ponder not only the price policies, but also the ludicrous expectations that our managers have set for us. It is good to have goals in life, but I do not see the point in setting specific targets without reasonable explanations or even the outlook of a reward for meeting it.

Fjord Town Geiranger

The photo album is filled with pictures even better than this one from Geiranger.

I was tasked with selling fifty overpriced photo albums, and only three actually exchanged hands during my four-hour shift. The fallout from that disappointment during our nightly debriefing results in little more than an acknowledgment of the facts: “you tried, but it did not work. Tomorrow we will try something else.”

Whatever that “else” might be I can discover for myself. Instead of giving us advice on how to sell more, or pondering on what products we could push instead, manager Ash just tells us that during the next ten days we will test various approaches at making money from nothing, and meeting our cruise target of €60,000. In general I prefer solid strings of information, but Ash maintains that business requires experimentation.

Overall, I am optimistic that, for the first time this season, we might actually meet the sales target, and secure ourselves a bonus payment. Ash Ketchum has set a definitive plan for tomorrow, meticulously planned out, down to the detail of “what backdrop will be used by which photographer” during the evening shootings. As it looks we may actually have to work a few extra hours during these upcoming weeks, but in stark contrast to the reign of Manager Mihai our schedule now shows structure and reason, and may well unite this scrawny department under a common work scheme. Exciting times indeed.


PS.: If you would like a fresh look on some of the scenes that are depicted in the Norway Photo Album, have a look at my photo galleries from Alesund, Honningsvag, Molde Fjord, Tromso, or Geiranger.

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