Coworkers that rock your day

19 Jun

It is difficult to please sour pot Henry, my most perilous coworker, especially for me as a beginning cruise photographer. But sometimes he just sets the bar for acceptance too high to even maintain eye contact. Not only is his South African tongue difficult to understand; he also has the attitude of a Russian diva one minute before the premiere of a solo operetta. And that is not the only reason why professional work with this senior photographer is nearly impossible.

Tonight we shot dinner photos at the restaurants L’Arabesque and La Palmerei (Yacht Club). I am rarely selected for that task, because these two restaurants contain the guests with the deepest pockets. However, tonight Jennifer and I were chosen to shoot alongside Henry in those most prestigious dinner environments, because Manager Ash felt that we needed a change.

La Palmerei is traditionally filled with people that don’t want their pictures taken, so that restaurant is quickly done. However, I found the one table full of willing people, and I shot their portraits, taking a bit of extra care, because the big money spenders expect that. When I turned around James was gone. Since I had never been in that restaurant before I didn’t know where he could have gone, so I continued asking people for photos. Obviously, that was wrong.

Life aboard the ABC RypMeOff is grand

Literally every restaurant aboard looks grand, but some even more so than others.

The couple at the next table assured me (in French) that someone had already asked them. Thus, I retreated, looked for James, and found him at the entrance to the restaurant. Where he told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to watch out for the other photographers, and keep eye contact, so as to be aware of their status of operation. How I was supposed to accomplish that, considering that I had my back to the other tables, and my eyes on the guests, he did not reveal to me. I brushed that aside; maybe it’s a feat of South African photo witches.

Two hours later we shot portraits in the same restaurant. While James was happily chatting with the couple at the very first table, I continued my walk along the row of dinner tables, and asked, and was refused by, most of the other guests. When he finally finished his babbling session James approached one of the couples that had already refused me, and got rebuked. Just like I did two hours earlier. That’s not actually problematic, because the guests understand that most photographers have front-sided eyes. However, said incident was not a brush-over for Henry, who then stalked up to me, telling me, in no uncertain terms, that I needed to keep eye contact with the other photographers, so as to make them aware of my status of operation

Same situation, swapped roles. And still everything is my fault. Such is the magical view of sour pot Henry. Whatever goes must be causally related to the lack of willingness and/or ability of the 3rd rank photographers.

Cruise Photography with portable lights

Sometimes we have four photo booths that are merely five metres apart, which does not neccessarily make things easier.

He repeated the same offensive hypocrisy a few minutes later in the atrium, where we both shot portraits, me on the stairs, and he in the studio right behind me. As usual during the busy hours I was bothered by people walking up and down the stairs while I was trying to shoot the people standing on the stairs. Thus, I often had to wait a few extra seconds to get a clean shot. Somehow, Henry’s calls of “faster, Goemon, faster!” did not improve the situation. Posing people in that noisy and crowded place is difficult enough. Frequent calls from the back, pointing out the obvious problem of the situation, are not actually helping.

At the same time Henry took some seven minutes to finish one photo session with one particular couple. That is quite a long time, considering that we are supposed to keep people in our studios for no longer than three minutes, and he infrequently found it necessary to interrupt my own shootings with calls to “shoot faster, faster”.

Honningsvag, Norway, seaside view

Honningsvag is not always draped in mist. But often I wish my mind was.

I’m beginning to see why Manager Mihai found it necessary to lock Henry away in his private studio in the Yacht Club. I just hope that our new manager Ash will draw similar conclusions, because I don’t see any way of rehabilitating this psychotic poo-brain, and transforming him into a cooperative member of a service-based society.

If your office has a “special” coworker, who is residing in a room far from anyone else, maybe take it as a warning. Some evils are only dangerous when stirred.

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