Costumer’s Choice, Photographer’s Worry

28 Jun

It’s a rainy day, here in Tromso, Norway. A curtain of clear, cold water is draped over the city, making even the vast lake in the North of the town look gloomy. Still, Mateja and I decide to take a walk along the shore, enjoying the fresh air that blows the vague smell of wheat and damp air into our faces. Cruise life is always busy, so these extended walks take a lot of weight off our shoulders, pacing our schedules down to a manageable amount. It also adds the much needed physical exercise that we so dearly lack in our nights of standing around on board.

One of the trees by the lake is filled with sea gulls, and I wonder if this is just anyone’s favourite spot during a Norwegian drizzle, or maybe the lead gull decided that this would be the place to rest, and her whole flock of followers joined her. Or “him”. Who knows, maybe sea gulls have male leaders. That sounds strange, considering how lost I felt aboard the ABC RypMyOff, if it wasn’t for the lady photographers providing a sensible counterweight to the sheer hostility and insanity of the photo men.

Sea gulls by a lake in Tromso, Norway

Tromso was clouded in mist (much like the mind of my coworkers), so the sea gulls stayed close to the ground.

Anyway, people tend to move in groups, and the voice of the many always matters. To some degree. On the other hand, the individual appears to have little power over his or her situation. Take our cruise passengers, for example. Barely a day goes by without one of the passengers telling me that they much prefer my approach to cruise photography to the loud and obnoxious advertisement of the other photographers. I understand that. During every cruise we receive various complaints from passengers claiming that the photographers make them feel very uncomfortable, because we jump them with our camera and flash light on nearly every occasion.

Yet, when we look at the image counts there is a clear reward for this apprehensive behavior. Those photographers who hassle the wits out of the guests shoot four or five times as many pictures as I do. Many passengers even promise me that they will return later for a shooting with me, and an hour later I see them in the photo booth of one of my colleagues, although they told me “in earnest” that they detest their constantly nagging attitude.

This would be really disheartening, had I not already given up on this job. People come to me complaining about my coworkers, but then go to my coworkers to have their picture taken. It’s not just brutally dishonest, these passengers also actively choose their own shitty photographer. Sour pot Henry surrounds and plagues people until they give in, and because of that he shoots five times as many photos as I. So, who do you think management is going to keep, and who will be fired?

Predatory salesmen aboard the ABC RypMeOff

ABC Cruises breeds gruesomly agressive shop keepers. The sheepish customers are merely fertilizer.

As a paying passenger you have the choice of what behaviour to support, what kind of costumer service to receive. If you only purchase whine from the terribly pushy bar tenders, then only the pushy bar tenders will ascend in the ranks of ABC Cruises. After a few years of promoting people with a sales pitch only the intrusive type of salesman will be left on board. Not because we would not try a different approach, but because you, the costumer, decide over success and failure, and obviously it is more successful to constantly run around your table, and nag you about consuming something.

You, the paying people, have a choice, and the power to enforce positive change. You can either sit on a barren tree and crow with the other sea gulls, or get your feathers in the dry, and allow the nice German photographer to take your picture. The decision is yours, and it is mostly you who has to live with the consequences.

Botanical garden in Tromso, Norway

In May the botanical garden in Tromso is still a hodgepodge of rocks and shrubbery.

PS.: I previously showed you the city and botanical garden of Tromso. Today I added some landscape to the photo album. Have a look!

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