This is one of my two-part posts cos, in the writing hereof, I’ve discovered it’s going to be rather longer (a lot longer) than I originally thought. Hmm. Getting to be something of a habit, this.
A curious day… but not entirely without its rewards.
Starts with the arrival of a load of business cards, the story of the organising of which merits being a mini saga in its own right.
Basically, because it’s all to do with a little joint venture upon which mate and I have been foolish enough to embark, somehow he gets lumbered with the task of organising them.
Last week that was. Possibly even the week before. I tend to lose track of time a bit nowadays… having seen so much of it pass.
Of course, I should have known that mate organising anything whatsoever is a guarantee of disaster but, what with my natural optimism an’ all, well, it seemed like a good idea at the time (now where have I heard that phrase before?)
Sure enough, cards ordered and paid for and we’re just waiting for delivery. When mate emails me to let me know there may be a slight glitch. As in he’s slightly screwed up the web address he put on them. As in he’s missed a letter out. Only a little letter… but a letter nevertheless. That actually changes the web address into a different web address.
Odd that. Letters seem to have a habit of doing that. I’m surprised he’s never realised. Or noticed it.
And these ’ere cards are being printed with that wrong address. That just so happens to point to a live website that’s run by some other guy (a damn Yank, just to add insult to injury) who just so happens to be in the same line as us, i.e., photography.
Well, that’s just great innit? I know… let’s go and painfully scrape together our hard-earned dosh so we can help promote the competition. Yeah, good marketing tactic that!
Mate’s much understated version of the tale is here.
Much to-ing and fro-ing of emails then, and the ploy we eventually come up with is to get a rubber stamp made (with the correct address on… hopefully), stamp some little sticky labels, and stick ’em over the top of the wrong address. Not ideal, but at least we’ll have salvaged something. Even if it does entail more outlay. But the stamp can always come in useful for other things I guess. Like me ramming it up mate’s… well, not until after we’ve finished with it of course.
Meanwhile mate, no doubt totally guilt-ridden, secretly embarks upon his own little rescue plan. Like getting in touch with the printers, letting them know of his complete and utter incompetency, and enquiring whether there may be some tiny little chance that they can do something at their end.
Clearly he must have grovelled really impressively cos, although too late to do anything with the original order (that are already in the post apparently… and that’s what I call prompt service), they tell him they’ll do another lot (with the correct spelling)… double the amount in fact… for nothing! And that’s what I call good customer relations!
However, even this bit of good news was not without its downside. For mate, chuffed to bits with himself for rescuing us so neatly, emails me with the glad tidings. And forwards on a copy of the invoice. The second invoice this is. The one that clearly states, right at the bottom, that we’ve been credited with the full invoice amount. The full invoice amount that’s approximately double what the original order was. Cos there’s double the number of cards see.
Me being me I predictably don’t read the whole invoice through, not right to the little credit amount at the end. Oh no. I sort of get stuck on seeing that bloody huge amount we’re being billed, and briefly contemplate suicide as a way out. Or maybe doing something really ’orrible to mate… a course that, I have to say, has distinct attractions. This all being after I’ve recovered from the imminent heart attack of course. Well, it would have been were I not such a heartless sod.
Naturally enough a flurry of emails follows, in which mate takes some unaccountable and perverse delight in directing my attention to the fact that (as he’d originally explained anyway) we’ve actually been credited with the newly invoiced amount. The word “credit” meaning we don’t have to pay, kinda thing. Just to be sure I understand. As though I’m thick or something.
Ok. So I may begrudgingly admit that he’s successfully managed to make amends. This time. Maybe. But I’m still mighty suspicious, not quite believing that it’s all going to be plain sailing from hereon in. Things have never been that straightforward. Not with us at least.
And sure enough… I’m right!
Cards arrive today, in two nice little boxes. Handy that. Cos there’s two of us as well (unfortunately!). And, following our regular meet-up in town, mate chucks what’s to be my box at me.
What’s the first thing I notice? All the text (names and so forth) is in the wrong bloody typeface! It’s in the same sodding font as the logo! Which is a display font… not a text font. Aaargggh!
I just can’t believe it!
Unfortunately, I can.
However, it seems that mate isn’t the only brainless one in town.
Y’see, we’re still going to be needing that rubber stamp cos we’re far too tight-fisted to simply chuck the first batch away. And the stamp will come in useful for other things anyway. Like me ramming it up… or have I already said that?
So off we trot to the local rubber stampery to find out how much such a bit of kit is going to cost us. Really nice lady in there, to whom we elaborately and in detail explain our little problem. Unfortunately it appears that really nice lady is a total moron… cos her solution is “the cheapest thing to do is simply cut the bottom of the card off”. That’s where the wrong web address is see… at the bottom.
Now at this point perhaps I should explain that these cards are actually “photocards”. That’s to say, there’s a photo reproduced on one side, with the text on t’other. Four photos actually. Cos the batch is split into four lots, each with a different photo on. Our photos.
“Oh, we can’t do that”, wail I in absolute horror, “it’ll ruin the photo!” She inspects the pic and, clearly not being a photographer, looks at me as though I’m totally bonkers; what’s so obviously going through her mind being “It’s only a picture. What’s it matter?”
She looks at it, holds it close, holds it at arm’s length, holds it upside down, thoroughly inspects it. And simply cannot see why one can’t go around cavalierly chopping bits off a pic as though they’re totally irrelevant. Obviously no appreciation whatsoever of the time, the effort, the care, the pain, the heartache, the bloodshed and tears, that a photographer puts in to composing a scene “just so”. Sort of thing. Ahem.
However, the other, arguably even more critical point that really helpful brainless lady totally misses, is that if the web address is cut off then there’s no contact info on the card whatsoever… either ours or anyone else’s. So we’d still have to rubber stamp an address on or something. Duh!
And with that, here endeth the first part.