For some time now there is a situation that is repeating and really bothers me. As a studio owner I get a lot of applications and give chance to anyone that looks promising. People apply, we meet for an interview and I help them become a member of our team. Many of them are on different time zones and often I have to stay awake too long just to spend some time with them.
And I try to help in any way I can so people feel welcomed and as a part of the team.
To help you get a better picture of the situation that bothers me I will just name some main characteristics that I have set for my studio. People can work whenever they want and there was no obligation to book any client. For the studio costs I am taking 25% of the price for each photo and I think thats fair. If they want to work and can take clients that should be enough to keep them interested.
I am promoting each photographer, sharing their photos all over the place and train anyone that wants to improve. I never ask for reasons, give them complete freedom and try to adjust.
Its been more than a month now since I hired one girl, and soon after she brought her friend too. I gave them editing rights, access to our spreadsheet, explained how it all works, gave a box with tons of infos, put on our website, Flickr, Facebook, all infos in our main building and a notifications from our pager so they can see all visitors that come to my studio… It is pretty busy place since we are at the top of the search and have a huge client base. And I waited for more than a month for both of them to send me few of their photos so I can display them in the main gallery. Do I have to say I never got them? Not only that, other staff members started complaining how new girls don’t answer messages and are not really there. Never. But I see them online every day? To my questions both said everything is fine, they have no questions and need no help. Ookay. One said she has health issues (type of excuse that really shuts your mouth for any SL related thing) and other said she will do all, and please not to hate her. So I didn’t, and kept waiting. At the same time I see their blogs have new posts every day lol, so I know they have the time.
Few days ago I was counting our traffic and noticed we have 24 new photos waiting to be booked and no one said they will do it. We keep missing clients all the time because photographers are busy. And I think its not good to force them to do photos if they don’t feel like. But this was too much because many of them were available, just not working. So I sent a notice and asked everyone to contact me back if they read it and one of the new girls didn’t so I had to fire her. I mean its okay to be busy with other things but its not okay to be online every day and ignore notices from your boss. Not that I lost anything because well none of us got the chance to meet her better, she usually ignored my messages and managed to do 3 photos in a month.
Today I went in my staff group to take down her rights and remove her access from our pagers and sites, and I checked her profile. And news; she is a co-owner of another photo studio, and her friend that still works with me is another owner.
Do I have to say it is a huge slap right across my face?
This is the situation that repeats and bothers me, people apply, go with me through the whole process and then simply disappear, leaving me with just one thought; how I wasted my time on them.
So the reason I am writing this is to ask anyone that plans to apply just so they can get some insight into how we work – don’t do it! Please do not waste my time! Send me an email, notecard, Flickr mail.. anything!, and simply explain what you need. I will give you all information you need to open up your own studio and feel free to copy all my infos, terms of service, price range and other things. Its just plain text and I will not be offended or anything, I will rather see it as a compliment and a proof I did a good thing, as I did so far.
Same is if you apply to get new clients for your business, I know how it feels to find yourself standing all alone on the landing point of your newly opened business and thinking how the f*** I get people come here? SL is too big and there are too many clients waiting to get their photos done so simply say you need help with it and we will work from there. Anyone that saw my sheet knows I can give you as many clients as you can take, and try to breathe.
So please don’t waste my time and nerves trying to play “business”. Go straight to the point!
Disclaimer: Second Life Terms of Service allow anyone to capture snapshots of public places and post them around, I did not post the names of the girls from the photo or the name of their new photo studio. Kisses and good luck to both:)