Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Arcade Photographer

Last week I had to take my children to get their passports renewed. Trying to be as efficient as possible, I had their photographs taken at the pharmacy in Manor Park, which offers 1-hour service. To say the least, the photographs were typical of passport photos – fit only for strangers such as Immigration and Customs officials to view in order to ascertain that these are my precious children standing in front of them.

On Thursday afternoon, we wandered through the application process at the Passport office, each step carefully choreographed by some unseen bureaucratic hand to make sure that it did not go too easily – lest we wonder what in the world the government is coming to! We finally presented our applications only to be told that Shane’s photograph had a “shadow” and had to be redone. Again, mindful of being as efficient as possible, and determined to complete the process that day, Shane and I headed next door to retake the photograph at the vendor’s arcade.

What a pleasant surprise! The photographer operates in a tiny cubicle, and is a master of efficiency. A number of passport applicants were there on the same mission. The photographer’s assistant offered us seats and had us enter the cubicle in an orderly fashion. I watched the photographer prepare the other subjects – he patted and wiped their faces, tidied their hair, gently positioned their heads and then took the photo. It struck me how different this was to the “photographer” at the pharmacy who had just asked Victoria and Shane to perch on the stool, snapped the photograph and that was it! The arcade photographer took pride and care in his work. And it showed, for the resulting photograph was MUCH better – one that I would be happy to share, and that truly represents my handsome son. AND, it was ready in less than 10 minutes!

It was a joy to watch the photographer do his job. It is obvious that this man is serious about his profession. Perhaps no-one cares about how a passport photo looks – but this photographer did! How wonderful a world it would be if we all approached our work like this arcade photographer!

From now on, whenever I need passport or visa photographs I will be going to the arcade photographer – and I recommend that you do too!

2 comments:

ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

Interesting comparison re Manor Park and Arcade photographers in terms of professionalim, customer care and service.Interestingly, by virtue of the Arcade photographer's service and professionalism, you have now become a customer for life. So, in that regard Manor Park has lost a customer.Too often,in a society like Jamaica,as a consequence of the institution of slavery and its psychological vestiges, people/workers are predisposed to confuse service with servitude.It is categorically imperative that all Jamaicans, irrespective of ones working capacity understand the significance and importance of customer service. Nuff respect!!

LADY ROOTS said...

Well said, Idren Esteban! Service does not mean servitude! We must learn to take pride in a job well done; no matter what our job may be.
Bless Up,
Lady Roots