Thursday, December 06, 2007

Seething (I HATE SEARS) Rant

So...it didn't go well. Not at all. The amount of time and energy required to get a baby/infant/toddler/child to a photo place is ridiculous. The trying on of outfits, the washing of outfits, the ironing, the planning of the bath so there is no bead head, the dressing the kid at the photo studio at the last minute so they don't get their nice clothes all dirty, packing of snacks and distractions and treats for bribery, making sure you get the hair bow in before she notices, the planning of the appointment at the best possible time of day to avoid sleepy/crabby/crying looking photos, arriving on time with a child in a good mood....

Our appointment was the first of the day at 9 a.m. (smart! They won't be behind at the start of the day!) It was with a specific photographer (Sam) who does a very good job--very professional and artsy and not the usual tackified ones. We arrived at the mall at 8:30. I planned to let Becca run around a while, then get her dressed and ready to go so the pictures could start in a relaxed manner right at 9:00. One problem. The sign on the door at Sears says they don't open until 9:30.

I got our coats back on and pushed my protesting, squalling child back outdoors to walk in the cold around the entire building looking for a separate Photo Studio entrance. There was none. All doors were locked.

I called the toll-free nationwide Sears Portrait Studio line. They weren't open yet. We went back inside the mall and stood around bitching with other mothers who have appointments as well (and...also...how did they think they were going to photograph three separate families in the space of 30 minutes?)

We ended up in the mall for AN HOUR waiting for the gates to roll up on Sears at 9:30. Another mother and I banged and banged on the metal gate, yelling inside. We heard the sales ladies start whispering. There were totally avoiding us. I felt my blood pressure rise and rise and my level of anger reached Code Red.

Becca was crawling on the floor, I was frantically trying to brush the dirt off her clean and ironed dress. I was calling the local Portrait Studio and NO ONE was answering. Becca kept running off down the hall, shrieking gleefully while I ran after her, cell phone dangling from my ear as I was ON HOLD with the Sears national appointment line. "Oh, I'm sorry. You'll have to call Customer Service," the national appointment person told me. "No. I can't connect you." I didn't have a pen. I hung up on them.

Finally, finally, the doors opened at 9:30. The other mother and I rushed into the Portrait Studio....only to find four other mothers in line in front of us. Huh? WTF? Then, some other mother came out of the photograph room with her baby. EXCUSE ME? I KNOW I had the first appointment of the day.

"Oh. You have to go in through the Shipping and Receiving Loading Dock," the sales lady snottily told me. I was fuming. I really think you could see my brain frizzling with rage as it threatened to pour out my ears like blackened scrambled eggs. "Why do you make appointments before the store is open?" I asked. "Oh. The national line just does that for some reason," she answered. "I didn't call the national line, I called THIS store directly to request Sam," I angrily, but calmly explained. "Well, I don't know," she said. "Maybe you should TELL PEOPLE how to GET IN THE FUCKING STORE next time," I snapped. (well, minus the fucking part.)

"Oh, also, Sam didn't come to work today. Would you like to sit and wait for a while?" I looked around at the 10 other children and 6 other fuming mothers and fled. I will never, EVER go back there again. Ever. I don't care how good Sam is. I will settle for a more mediocre photographer at Picture People, because at least they OPEN THEIR DOORS when people have appointments.


I took my own photos, because if I go to the trouble of getting out the iron, we're going to have a photo to show for it!

15 comments:

Jamie said...

Oh shit... I would have been so pissed that it would have been impossible to control what came out of my mouth.

marthamydear said...

UGH! Sorry that you weren't able to get your pretty photos. I will, however, make a recommendation that has worked well for us. We hired a college student who wants to be a professional photographer to take photos of Maclain at our house. It might be worth a call to the local colleges to see if there are any recommendations for a wannabe professional photographer. It went so well at home, plus we also got a good family photo, too!

Katie said...

Martha, that is a really awesome idea! I never would have thought of that! Did they just give you a CD of the photos?

Angie said...

The college student thing would probably be pretty good. Or find someone private and local. Right after Ashlyn was born I bought the smile savers thing with sears, thinking I could just go any time I wanted and it wouldn't even matter if they weren't good. The one time we went the experience was terrible and the picture quality is just not great. I felt like I could take better pictures myself. Of course, that was when she was just a baby and it didn't take anything to make her smile. Now, I need help.

marthamydear said...

Since we knew the student pretty well, he gave us a CD of the photos but after we had bought some prints from him. He did touch them up in Photoshop, cropped them, etc. It was nice because he was willing to try and get the shots I wanted, plus there were things he wanted to try since he had never taken photos of a kid before. They may not want to give up copyright on the photos, esp. if they want to use them in a portfolio. (Which is why they might not give you a CD of the photos) I figured the price of the prints was worth the effort he made to take out the goose egg Maclain got on his forehead the day before!

Tracy said...

If I had my camera, I could take them for you :(

Joanna said...

I feel my blood boiling for you! Why didn't they answer the phone? The only professional pictures we've done were through the photo place by the commissary at Ft. Bragg. The last time we did it was April 2003. I was going to suggest having Tracy do your pictures. Where's her camera? Or I bet you could do them yourself - you do take really good pictures of Becca. And I also love the idea of a college student!

bevo said...

Love the photos of Becca and Canyon! Great job - I'm going to print one and frame it! Sears can't compete!

Joel and Angela said...

I am so sorry!! I would have been so pissed! But I must say that Becca did look nice in her nicely ironed dress! And I loved Martha's comment on the college kid! What a great idea!

Jen said...

I hate getting professional photos! They are horrible to prepare for. I'm sorry your experience was so terrible! But you did get some cute ones on your own, and she looks like Becca in them.

Swistle said...

I hate Sears. We went there for years, and I had a bad experience Every! Single! Time! WHY OH WHY did I keep going? It's because the JCP studio in our mall LOOKS cramped and crowded, and their prices were lower, so I thought they were worse. But finally I tried them, and now I am happy Every! Single! Time! There are still the absolutely unavoidable awful parts about getting a child's picture taken (I HATE IT), but the pictures are always great, and I always love the photographer. They also have good coupons online ($2.99 or $3.99 a sheet INCLUDING 10x13s, $7.99 or $9.99 for a package). Hi, I'm Swistle and I don't work for JC Penney!

Marie Green said...

EVERY. TIME. I. GO. TO. SEARS. I. LEAVE. PISSED.

But? There are no other good alternatives in the area that don't cost a fortune (which I'm willing to shell out for occasionally, but sometimes just want a quick cheap package, ya know?)

I hear you!

Anonymous said...

Sears sucks -- there's no doubt about it. My parents purchased a new Kenmore washing machine from them in March, it broke down in April, they refused to give them a new machine and it took them several weeks to order the part. Imagine -- a new thousand dollar machine sitting in the utility room while we are having to take our clothes to a filthy old laundry mat. Our local store manager told my dad that my mom washed too often and that caused the problem -- (she washes twice a week at the most). The CEO and all managers at Sears need a good old fashioned country ass kicking! I hope these sorry bastards drop dead!

Anonymous said...

Try working there. Trust me it sucks just as much to be the photographer as it does for the customer. First of all the sales lady handled it all wrong, but you can gaurantee that she was seething when the online appointment scheduler (which does pull this crap) triple booked her morning before they opened, and then also had the wrong time for you who called in.

It is a very smart idea to book early morning because as I told one particularly smarmy mother, I've been here 9 hours, now I know that is not your fault, but please have a little consideration that a flash bulb and screaming is all I've heard for 9 HOURS!!! While we love taking pictures it's not a dream boat job.

Now those packages, oh those coupons how marketing loves them. Those coupons are awesome if you are the customer, you've just told me my time is worth 1/2 what I make an hour...thank you....but guess what you leave happy spending 10 dollars, but I will now be chewed out EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK bright and early about how we have to keep you from using those.

If you hate it so much work there. I'm not kidding. Sometimes just seeing other side is perspective on how it's not just you that has it rough.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm Perhaphs you should try working there... I'm sure that photographer was pretty much stressed to know she was tripple booked at 9 a.m all because company policy is to tripple book every half hour plus take walk-ins or shoot every 15 minutes... CPI is not a all that great we are force to take ur pictures in 25 miniutes enhance them in 5 minutes and have you out oh there in 30 .. so we should only have you around for an hour... i know it's not fair for you as a customer but it also not fair for us employers sometimes we go through 10 hours shifts with no break.. that 10 dollar coupon yes makes you happy but for us we have to listen for an entire week hour managers our distric manager why did we let that happen .. if we get to many of those what happens we are fired.. It's not all that great so it would be nice if you were a little more considerate about those employees... Ex- associate..