Photographer is a customer; But this customer is no longer king.
Dear Hoteliers, Resorts and to whomsoever this may concern
With five years of experience, I have managed to learn how to handle most daily situations encountered as a photographer at SplendidFotos and NitinGuptaPhotoworks
At the beginning, I would react more, starting stupid, endless and useless fights. But with time, I have learned the art to be self-controlled and self- contained and at peace with myself, especially during every wedding projects. Thankfully, my camera kits and gears never got stolen or broken and I never got insulted or beat-up.
But just in the last six months, I have managed to stumble twice into incomprehensible situations, in Delhi – NCR. For your information, during both of these events, I was the official photographer and a guest to one of the wedding events. That these places are one of the finest of all times and the reasons for every celebrations nowadays. Sadly, mine were never special nor shall be –
The First Experience
During a wedding event at Mahagun Sarovar Portico (owned by Mahagun) – This manager in charge of the valet parking refused our car to be parked in the hotel premises, let alone the comfort of valet service. Why, because the car belonged to a team of photographers. It seems like all the staff were given special training on how to ridicule the photographer’s team and not to welcome them as any other guest (if not customers). Within a minute, we were showed our way to the exit and to park our vehicle in Mall Parking. We confirmed to be one of the invited guest as well the official photographer’s – they paid no heed.
Well, I politely ended the conversation and left the venue and went to mall parking lot. #SuchIsPhotographerLife
– Sadly, the experienced staff has no courtesy in their behavior.
The Second Experience
Post we wrapped up our today’s shoot at Shangri La – Eros, New Delhi, I was in a hurry to pack my camera equipment and gears. To be precise it took me hardly a minute to completely pack my bag. But then, #SuchIsPhotographerLife – That this staff on duty, almost shoved me off my place (Thankfully, no damage to the equipment) and asked me to leave. I decided to stay calm and seek permission of approx. 1 min to zip my bag and that off, I go.
Much to my amusement, this man – who is part of a world class customer service hotels and resort has no ethics whatsoever nor does he has the sense of customer service. As arrogant that you can think him to be, he was. He had the audacity to question my presence in the hotels’ premises and that he fails to understand that every person in the premises of the hotel is supposed to be treated as a guest if not customer. #ShameOnYourService
The first time, I decided to laugh at the situation and ignore it. But being honest, the second time has been rough on me.
It’s not first time that someone said something about my status or said strong things about me being a photographer. I just feel sorry for them and will carry on, eventually. And for one bad interaction, I often experience a thousand great interactions with welcoming, cheerful and supportive people – but they make no effects.
Having said that, Every staff in your restaurants, bars and hotels and resorts are somehow your own brand ambassador. How they behave speaks a lot about you brand.
Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities, will not just ruin your image in the market but will eventually make people hate coming to you as well. It’s time, every service industry pay heed to such experience and educate their well dressed, amiable looking yet egotistic staff about customer service.
I believe that in both cases, those people did not see the harm in what they said and did. Unfortunately!!