I haven't been dealing well with People lately. I know I've told you that I'm a Nice Girl who would never willingly incite a confrontation, but that doesn't mean I don't sit and seethe about you when you're not looking. Or, you know, write about you on my blog.
Last week's Person Whose Eyes I Considered Gouging Out With A Rubber-Coated Spoon was the lovely girl who took Jack's nine month baby pictures at Large Department Store. (Actually, they are ten month baby pictures, because I am lazy.) This was my mother's idea, by the way. She had a coupon! She'd even drive up to SEATTLE! I know!
So I made the appointment for Saturday morning and prayed the nap schedule would cooperate and then my mother called and said she was sick and wouldn't be there to hold the baby and make suggestions and pick out the actual pictures.
That meant Phillip had to go (Phillip: "SUPER.") and off we went. We had Jack's three month baby pictures taken at Large Department Store and it was a fairly decent experienced. A crazy woman, the kind who probably has fourteen cats and a large collection of snow globes, took the pictures and she was pretty good with little babies. She knew what they could and could not do, she got him to smile, she wanted to try all sorts of poses and props and was amazed that we only had one change of clothing. She was not so great at the Front Desk Duties- you know, using the cash register- but I forgave her because really, she was so good with Jack.
That woman was at the Large Department Store Portrait Studio Saturday morning, but she was helping another customer. A girl who looked to be about twelve and also maybe 75 pounds skipped over to me with a little clipboard asking for all my personal pertinent information (WHY DOES HAVING A BABY MEAN EVERYONE HAS TO KNOW MY SHOE SIZE?) and then invited us into the little studio area.
We'll call her Little Girl. Little Girl had obviously been working in the portrait studio for all of forty-five minutes. But sitting at the computer was an older girl who wasted no time ordering us around. Put the baby there. You stand here. You stand there. I'll sit here. She'll take pictures. Don't get in her way. I'm sure you are not surprised to hear that I did not immediately warm up to Snotbrat Girl.
Whatever. She was working on the computer and Little Girl at least knew how to click the button so Phillip and I set to work arranging Jack and attempting to get him to smile for the camera. I'd brought Fat with me (My Mother: "It's Easter! Let's get a picture with a Bunny!") and my one goal for that morning was to get an acceptable picture of Jack and Fat. Quoth Snotbrat Girl, "That's enough with the bunny."
"Um," I said very nicely, "But we would like some pictures with the bunny. I'm not sure we got any good ones."
Snotbrat Girl said, "We're not allowed to use a prop in every picture."
"Well, we're not DONE, are we?" I asked. And she went back to her computer.
So we took a few more with Fat, but I was feeling a little Intimidated. Little Girl brought out a girly looking wicker chair for him to sit in, because she was twelve and had no idea what a ten month old baby would and wouldn't do. Snotbrat Girl turned around and said, "Oh we're not allowed to use that chair with babies," became obviously frustrated with having to do Little Girl's job for her, and TOOK OVER.
That is when she grabbed the clicker and a stuffed animal and started shoving it in Jack's face trying to get him to smile, even though his father was doing a perfectly fine job. Of course my kid started to cry, because THIS LADY IS SCARY and of course that made Snotbrat Girl even more annoyed and by the time I was contemplating bodily harm.
I said, "Why don't I stand there," which she agreed to, lucky for her, because I then did not have to resort to forcibly removing her. She backed out of the baby's personal space and started bellowing for different blocks and chairs and props. She tried to get Jack to keep his hands in his lap or crossed on the bench (Jack's Mom: "HARDY HAR HAR"). I'd ask if we could try a couple more in a certain pose and she'd inform me that we had enough. She had a quota of pictures to fill: collages, close ups, three-quarter whateverness and THAT WAS THAT.
So there were no clothing changes. Only a few with Fat the Bunny. A half-freaked out kid. A murderous mother and a very irritated father. She told us to sit for five minutes and our pictures would be ready.
Twenty minutes later I made Phillip go back there and demand to know what was going on. Especially because Snotbrat Girl had sat down with another customer to help pick out pictures and was giving her the Hard Sell. I don't know about you guys, but I am not a fan of Enhancements and Collages and Sepia and "JACKSON 2007" printed on the picture. I like them plain and boring. I am not at all interested in the hard sell and I was sitting there absolutely enraged about how I was going to have to listen to the Hard Sell from Snotbrat Girl and God help me, I was going to kill her.
You may assume that Phillip was the one playing with Jack the whole time because I was expending all my energy attempting not to burst into expletive-laced flames.
Thank GOD we got to sit down with the crazy cat lady. And thank GOD Phillip's mom called from the airport and said, "I'm here!" even though we thought we were picking her up on SUNDAY, because that allowed me to say, "I just want this one and this one and this one and THAT'S IT."
It still took another hour just to pay for the sitting and the pictures, but I didn't have to deal with Snotbrat Girl again. And when Snotbrat Girl said gaily, "See you for his twelve month shots!" I wasn't even compelled to say, "LIKE HELL YOU WILL!" Or something equally inappropriate.
MOMMY IS SHE GOING TO EAT ME?