I went up to Sundance to meet with Suzanne, the woman who does purchasing for the store up there, with some of my photography. However, I didn’t have the slightest clue what I needed in order to do this. So, stupid me went up with one—yes one—framed photo and a whole lot of nothing else.
Well, as I stood in Suzanne’s small office and she began to talk, I was suddenly thinking about my sixth grade Math class. More specifically, I was thinking about those students who sit there with these blank looks on their faces which tell me that they have absolutely no idea what it is I am talking about.
This was me. I had no clue what this woman meant as she went on about wholesale vs. retail and a bunch of Greek about consignment and going rate. She then went on to talk about portfolios and artist stories…In a word, I was completely lost. It probably hadn’t helped matters that I had a screaming migraine which was threatening to blow my head apart right on the spot.
As Suzanne took some of her time to explain what I should have had ready for our appointment, I suddenly found myself on ‘overload’ and my brain cells were starting to shut down. She was speaking this foreign language and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. At one point, I glanced at a chart on the wall behind her, and Suzanne, the office, and the reason I was there just drifted away. Her mouth was still moving…there was even sound. However, this sound was a million miles away as I remembered my poster for my Young Men’s awards which hung on my bedroom wall in
“Whoa there Zimmerman!” a voice seemed to chime in my head. “Why aren’t you paying attention to what this woman is telling you?”
I drug myself back to the present and listened as she went on and finally had to concede: “Look, Suzanne…I’m stupid, I have no idea about anything you just said.” I then went on to admit that I had a headache and she had said a lot of things I didn’t understand right off.
She blew out a breath and said, “Jason, you’re starting to give your headache to me.” She then gave me a homework assignment…to go and check out what other photographers had done, get pricings, and come back when I was good and ready…ready to commit to the world of business.
I just looked at her and said, “Are you even interested in the photography I have?” I asked.
Suzanne just looked at me and gave the fleeting hint of a smile. “I’m still talking to you, aren’t I?”
I left the office a bit dejected and REALLY confused. Well, luckily I had taken my sister, Shawna, up with me. As we left the office she began to explain to me what Suzanne had said, we then looked at an example up at the art gallery behind the store of an “author story and bio.” Well, it started to make a whole lot of sense and I realized that I had gone up completely unprepared, expecting Suzanne to do most of the legwork and not me.
So, what did I learn from this? Well, it is to do my “homework” beforehand and have things prepared out in advance. It is true that there is never a second chance at making a good first impression, however, we can be grateful for second chances and for those who make us do it right…sometimes by giving us a little helpful advice and then letting us do it on our own.
Well, I’ve still got homework…