Friday, July 4, 2014

We are all miserable bloody salesmen

Can there be anything more miserable - any occupation so devoid of light and hope as a salesman. It surely has to be the only occupation that sucks the soul right out of the person in the job. It is so soul destroying that it attracts barely minimum wage. Stories about about salesmen making an absolute mint while the reality for the vast majority is of grinding poverty, of several people sharing a room in a tiny house and having to queue for the bathroom and having to pool their money to afford very basic expenses such as rent and food. A penny found lying on the ground is seen as a huge bonus. The poverty and deprivation of most retail workers has to be seen to be believed. Indeed, there was an excellent book about it. Entitled "Nickel and Dimed" it details the misery of the situation.

So why on earth are people so willing to do the salesman's job for no pay? People proudly wander around bearing advertiser's markings. People walk around with maker's labels prominently displayed on their clothing. Their jeans have a huge patch with a maker's logo. Their shoes have maker's tags. Their bags have maker's logos emblazoned upon them. Their cameras have the maker's name in big, bold lettering that can be seen 10 yards away. Their camera straps have logos that can be seen from a distance.

Go into any camera club and the discussion centers around brands and makes and model numbers. The discussion is always of which gadget should be purchased to achieve which effect. The discussion is never of photography but of gadgetry. It reminds me of Feininger's book "The Complete Photographer" in which gadgeteers are thoroughly dismissed as not being photographers. Indeed, photography has become secondary to the conspicuous consumption of expensive camera gear. Instead of discussing how to do things without resorting to buying extra things, the discussion is of which things to buy.

Look at photographic magazines of old where film developers made from household ingredients were discussed and where developing films using items already owned that perform the same functions as existing items are discussed. This do-it-yourself discussion has ended. Nobody does it any more - everybody prefers to buy an expensive manufactured solution.

Why do people prefer to buy an expensive manufactured solution? Because that's all their friends and braggards talk about. The dumb-asses have convinced themselves and everybody around them that this is the only way to go.

What do you mean? There's an alternative? Yes - there sure is! Just as I don't buy clothing that has advertising on it, I don't have to show my camera maker's logos either. There is such a thing as black tape that fits quite nicely over those nasty logos. With clothing, I can simply cut off the advertising patches on my jeans. If somebody wants me to carry their damned advertising then they'd better be paying me. I am not going to walk around like so many cretins do, advertising somebody else's products, being their miserable unwaged salesman.

Much talk is made of what to buy to carry a camera in. There's nothing finer than an old gym bag and the camera wrapped in a towel. Much cheaper than one of the expensive branded camera bags, more versatile and it doesn't scream "this plonker has an expensive camera to steal".

Do yourself a favor and wake up. Every time you parade some company's logo, you're doing their advertising free. Why would you want to do that? They're big enough and have enough money to be paying you to do their advertising! Every time you brag about what you own you're doing the job of the dirty little salesman - free. You're being used by the company. Get out that masking tape and black out those logos. Cut those labels off. Break free from the crowd. Dare I say it to the masses of sheep and lemmings - be an individual.

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