How Weird Will It Get?

February 2022: Buying film stock, Toronto CA

Practicing analogue photography is filled with unknown obstacles, pleasant surprises and most often the only guide is providence. It does require more of an effort which I enjoy since it's a chance to slow down and focus on the unseen that is right in front of my face, with providence as my chosen advisor.

As promised, let me tell you what happened when I ordered a film container and a roll of film online for pickup.

Shortly after I came out of the subway, a piercingly cold wind kept lashing me for the entire walk to the store; I should have realized it was presaging a bizarre encounter. There was no wind when I left the house one hour prior. If I were the reader, I would think this stuff is made-up. If I were paranoid, I would think a poltergeist was trying to stop me from practicing analogue photography.

Upon arrival I had to wait outside without being acknowledged when another customer (who had reached at the same time) was taken inside. So I knocked on the window multiple times (as they had instructed, for those of us without a cellphone) while seeing staff inside ignore the sound. By now a line was forming with several customers calling, trying to reach one of the staff inside. Maybe they have only one incoming line?

I'm not sure why they were having us line up outside, when covid restrictions were no longer mandated, but then letting others in. Seems someone buying thousand-dollar digital equipment receives privileged treatment, as usual.

Anyway I moved to knocking on the door and the same staff member came to the entrance, but not to inquire how he could assist a customer, but by letting me know I can't be blocking the door. I'm capable of seeing through a glass door and moving out of the way to avoid a collision.

This is not the first, second or even third, time I've had disrespectful service at this store. I can no longer acquiesce to this level of unprofessionalism just to support local or to "be nice". It may be more comfortable to go along with (unsolicited) suggestions on what to do/say than risk being labeled (or worst, attacked) when someone disagrees with you - probably because it doesn't fit their agenda or it's their habit to be disagreeable - but I will not be shopping there again.

This incident could have been avoided if I had the order delivered (close to twice the cost of the total) but that would've been too much money and garbage packaging. However from now on, I'll purchase my analogue supplies online from an international retailer that has exactly what I need, with free delivery, and do my best to recycle packaging.

Oh yeah, I got my order, only after repeating my name a couple of times - I don't know how Christina Shivcharan can sound like Steve (⊙ _ ⊙)

contented as poor sparrows,

Contented Birdspng