A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to make prints of the photos from our recent family vacation, but the local camera store’s site which I often use wouldn’t upload over half of them. Frustrated, I called the store and asked for help. The man I spoke to was very nice, but said that the site must be acting up and suggested I come into the store and load them directly onto their equipment from my phone.
I drove to the store and asked the young woman behind the counter for directions on using their equipment. She told me bluntly there was no point in doing that, because obviously the files for my photos were corrupted. Which was annoying enough, but the little smirk that accompanied her words made the situation worse. I wondered aloud how some of my photos could be corrupted when others, taken at the same time and with the same phone, seemed to be just fine. She began a long explanation of the many ways photo files can be damaged, but none of them pertained to my situation. When I tried to tell her so, she told me, sharply, not to interrupt her before she was done speaking.
And that was when I realized there was absolutely no point in continuing our conversation. She was not going to admit that the problem could be on their end, and I was not prepared to believe there was anything wrong with the photos that wouldn’t upload to their site. I would have asked to speak to a manager, but I knew that I was very, very close to completely losing my temper and I didn’t want to take my anger out on someone else. So I simply turned away and walked out of the store.
The older I get, the more I believe that simply walking away from confrontations is often the best way. There is rarely any good that comes out of arguing with people who have already made their mind up, or trying to negotiate with those who treat others like idiots. While I will always believe that being in relationship with people who are different from me is a good thing and that the world needs more, not less, communication, I also know that true communication can’t be one-sided. Both parties have to be willing to respectfully engage, which means that there is no point in trying to talk to someone who refuses to listen.
So I went home and logged into the site of a company I’ve used many times to make photo books. And you know what? All of my photos uploaded successfully, even the supposedly “corrupted” ones. I didn’t even have to wait for my prints to be mailed to me, as I was able to pick them up at a local drug store about two hours after I ordered them. I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that wanted to take the prints back to the original store and show them to the rude clerk, saying, “See? I was right!” But I resisted that urge, because I know it would be both petty and pointless. I have my vacation photos, neatly displayed in an album, and that’s good enough for me.