August 14, 2006

Things to avoid when you take a job.

#1. That tiny clause at the bottom of the list of job duties that says, "And other tasks as may be assigned."

I had no sooner punched "Publish" on that last post than the phone rang with my megaboss on the other end, obviously on a cell phone, obviously a long way away, "Are you any good with the digital camera?"

"You mean like for shooting porn, or what?"

I didn't really say that.

"Well, I suppose I can do well enough."

"Oh, that was really more of a rhetorical question."


Seems he's supposed to be giving a PowerPoint presentation somewhere over in the Sportsman's Paradise of Louisiana (a great waste, seeing as he's not a sportsman), and in the course of assembling his lecture, found that the photos he thought were on his flash drive, weren't. So he wanted me to drop what I was doing--if I wasn't too busy--and go take some photos of one of our local hospitals.

Like what am I gonna say?! "Um, sorry, but although I'm pretty good with the camera, I have ALL these stupid meeting minutes to type up, and I haven't had my afternoon Diet Coke."

No, we can't say that.

We stop, drop, and roll.

Or duck and cover.

Or something. But we don't tell the megaboss we can't.

So, what he needed was a shot of the front of the building, crafted all artsy-fartsily with the nice huge fountain a'spraying everywhere. Next, a shot from up on the Red Mountain Expressway pointed back toward downtown so you could see both the hospital and the old historic Sloss Furnace in the background and the lack of blighting billboards. (Which are scattered everywhere ELSE in town.) Then a nice shot inside the chapel of the hospital, if I could manage it--THIS would be the icing on the cake. Or, as he put it, the cherry on the cake.

SO, he gave me his cell number, told me to e-mail the photos, and that he'd gladly reimburse me for the cost of parking.


Thank heavens I still had my camera in the car from the previous week's kitten-shots. We have a giant expensive digital camera on the floor, but I never know where it is, or if my smallboss has torn it up.

First, the shot of Expressway, then. Round and round I drive, trying to find the one exact spot where you can see everything. It happens to be the short section on Highland Avenue with the pretty iron fence and pretty plants and shards of broken bottles of Mad Dog. Took forever to find it--I kept thinking if I went up through all those crazy dead end streets around where the old apartment buildings are that I'd be able to get a better shot.


Anyway, got my shot there on Highland, and went on to the hospital.



Seems that the fountain had a boo-boo, and had been completely drained, and had a small track-hoe sitting beside it. I figured that probably wasn't the ambience he was looking for.

Zipped around to the backside and came back around to the parking deck. Ran inside, here's the church, here's the steeple, open the door loudly and HERE'S THE PEOPLE! Oops. Hadn't considered that there might be something going on at 4 in the afternoon, but there was. So I turned off the flash and tried to take some pictures through the glass in the door. Which later I found out looked not good.

Back out, snapped a photo of the corridor, which also had some stained glass in it as a directional thing to get you to the chapel, ran outside, melted, took a shot of the OUTside of the chapel area, found my car, left, paid a buck, and came back here to sort through what I'd done and see if I could steal some images off the Internet of the shots I couldn't get.

I couldn't. They were all pretty muddy and small, so I just formatted what I had, and sent those along to him. But not before falling victim AGAIN to the pernicious Adobe bug that affects our computers. Was going to look at one of the hospital's marketing things to see if it had a usable photo, and before I realized it, I'd clicked on a .pdf. EEEEKKK! BAD MOJO! It chugged for a second or two, and then the screen went blank.

Bzzooooh. Blip.


Redid my e-mail, reattached the proper photos, sent it along to him, left him a message on his cell phone, and now I am now going to go home.

So there.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 14, 2006 06:16 PM

What? Take photos of hospitals? Lucky you didn't end up under arrest. Down here, they just banned anyone taking photos of public infrastructure.

Posted by: kitchen hand at August 15, 2006 12:53 AM

Well, there ARE some perks to working for the local band of revenooers. If you look neat and clean and have an ID badge, you can pretty much go anywhere you want to. It's a corollary to one of my Rules of Architecture, i.e., "Put on a hardhat and carry a clipboard, and you can go anywhere."

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 15, 2006 08:02 AM

Oh boy, a fieldtrip!

Posted by: Nate at August 15, 2006 08:05 AM

It is nice to get out of the orifice, but it would have been nice to have had a bit of advance notice, as well as been a bit earlier in the day.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 15, 2006 08:15 AM

We've got TONS of photos of hospitals here I could send you. Does Mr. Megaboss care if they are hospitals on Long Island instead of B'ham?

Posted by: skinnydan at August 15, 2006 08:34 AM

Unfortunately, this one requires local context.

Although, depending on your Photoshop skilz, you might be able to fit in a couple of big pickups with gun racks in the parking lot and he might not ever know the difference.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 15, 2006 08:41 AM

The pickups are a good idea. Gun racks don't look right on the usual vehicles around here. Minivans and a number of expensive european cars.

Posted by: skinnydan at August 15, 2006 09:30 AM

How odd--we have them on minivans and European cars around here.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 15, 2006 09:34 AM

That's largely because you folks aren't weenies.

Posted by: skinnydan at August 16, 2006 08:11 AM

Not yet anyway. But the scourge of creeping weenieism continues. One day we'll be all classy and sophisticated and erudite and snooty, and then where will all the fun be!?

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 16, 2006 08:25 AM