New Toys

20 02 2008

Well I finally made it.  A month now where the money will just keep flowing.  This is the only time of year when I get three big bangs all within 3 months.  Tax returns, Profit Sharing Bonus at work, and Management Bonus at work.  The first wave this year went to pay off my folks for being ever so generous in helping me keep my head above water this fall and winter.  I seem to have this problem of every time it rains it pours.  It spent a LOT of time pouring this winter.  Today it was profit sharing time at work.  I can’t elaborate much but employees of my company get a certain percentage of their gross earnings back each year as a bonus IF the store you work at is profitable.  We were so I got my bonus.  By the time you get to be a manager this bonus can add up to several thousand dollars.  I got Three.

The first grand went to uncle sam.  It seems that you can’t avoid the luxury tax on this type of bonus.  The second thousand has been set aside and earmarked specifically for credit card debt and car related expenses.  The third thousand is MINE.   I didn’t get to spend any money this year on myself or Jirar at Christmas because money was so tight.  Everything I had went to gifts for other people.  No biggie, that happens a lot.  I buy for everyone else before I buy for myself.  This is my turn.

Today I purchased a new camera that I have been looking at now for a few months.  I take a LOT of pictures and after Jirar dropped our Sony Cybershot into Crystal River last summer, its never worked the same so this is the replacement.  It’s a huge step up as far as features and quality and it will NOT be going canoing with us this summer!  We’ll save the Sony for that.  There is a story to this but it’s likely only interesting to me but I’ll post it anyhow.

Like I said, I’ve been looking at this camera now for a few months.  I’ve researched it on-line, I’ve gone to Best Buy and played with it, I’ve asked other photographers I know what they think of it.  Everything I read and everyone I talk with has said this is a great camera.  So today after work, I went to Best Buy to purchase it.  Now, if I were not so damm impatient, I could have purchased this camera on-line and had it shipped to me for less money than what I paid today but I’m impatient.  I went into Best Buy and waited for a sales person to help me.  I waited, and waited, and waited, and…

Clearly Best Buy was not interested in my business.  Multiple employees passed me, not a single one of them asked if I needed help, not one of them appeared to be doing much at all.  Since I’m a sales manager by trade, I never miss an opportunity to test our competition.  My actions were obvious, I made eye contact, gestures etc that would have suggested to any attentive sales person that I was at the very least in need of some help.  I tend to make people work for my business.  I don’t think it’s rude and in fact the residual payoff for YOU the sales person is quite great if you give me the time of day.  Too bad Best Buy, you didn’t and YOU lost a sale today.

I strolled out of the store, got in my car and left.  I headed over to Ritz Photo in the mall.  I had done my research you see and Ritz was the same price as Best Buy.  I didn’t go there initially BECAUSE I HATE THE MALL.  I’ll be going to Ritz now for my photography needs.  I was greeted, asked how I was doing, what I was looking for, etc. etc.  Because I already knew what I wanted the guys there didn’t have to work very hard at all.  They knew I had done my homework and they were eager to help.  I purchased the camera, a new memory card, and a new set of rechargeable batteries and a carrying case.  I also purchased something that I don’t normally purchase.  I got a SERVICE AGREEMENT (EKKKKKSSSSSSS!!!!!!).

I am usually very hesitant to purchase service agreements or extended warranties.  In fact, nearly everything I read about these for digital cameras said DON’T buy them, you won’t use it.  This one is a little different though and it takes into consideration how I use the camera.   This agreement actually covers normal wear and tear from NORMAL AND ABNORMAL USE including UNINTENTIONAL abuse, shock, or trauma!  That means that if I am hiking pyramid point this summer and drop the camera down the 500′ vertical cliff and it comes apart in the sand, I will get a new camera.  I purchased a 2 year plan because in 2 years, I intend to go back to Ritz and purchase a D-SLR camera as I increase my knowledge and skill level as a photographer.  The next step in equipment is the big leagues.  This camera will teach me how to use the manual settings and it will prepare me for the challenges (and big pay-offs) of the professional level D-SLR cameras that I will eventually purchase.  See what I mean about residual pay off?  The sales person at Ritz has a customer who will come back because he took a minute to give a shit about making a sale.

Anyhow, this was a LONG post to not really say much.  Here is a photo take with the new camera and slightly edited in Photoshop.  The detail and closeness of this picture was not possible with my other camera.  There will be plenty more to come and there will be more posted at www.leelanauphotography.com as well.  This is Pooh.