Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Can't Satisfy Everyone

Over the past few months of teaching, I've learned a lot about working with people.  The number one thing is, "You can't satisfy everyone."

After a great teaching session with lots of people participating and coming up to tell me how much they enjoyed the lesson, I usually go home pretty happy.  I'd tell my wife what a great group of people I had taught that day and figured that most of them went home pretty satisfied as well.

Apparently not everyone feels the same way though.  On a couple of occasions, I've had people comment on an online review site indicating they didn't like the class.  That's to be expected I suppose as you can't please everyone.  Usually it is done by people who might have a little more photography experience than the rest of the class and expect that I'll be teaching to their level... but the class they signed up for is a beginning intro to photography class and I have to teach to the vast majority of the students there.  While they have a right to say what they please, the hard thing to accept though is when things are taken out of context and written on a public forum which influences others to either sign up for classes or not without the ability to rebut the comments so that those reading will have the full story.

For instance, one student wrote how I took so much time to get started and spent a half hour showing a diagram of my office space.  While it is true that I often take time to get started and that I do show a diagram of the 14th floor space on the overhead projector (I do it at every class really), it's done so that those who come in late can have the opportunity to not miss the most important beginning instructions that will be needed to understand the class for the entire six hours.  And, the diagram of the office is shown so that people can find the washrooms on the office floor in relation to the office space I have rented.  I do mention how in a short time, I was able to go from a small space to the largest on the floor with thanks to those who purchased my online class deals, but I guess I won't be doing that any more as it could be misconstrued.  The motivation here is a bit different reason than what is insinuated on in the online review, don't you think?

As for the comment on showing a Groupon deal during class... that's true.  But it was done because we were discussing the Groupon deals that everyone had purchased and others mentioned the deal going on and so we checked it so others in class knew what was being talked about.  That happened before the class began.  Again, taken out of context.

Another comment said that I spent time trying to sell my used equipment.  Actually, I don't have any used equipment to sell.  And yet another comment said I was pushing a friend's filters.  Well, actually, I was showing a recommended flash diffuser by Gary Fong called the Puffer which is commercially available and works well for those with pop-up flashes.  Is Gary Fong my friend?  Well he knows me and I know him, we are both Asian, but that's about the extent of it.  We are both former wedding photographers.  He lives in Canada, and I'm here in the US.  Am I helping him sell his product?  I suppose you could say that since I'm telling people that there are some products that could help their photography.  It all depends on how you look at things.  Do I benefit from his sales... no, not at all.  Does he need my help?  No... he makes hundreds of thousands of dollars worldwide on his sales already.  I don't think the few items that might be sold because I recommended them will make a dent in his overall marketing of his products.

Another comment said I was trying to figure out what to say.  Absolutely.  I have 6 hours to teach and so I reference my outline constantly to make sure everyone gets every bit of information I want covered in that 6 hours.  Struggling to figure out what to say?  I don't think so.  Making sure people get their money's worth?  Absolutely.

The whole point here is, "You can't satisfy everyone."  And, you can't believe everything that you read on a public review site either.  Where you try to do your best with the best of intentions, there's always someone who thinks you aren't doing enough or not doing it right.  Public forums like online review sites are ok, but they don't give the merchant the ability to tell his side of the story.  It's very one-sided.  So when someone writes a negative review like this, it's just hurtful.  Whereas a reviewer might justify his reasons for writing a negative review as "trying to help others," I can't help but think it is most likely being written to try to ruin someone else's business.  That's not helpful... that's just being vindictive.

I remember the person who wrote that review.  He left the class early.  Right after he left, several people in the class said, "Good Riddance!  He was disruptive anyway!"   That says a lot, don't you think?

While I might not be able to comment on the review site to set the record straight, I suppose I have my blog to use to do a rebuttal....   :)

10/05/11 Edit Note: One of the other students who was in the same class that the reviewer was in came back this week to take the Workflow Seminar.  She mentioned that she hoped that the rude disruptive person who had been sitting next to her was not going to be in the class.  Sure enough, she was in the very class he had been in.  I mentioned to her about the bad review and she could not believe it.  Basically backing up everything that I wrote here on this blog post, she said his review was definitely WRONG and inaccurate.  It's nice to know that it's not just me thinking his review was incorrect.  She backed me up and said I'm right in this account... not the reviewer.  Thank you!  :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Russians Listen To My Music

I have several songs that I recorded over the years uploaded to a separate website for people to listen to.  Check them out on the far right side of this blog to find a link.

Interestingly, after checking my site statistics, I find that most of the people checking out the songs I recorded are all from Russia!  The one song that they seem to check out most is called "I Could Fall In Love With You" which is a song originally done by Selena.  I recorded a cover of it as a guitar instrumental and apparently the people in Russia have found it and listen to it quite a bit now.

Perhaps there's another song with a similar name that is now popular in Russia and so when they do a Google search for the song, they end up at my site instead.  Who knows.  But it's rather interesting that people so far away are listening to my recording when the people closer here in the United States are not.

Check it out for yourself and see if you like it...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Salmon Are Not Native To The Great Lakes

A common thing I get from people who find out that I like to fish for Salmon out of Lake Michigan is, "I didn't know Salmon was in Lake Michigan!"

Well, it isn't.  It is stocked into Lake Michigan.  The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) stocks them in and we rip them right out!  :)

Our fishing license allows us to fish for the year and we also pay a "Salmon Stamp" fee as well which helps to fund the Salmon stocking program.  From what I'm told, areas like Kenosha, Wisconsin and Racine, Wisconsin stock more Salmon than Waukegan, IL.  For years I've been saying, "Next year, I'm going to get myself a Wisconsin license and go up there to fish!"  But each year, something comes up and I just have not had the opportunity of time to do it!

This year, all of the new students coming in to take photography lessons have kept me from doing it.  No real regrets as I really enjoy teaching.  But there are days I long to get out there to do a little fishing but just can't find the time to do it!

I have yet to catch a Salmon from the piers.  No problem doing it from a boat though.  Still, I like getting out there and enjoy seeing the sunrise and sunset from the water... even if I don't catch anything.  Maybe next year....

(image borrowed from the internet)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


My flag is flying today.

How about yours?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9-11-01 - We Will Never Forget

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

Everyone was affected by this terrible event.  I recall specifically where I was and how I learned about the attacks.  To this day, it brings a tear to my eye when I think about it.  We will never forget....

God bless those who serve our country in the pursuit of freedom.

Friday, September 09, 2011


I got this from my niece's Facebook link.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Lake Geneva - HDR

Here are some HDR images taken with 5 handheld exposures each.  Images were shot on 9-04-11 with a Nikon D3 and Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens.  Be sure to click on each image for a closer look.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Update on the Knee Brace

Well, I wore the knee brace for about 3 days and stopped wearing it.  I had developed an allergic reaction to the straps!

I'm not sure what the straps are made of, but it looks like some kind of neoprene material around the outer edges of the strap padding.  That's the areas that my skin was reacting to.  So, off came the brace and electrical stuff!

I waited all this time and just started to wear the brace again today after being shipped a Lycra "sleeve" which could be worn under the brace to shield my skin from the straps.  Hopefully this will help.  And, I don't need to wear the electrical components during the day either now.  I was sent a "Night Wrap" which allows the electrodes to be attached to and then I can wear that while I sleep.  While it might be a hassle wearing this on my leg all night long, at least I won't need to mess with the electrical device during the day.

I'll report back once I've had a chance to wear this new configuration for a while.  Right now, my knee actually feels just fine.  But several weeks ago, it was another story... totally in pain then with every step.  Today, you wouldn't know I had a knee problem.  I don't attribute that to the brace or anything though.  I think it just naturally got  better.  Time will tell if the brace and electrical stimulus will really do the job.