Don’t people know how to say thanks anymore? Courtesy seems to be a thing of the past. It’s common practice on Social Media these days to dish out a “like” or “favorite” instead of spelling out one’s gratitude in a tweet or Facebook reply.
The same applies for a gracious e-mail sent by someone in good faith, and the recipient’s not acknowledging the sender for his kindness and thoughtfulness by at least saying “thanks.”
I’m not a disciple of Emily Post; however, my folks taught me to be courteous, kind and obedient, while the Boy Scouts took care of thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Thankfulness was a given, practiced at an early age. Graciousness is something I learned along the way.
Manners are another virtue instilled by my parents, something I passed on to my son as well, like keeping your elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed, and say thanks for the little things.
What got me on this rant is an encounter yesterday with an individual who said, “You should take a picture of the windshield on my boat. You’ll never forget it.”
While standing on the landing atop a ramp that went down to a small dock alongside the boat access, I had been taking pictures of the Delair and Betsy Ross Bridges, the Delaware River and the distant skyline of Philadelphia.
What could possibly be so phenomenal about his bass boat’s windshield, I thought, that should make me venture on down there to photograph it?
Being that gracious individual mentioned previously, I descended the ramp, walked aboard the craft and took a photo of the small, curved, cockpit-like, black-tinted windshield with his name embossed upon it. With the size of the broad, white lettering and image of a large fish, I imagined he would have to look over it to see anything while driving.
We talked for a bit. After learning his life story, I departed, but not before taking down his e-mail and offering to send him a copy of the photo. It wasn’t anything with which I was particularly impressed, yet figured he would appreciate having the picture.
The shot from above was taken as I was leaving the boat access. He was waiting for the tide to come in so he could load up the vessel onto its trailer.
Upon my return home from spending the next several hours in Camden, NJ, taking photos at the waterfront, I went through the 672 photographs taken, sorting through them all to keep only 53, 3 of which were of my new acquaintance.
I e-mailed the photos as promised, but have yet to hear anything back from him, which inspired my long-winded diatribe.
Normally, something like this wouldn’t cause such a stir in my emotions. The fact is that it has occurred three times recently, all having to do with e-mailing photos to a person who asked for their picture to be taken in the first place; and not receiving a single reply with at least a thank-you. That’s what got my goat!
The first instance was of a young woman in a bikini, such a sweet gal. I didn’t have to think twice and was happy to take her photo. Promptly sending the three I took after processing the many of the day, I never received a reply back.
The second set of photographs was of an aging hippy with a flower in her hat. She had three small, yapping mongrels on leashes who looked like they wanted to chew on my ankles. Likewise, I forwarded those shots to her after acquiring the woman’s Facebook handle earlier, posting them to the Web site’s inbox without nary a thank-you.
“Well maybe they didn’t get the photographs,” you might be saying.
“That’s poppycock,” I say, “not three times in a row.”
Perhaps they thought I had ulterior motives, but why give me a correct e-mail address? The photos would have been bounced back if fake. The Facebook account given was real. I recognized the hat with the flower on her profile. This is really gnawing away at my self-esteem as a photographer and human being.
All right, I feel better now. Thanks for allowing me this opportunity to vent. As always, muchas gracias for your continued support.