People Studies

The last 2 weeks have been a little hectic, as I’m sure I mentioned in the other posts. With moving, starting to work full-time while also receiving a lot of guests including my best friend and her boyfriend for a week, I’m enjoying my first day off today. Well, not really because around noon, some of my other future flatmates are moving in as well which means a lot of cleaning and tidying up to do before they arrive. I dreamt I had 2 cats who did all the cleaning… I wish it were true.

Anyway, rather than just keeping up the diary of a young housewife, I thought I’d tell you a little about my job, and how it’s all going! I’ve met some colourful characters, I’ve met some very VERY rude people, but I’ll tell you all in good time.

First of, I’ve now changed my job location to the Edinburgh Castle. I still do the same work, only it’s much harder… Rather than having people lining up to get in so you can take their picture, we have to seek people out, convince them we’re not stalkers, make them sure of it that the photo’s are completely optional to buy BUT keeping in mind that we do have to convince them to buy their photo. Also, no matter where you walk, it’s uphill and it’s on cobbles. I found out that this site is Magic Memories worst

performing site, but that that doesn’t really matter apparently because my manager is still looking to hire lots of people.

If you’re looking to read about the people I met, scroll down to the more fun part of the job

 So the job contains 3 main things to do.

  1. Every employee has to spend at least 30 minutes on camera. There’s a rotation system so that the pictures taken are at the selling point before the visitors get there. On an average day of work, you’ll spend around 1,5 hours on camera. This is my favorite bit because you get to meet people.
  2. When coming off camera, you’ll print the photo’s you took and pack them into photobooks. We have to make sure they are all in the right order, otherwise our filing system goes belly up. This is a nice relaxing job as it’s really just a repeating movement, making sure not to use lots of different people’s photo’s in one pack 😉
  3. The 3rd bit can be seen in 2 ways. Some of my co-workers see it as repetitive, mindless and disrespectful work (not from the companies point but from the customers point).  Others see it as time off as you really only have to smile and shout out the same thing over and over and over again. Basically, we stand in front of our photo-hut and ask people if we’ve taken their photo today or if they have any reference numbers. That is literally what we say: “Hey guys, did we take your photo today?” or “Heya, do you have a reference number for a photo?”. There’s a couple of reactions I’ve come across so far which I’m very happy to share with you here:
The most common and first reaction of people, mainly non-English speaking visitors is to look at you a little bit scared because you addressed them so directly. Then, they ignore you’re entire being and walk away.
The second most common reaction is people, probably also not too fluid in English, who think it is our job to wish them a good day, so they just nod and go “good bye”. I think this place is shared with people thinking we’re either offering to take their pictures now with their camera, or people thinking we want to take their pictures now.
From the reactions above, we can mostly immediately tell that no, we didn’t take your picture today and you do not have a reference number.
The last reaction is the reaction we’re looking for: A slight hint of recognition in the face, grasping their pockets for a ticket on which we wrote their reference number, or anything like that. From there on it’s really just a matter of getting them to look at the pictures. “Hey guys, want to have a look at your picture? It’s right here, ready for you. Can you tell me your reference number? Great, so I’ll just show you what you’d be getting…”
I know it sounds simple but smiling all day, trotting uphill, talking to people who really have no clue what you’re saying, can be a little tiring. Also, my feet hurt. All the time.

But now for the more fun part of the job:

So sure, I’ve taken pictures of lots of people now, including, yes, famous people…

Sad thing is, I mostly don’t really know they are famous until the photo’s are printed and my co-workers shout out in jealousy and ask if I got to talk to them…. Yes I did, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking at the photo would you? 😛

So this on your right is David O’Doherty, an Irish comedian, performing at the Fringe Festival I assume. Apparently he’s famous or at least well known because my Irish co-worker went crazy. He was running around, extremely happy, shouting, etc… I didn’t really know what he was on about because the reason I was excited was because of the girl second from the right. She plays Mel in Flight of the Conchords, and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it, but she is exactly like that in real life. But she had a limp so I assumed she bumped her knee or something (she had a big scrape on it).

I feel really bad because I don’t know the other two people in the picture, but let’s assume they’re all famous and great and let’s laugh about it like its all normal and cool. I was bloody excited, although I probably shouldn’t be considering my chosen career path (check the ABOUT ME)

Sorry, I got a little side tracked there, looking at YouTube: funny videos everywhere! And, wow, the internet spell check has gone picky! I tried spelling YouTube without capitals and it went all red squiggly lines on me!

Anyways, to be honest, this post is getting pretty long. There’s a couple more people I met that were quite interesting. Some very pretty people, extremely indecisive people, people who did not want the picture of their children taken due to government issues, people who wouldn’t let me take their picture unless I told them an interesting thing about myself that they could use in THEIR show (really). There were very foreign people, foreign sounding people who turned out to just be Geordie, tall people, small people, rude people, friendly people, all sorts of people. If any questions on these people, just post them in the comments!

So that’s all from me again,

Lots of Love,

Eva D.


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