Friday, September 18, 2009
Pissed Off Pato
Okay, so several months back I drew a cartoon of a messy pig to illustrate how gross it was to work at a caricature stand after a messy person. I posted this drawing on a private company blog and it too on a life of it's own. The powers that be ended up creating a few other animal toons as well. But my favorite of the bunch was Positive Panda. He was the animal we were supposed to focus on when things might not be as bang up at work as they could be. When sales were slow, or it rained all day, we should always stay positive.
So when September settles in and sales tend to slump it's expected that you may have a slow night here and there. Those nights become "learn nights" as opposed to "earn nights." Nights where we focus on our craft, hone our abilities.
Last week I had one of those nights at a typically good location. I drew 2 pictures. That's right, over a 5 hour span. 2. But through it all I remained Positive Panda. Chalking the night up to a September slouch. The very next night I saw the same thing happening, but I stayed Positive Panda. And after some chatting and laughing and free add ons, (I would color the black and white pictures free to keep a butt in the chair and effectively advertise to other guests) I had an okay night.
This week I was back at the first location for a second time this week. I had a fairly decent showing there a few days ago, and then tonight hit. I had one of the worst nights ever. There wasn't any level of positivity that could break through it. I spoke to the handful of people that did come by.
"So how long will one take?"
" 5 to 10 minutes."
"Great we will be back tomorrow."
"No one is here now, I can take care of you in a hurry."
"Well we have dinner reservations."
"I can start the pictures and finish them up while you eat, what a time saver."
"No that's okay, but we'll definitely be here tomorrow."
I had that conversation several times. Told people where the bathroom was, pointed out restaurants, and smiled. I smiled a lot. Positive Panda. Then I drew a little kid, free of charge to try and drum up some business. Nothing. Lots of compliments and aw how cute's. But no sales.
Then a pulled a demo, a fantastic face with a big mustache. His family took pictures and laughed.
"We definitely need to come back for this after dinner."
They never came back for it. But they got photo's of it for a nice prize.
As the night progressed and my poor back screamed in pain from standing there, I began to lose sight of that Panda, and inside I was growing a little pissed off. But I still smiled. Smiled A lot. I wondered how I could get stuck with the crappiest total two weeks in a row. Who had I pissed off? Was God giving me a sign that maybe I needed a new profession?
I ended up doing 1 picture tonight. One. But even while closing and answering one last question from a family of four who was "coming back tomorrow" I smiled.
Then I cussed like a sailor all the way to my car.
My nickname is Locoduck. Duck in spanish is Pato.
Tonight I created a new little animal. Sorry Panda, for now I'm just one Pissed Off Pato.