Making It Harder Than It Needs To Be


I am starting to wonder if the lecturer is loose in the landscape again – several of our customers have attended with the signs of an adult education attack: copious handwritten notes and outdated questions.

Normally I don’t mind people doing their homework before coming into the shop – as long as it is not just reading “Choice ” magazine and then trolling through dodgy on-line bucket shops for low prices. I can even stand the forum-crazed to a certain extent as they can be eventually forced to pick up the equipment and make up their own minds. But the person who has been bitten by the lecturer is a special problem.

You see lecturers have prejudices and hobby horses and agendas to work through, and the students sometimes do not realise that the words of wisdom they provide are questionable. Today I soothed a potential client who was worried by the lecturer – he had been enjoined to get a DSLR and was told to make sure it had more than 2 megapixels on the sensor…One can only agree, but you are left wondering whether there was a practical joke going on.

Other students have been sent in to get a variety of colour film that was discontinued in 1995, and they were most disconsolate to hear that it was not possible. Any deviation from the lecture notes caused them anxiety and frequently they made bad decisions based on the bad advice.

Again, one chap was sent in with requests for colour chemistry before he had developed his first black and white film. Now that’s just dangerous – a newbie armed with organic solvents and concentrated permanganate bleach is just asking for disaster.

I have long advocated a trade meeting with the lecturer to find out what they plan to do for any curriculum – so that the shop can get in the supplies the students will need. So far it has never happened, and the reluctance seems to be on the part of the teaching staff. Perhaps they do not wish to be questioned by someone who makes or takes pictures for a living. I hope this can change as the improvement in the supply chain with more informed demand  can only do good for all parties concerned.



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