I don’t know what it is about older people and the mail….but they LOVE it! Mr.P is literally obsessed. He asks me every time he comes in the office if the mail has arrived. I learned very quickly when I first started working for him to never get the mail. It is very similar to a dog and playing fetch. Every time I see the mailman I yell, “The mailman is coming!” Sure enough, he scurries out of his office and to the tiny mailbox located outside our office with pure excitement in his eyes.
Better yet, our mailman is a mailwoman. He of course has some one-line joke about it that he tells her every time he sees her. “I’ve seen a mailman, but never a mail woman!” She promptly gives a fake smile and rolls her eyes as she walks away as he giggles coming back inside the office with the mail clutched in his hands. Her replacement (a real mailman) is much friendlier. Not only does he always have a smile on his face, but he comes inside the office and hands the mail directly to me. But maybe that’s just because we have a huge basket of chocolate in front of my desk…
One time I thought I was being responsible and opened the mail for him and placed it on his desk. The first thing he said was, “You opened these like a gorilla!” I didn’t know gorillas received mail….but if they did, they wouldn’t use a Swiss army knife to carefully slit the envelope in a perfect straight line and carefully take out the treasures inside.
The big question still remains, what is the big deal about the mail?! Well, I finally figured out it’s because back in the day all of the money came in through the mail. He would mail a bill, and customers would promptly (or not so promptly) mail back a check. Now, I don’t even know if the majority of my friends have a checkbook in their possession…we use debit cards for everything…but, that’s not the point.
The point is that Mr.P’s mail obsession is a daily reminder that we are a business. Many photographers and studios get caught up in expensive equipment and the latest editing fads. The truth is that none of it matters if you don’t have any money! You may be an artist (which I like to say with a French accent, r-tee-st) but you have to be a business man or woman first.