Friday, December 27, 2013

Building Up Good Karma

Today I went into a camera store in Boston to have my gear appraised for insurance purposes. This process takes a bit of time, so I was milling about while a staffer checked out my gear and recorded the model information and serial numbers into the store computer system. While I was waiting, this older gentleman (probably in his late 70s) came into the store and tried to print some photos. He came over to the service desk where my appraisal was occurring and explained that he couldn't print his photos. Another staff member took his memory card, put it into a card reader, and explained that his files were in the wrong format; They were in "raw" format instead of the required jpeg and they needed to be converted. As they did not have the software to do this in the store, the staffer started to explain to the gentleman how he could at home convert raw files to jpegs. It's actually very easy, but given his very limited experience, it was clear the gentleman was completely lost from the outset. He simply had no idea about the intricacies of today's digital photography formats. At this point he looked rather deflated. I grabbed the gentleman and said, "I have my computer with me. If you give me your card I will do the conversion for you." I told him it is very easy and wouldn't take but 5 minutes. I did the conversion and handed him the printable jpegs on his memory stick. The photos were of his 2 daughters and his grandkids from Christmas. After thanking me profusely and offering to pay me for the help (which I declined), he printed out his photos and left the store. The staffer meanwhile finished my appraisal. He leaned over and told me that he was going to waive the $25 dollar appraisal fee since I was so nice to the older guy. It was nice to save the $25, but it felt even better to know that I helped the older gentleman to preserve, in the print format with which his generation is so familiar, his Christmas memories. Score a win for everyone involved. I'll definitely revisit this store in the future......


  1. Great reminder of how kindness can be so simple, yet mean so much...may you encounter lots of kindness on your trip!

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  2. Dorian, all the best on your epic journey, I'll be following you all the way. We met one day at Muddy Pond while you were crawling in the mud photographing sandpipers. Your buddy told me you'd be doing the Big Year, and it looks like you're off to a good start. Enjoy!