During the meal, Tony wondered aloud, whether Mel might be related to Brian Harrington, one of the shop’s regular clients, whom they knew lived in that area.. Slightly older than the Harringtons, the senior Hannays were both in their early fifties, while Jamie was twenty-six – eighteen months older than his sister Tracy. It was Tracy – who’d got married soon after university – whose recently born baby, Elaine, would be looked after by Lucy and by her grandparents on both sides. Tracy lived with her partner, Jake, and their child on an estate on the other side of the town overlooking a lake. Jake was a paramedic and Tracy would shortly be returning to work as a nurse at the local hospital.
Tony and Lucy were making suggestions to Jamie regarding Mel’s continuing development for the following day. Jamie wanted to see how she handled customers coming into the shop for advice, and Lucy wanted Mel to get till experience as soon as possible. It was Lucy especially who wanted Mel to be the right person for the job and trained up as soon as possible to allow her to move seamlessly into her own new role as working-hours baby-sitter.
Tony was more cautious, and didn’t want to frighten-off their new recruit by overloading her either with the product knowledge or systems side of the business. The shop had managed without Mel for some weeks since the previous assistant had walked out. On that occasion, that girl had not been able to cope with learning all that had been expected of her.
‘I hear what you’re saying, Dad,’ Jamie said, ‘but Mel has already had experience of both till handling and dealing with customers face-to-face. My guess is that some of her pub customers would need really sensitive handling after a few drinks.’
Tony agreed with the gist of what Jamie was saying but he pointed out that the shop’s till procedures would be a lot different from those in the pub.
Tony asked if either of the others had looked at the portfolio of photos that Mel had brought with her that morning. Because Mel had handed it to Lucy – addressed to Tony – she had just passed it on to him. He said that he’d left it in his office but would bring it home with him the next day. Tony’s impression was that Mel had real talent and that her photographic skills would be a great asset.
Jamie agreed and gave his reasons at length.
‘From what I saw today, Dad, Mel is red-hot on technique. It’s product knowledge that she needs to brush up on. As you’d expect, most of what she did at university was done using film cameras. She completely understands the differences between film and dslr cameras, but she really knows next to nothing about the new breed of mirrorless cameras that have been emerging since she graduated in 2012. On the other hand, she can handle a smartphone camera as well as any pro. She’ll have no difficulty advising customers how to choose once she’s up to date.’
‘Another thing that I noticed’ he said, ‘was how well she related to the few customers who were in today. She doesn’t try to baffle people with science. She’s amazing at crushing jargon into everyday terms.’
Overall, they all agreed that it had been a promising start and that Mel was a delight to work with.
The photo that I’ve chosen today is the tenth of the series that I’ll be posting in this part of my daily blog in this part of the page. As I said previously, the series is based on a walk that I did on the 19th April along the bank of the Leeds to Liverpool canal between Burscough Bridge and the ‘Ring O’Bells’ pub just over a mile away. I did the walk in both directions, accompanied by my daughter’s dog, Ted.
The remaining photos in this series will be of people whom I saw as I walked along the canal path. Today’s image is of a cyclist in yellow who caught my eye. The EXIF data are as follows: Camera used was my 24 MP Pentax KP cropped sensor camera paired with a Pentax 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 full-frame lens. The shutter speed was 1/125 secs @ f/8 and 88 mm. The ISO was 100. The shot was handheld.