Fstoppers wouldn't exist without Ritz Camera. Patrick and I met each other working there 13 years ago. But, as many of you know, Ritz Camera went bankrupt, and we know why.
In this series, Patrick and I tell hilarious stories from our past life as Ritz Camera sales associates and print technicians. In many ways, working at Ritz camera was like the TV show The Office; everyone in a position of power seemed wildly incompetent, and the decisions they made led to the downfall of the company.
I'm not going to summarize this entire video but there are a few details I would like to add. Firstly, I probably come off as an absolutely horrible employee but I did take my job seriously. I was never late, I never called in sick, and I always went above and beyond to help customers. That being said, when we were asked to do jobs that were obviously pointless, I wasn't the first to volunteer. In my initial story about moving the outdated Playstation 1 games into the front showcase, I failed to mention that the next month our district manager made us move everything back because obviously, it was a horrible decision. If we had left the games exactly where they were, our district manager wouldn't have remembered when he returned the next month, and we would have saved ourselves hours of time and annoyance. During the years that I worked at Ritz, I never once saw a single Playstation game sold, even while they were being presented in our front showcase.
When our printer finally broke, and our manager decided to spend her own money to transfer negatives and prints to and from another store in town, I failed to mention even the customers didn't appreciate her effort. Film was getting lost, prints were never ready in time (remember we had a 1-hour print policy), and if a print turned out poorly, we didn't have a printer in the store to easily fix the issue. Our district manager told our manager not to do it, our customers were not happy with this service, and our manager endlessly complained about the time and money it took to do it, but she continued. When orders weren't ready on time customers would routinely say "Why didn't you just tell me to go to the other store."
The demise of Ritz became apparent when our district and store managers began telling us to "cook the books" by ringing up prints as other items in the store that paid higher commission rates. By doing this it may have appeared that we had tons of new customers signing up for Ritz Pix memberships, but in reality, nobody was.
This is the first episode of Ritz Camera Chronicles. We have at least 4 more storytelling episodes left in our series. Make sure you subscribe to our Youtube Channel to catch the next episode tomorrow.
For this video we recorded audio with the Rode Broadcaster mics piped into the Rodecaster Pro. Obviously, we need some pop filters, but I was really impressed with the sound quality out of this system. If you're looking to film a podcast style show, this is by far the easiest setup I have ever seen.