I didn’t expect much

But I’d hoped.

I recently picked up a tablet PC to use for photography students and presentations, and of course I needed a case of some kind for it. While shopping around, I discovered that Walmart could do a custom case with my own photo printed on it, for not a whole lot more money than I’d pay for a plain case. I figured this would be a nice way to extend my ‘branding,’ having a snazzy custom logo image on my tablet sleeve, and so I ordered it.

Now, as your eyes are rolling and you’re muttering derisively under your breath, let me explain. The county I live in within North Carolina has just one department store, and that’s Walmart. The whole county. North Carolina is known for resisting any kind of progress – there’s even a magazine dedicated to glorifying the rustic (pronounced “BAK-ward”) areas of the state, which is most of it, and Orange County is especially known for fighting tooth (just one) and nail against any kind of development. Unless you’re looking at the university, you can also forget about jobs here. So, I’m resigned to shopping at Walmart, and in the past have gotten some stuff printed through them. When I provide gift certificates for photo lessons, Walmart was the only place that would print a card with my own image that a) did not charge ridiculous rates, and b) did not take three to five weeks to get them out – no one contacts me with that kind of lead time in mind. And yes, the area is also lacking in photo labs, only it extends across three counties.

What I received when the order arrived yesterday, to no one’s surprise, was absolute shit. The print was cropped ridiculously (and unnecessarily) on the tablet case, despite being the exact dimensions they called for, and had some pointless shadow borders on three sides – evidence, I think, of someone not knowing how to run the multipass printing process, but what it looked like was a clogged inkjet printer. The image was even badly aligned on the case. I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of it before returning it, just to show how incompetent it looked. I took printing back in high school, and this kind of work would have earned me a failing grade, even as my first project – it’s obvious nothing even remotely resembling quality control is in place in their department.

So, let me make this clear: DO NOT ORDER CUSTOM PRINTED STUFF FROM WALMART. You get even less than you pay for (I didn’t even get refunded shipping.) I learned my lesson, probably should’ve long ago but when you’re in the boonies you do what you can, so I’m hoping I can prevent someone else from making the same mistake. Meanwhile, I have switched sources for all of my printing work now – just not worth the risk. Once again: WALMART’S PHOTO DEPARTMENT IS INCOMPETENT. This isn’t a big billboard as far as internet information goes, but I do what I can.

Okay, back to more relevant stuff.