scancafe: “your images are being scanned”

slides scancafe

On Friday, 18 Sept, I received an email from scancafe informing that my images have been received at their imaging center in Bangalore. They’ve sent me emails about my order along the way: when I placed it (31 Aug), when it arrived in California (8 Sept), and when it got to India. (It seems that it took one more day to go from Cali to India than it did NYC to Cali. Nice job, UPS.)

While I ate dinner last night, I thought about all of my images in India. Will one person be assigned to scan all 5000+ negatives and slides? Or do they break them up and assign them to different people? If it’s one person (which seems more romantic as well as potentially more weird)—good word they will know me well by the end of this job. I cannot imagine. I wonder who this person is, where she sits, if she likes her job, if she’s eating dosa for lunch or dal and rice. Who she is. Okay, it could well be assigned to a whole room of people. Who knows. I was given an estimated date of Oct 26 for them to be finished and online. If it’s one person not working weekends, that’s over 200 images a day. Oi.

When I checked my email a few hours later, a new update from scancafe: “A technician has been assigned to your order and the process of manually scanning & repairing each of your images is underway.” Hmm.

I reminds me a bit of a play I saw last year, “There or Here.” A subplot involved an American woman frequently calling a helpline for assistance with her computer and getting to know the woman on the other end in India who helped her out.

2 thoughts on “scancafe: “your images are being scanned”

  1. Sorry for the random comment, I find this interesting to think about too. I have a slide digitizing business myself and generally beyond noticing the quality of the images I’m digitizing I don’t really pay much attention. But I’m one person so for all my customers I do do all their images myself. An order of 1000 takes me a couple of days. When you see that many pictures the subject matter becomes an afterthought. I can tell you that lots of folks have photos of Mt. Rushmore. And not many of my customers had very good cameras or were very good photographers. Just lots of priceless (to them hopefully) snapshots.

    1. Not random at all. This is what I suspected, I’m afraid, that the person scanning just numbs out in the face of all those images and does it all mechanically. How else could it be done really? Mt. Rushmore, you say? Hmm. I’ll have to get there. 😉 I can’t imagine scanning such quantities so quickly. Thanks for your comment–it’s nice to know that angle. ~A

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