Failure: The condition, situation or fact of not achieving ones desired ends or results.
To fail, in most people’s eyes, is one of the most terrifying things that can happen. Depending on what you are doing, failure is something that cannot, and will not be tolerated . For the most part, it’s all a mind game. However, just the thought of failing can causes people to give up before they even attempt something. Nobody ever wakes up and says to themselves, “Hmmmm.. I wonder how I can fail today?” Normally, when we fail at something, it’s because we didn’t plan adequately or there was something that we just couldn’t foresee. That’s a part of life and yes that s**t sucks but there is nothing we can do about it. As was the case with me a few days ago..
As a photographer, I’m always worried about failure or failing to live up to my clients expectations. So, when we decided to try something completely different and new to Tokyo Tuner(the project is still under wraps but you will know soon!) the thought of failure loomed over me. We had kind of a tight schedule for the project but I was confident in my teams ability to pull it off. I prepared about two weeks ahead of time, making sure all the equipment we could possible need was ready and the shooting location was perfect. Everyone’s schedule lined up and I was able to meet with everyone a few times beforehand to make sure we were all on the same page. I even had the rental car ready 3 days in advance and was able to gett a size upgrade to hold all the equipment and to make shooting that much easier. I thought I did it! I accounted for every possible thing. Hell, even the weather was beautiful on the big day. Nothing could go wrong! There was no way we / I could fail.
Then it happened…
As I approached NikoNiko (ニコニコ) car agency, I was greeted by the staff in the most cheerful manner. I could see my van was cleaned and all ready to go. All I had to do was hand him my international license, fill out some paper work , and I would be good to go
“Do you have a Japanese drivers license?” asked the staff in Japanese.
“Um, No? ” I replied back, “I have an international license and it’s valid in Japan”.
” I understand that, but we won’t accept international license. ”
“I’m sorry?” I replied back, anger and confusion starting to rise in my voice. “What do you mean you WON’T accept an international license? I made the reservation days ago and nowhere online did it say Japanese license only..”
“We are terrible sorry”, he said, probably able to feel the impending rage about to explode from me.” I understand why your upset, but we can only accept a Japanese license “.
I’m now passed anger and becoming furious from the lack of a decent reasoning behind this rule. I’m now starting to realize that in all of my planning, the easiest thing to plan for was about to screw up the entire event.
” Your basically telling me I cannot do my job today because you will not rent the car to me EVEN THOUGH I made the reservation properly online DAYS in advance… ”
“I understand, and I’m terrible sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, but we can only accept a Japanese license.”
I had enough and just stormed out. I called one of my team members who I was meeting up with and filled him in on the situation and asked him to call a different and larger rental agency that we have used before to see if they had any cars available.
All sold out.
It was a three day holiday here in Japan and since Tokyo has one of the best public transportation in the world (and parking is incredible expensive), no one in Tokyo really owns a car. Thus, all the rental agency’s cars were reserved. I accounted for this, but I didn’t account for my international licenses being rejected.
Therefore, I failed. Probably the first time as a professional photographer that I truly failed. I mean, yea things have not always gone as according to plan but I was always about to salvage the shoot somehow. However, the one time when I thought I over planned everything, I failed completely.
So, failure is ALWAYS an option, but you know what? Failure is OK. They say you learn the best from failures. It’s failures that push you to that next level. It’s all about how you learn from the incident and make sure it doesn’t cripple you from attempting it again. Could you imagine what the world would be like if everyone who failed once said “f it, if wasn’t ment to be?” Yeah… I can’t either.
So what did I learn from this? ALWAYS check with the rental agency and make sure they will accept an international license! Or just use the big name ones such as Nippon Rental or Toyota Rentals.
~どういたしまして (Your Welcome)