Inappropriate Stock Photo Of The Week

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to a new segment called “Inappropriate Stock Photo Of The Week”. This highly covetable award is given to any publication whose lazy and ham-handed use of irrelevant, terrible or inappropriate stock photos for illustration purposes deserves both recognition, and a good kick up the arse.

This weeks’ award goes to the Irish Times, who for some unfathomable reason used the following photograph to illustrate an article about unhappy employees, and how effective bosses are supposed to take steps to address their issues.

Inappropriate Stock Photo of the Week Irish Times April 2015

Gosh. So they want me to pose like an office worker, but I’ve never worked in an office… what do people in offices DO all day? Wait – I know! They make paper planes!

This woman is neither unhappy, nor an employee. And workplace disruption is never caused by paper planes. Sort it out, newly-paywalled and chronically cash-poor Irish Times.

  36 comments for “Inappropriate Stock Photo Of The Week

  1. April 10, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Could she be the journalist who wrote the article, you know like one of those byeline photos or whatever they’re called?

    Or maybe she works for the Dublin Paper Plane Company, manufacturing and distributing paper planes. (That’s what all those books are on the desk: recycled paper supply.)

    …Or she’s the employer upset at being photographed and is threatening the photographer with an executive toy in the shape of a paper plane…

    …Or maybe the Irish Times got the photos mixed up with one selected to illustrate a story about new developments in automotive components.


    Liked by 2 people

    • April 10, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Well, now, Chris, I think it’s highly commendable that you are willing to give the old Irish Times the benefit of the doubt here, but let’s face facts. The woman in the photograph is the Managing Editor’s niece, and he’s signed an exclusive contract up to 2021 to use her modelling back catalogue.

      I’m particularly looking forward to the series she did with the garden gnomes in a flak jacket in order to illustrate the futility of using Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War for teaching toddlers how to breakdance.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. April 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Tara me aul flower

    The Irish rimes missed out on a Golden opportunity here by not knowing that they have the world’s leader in Stock photos of pissed off employees on their doorstep. I have only recently spent hours looking for the ideal Stock Photo to represent “Stressed girl at work with too much paperwork” (I sheeet you not)

    After Exhaustive research, I settled on this particularly sad looking wee lass…

    Although, we haven’t made any sales yet so I’m starting to think that maybe she’s just a bit too sad. I should have opted for one with maybe a bit more of a glimmer of hope in her eyes…!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 10, 2015 at 11:09 am

      The Irish rimes rhymes with The Irish Times…!!!!


      • April 10, 2015 at 11:25 am

        Do you know what? It does. Throw in a reference to southside Dublin and they’ll give you a byline for sure 😉


    • April 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

      If only you’d seen the irrelevant Times article first, Dermot! I’d imagine given the cost-cutting measures in their own offices over recent years that they could have saved time and money by wandering around under their own roof with a camera at the ready.

      I looked up your link but couldn’t spot your sad lady – it might just not be coming through on the mobile site – but my suggestion to you would be to find a Victorian street-seller child. You know the ones: barefoot, freezing, starving, destitute, but with that sort of impish grin that embodies the UK/Irish/Insert-Domicile-Here spirit that sets us apart from the rest, what?


  3. April 10, 2015 at 11:23 am

    What a rich seam! Keep mining for our entertainment (and in the tiny hope that sinners will aim for better).


    • April 10, 2015 at 11:45 am

      A small part of me worries that the media might let me down, get relevant, and cut the supply, Hilary. But then the rest of me laughs uncontrollably, and tells me not to be so bloody stupid.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. April 10, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Too many great things about this photo, I’m not sure where to start! The idea that an office worker would have such a nice desk, but no book shelves? The idea that somebody’s unhappiest and most disruptive employee would look at them with that smile while wielding a paper plane? (I quite like that idea, though: she’s just been asked “How are you progressing on the Schneider thing?”) The idea that *any* worker, disruptive or otherwise, doesn’t have an empty paper cup, set of headphones, a snack and a fork on their desk? The desk phone?

    Can’t wait for the next installment!


    • April 10, 2015 at 11:55 am

      And there’s the smile itself, Fionna. The last time I saw a smile like that in real life, it was accompanied by the words “Excuse me. Did you just express a deathwish or was it just the voices in my head?”

      I can’t wait for the next one either. Although going by recent form, it’s going to be a struggle even to move from this one source for material.


      • April 10, 2015 at 5:08 pm

        Could be used as the starting point for your next story competition?

        Liked by 1 person

        • April 10, 2015 at 6:58 pm

          Oh yes! Or even…. a caption competition! If only I had a better prize than a year’s subscription to my freely available blog! 😀


  5. April 10, 2015 at 11:42 am

    She has great skin. What’s her secret?


    • April 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

      I’ll tell you what the secret is, Tenderness. She doesn’t work in an office, for starters. Poorly air-conditioned or not.


      • April 10, 2015 at 11:55 am

        The email system must be down since she’s exchanging notes. Rather than be chastised, she should be rewarded for inventively coming up with an alternative method of messaging her colleagues sitting less than six feet away.


        • April 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

          And besides, isn’t she a right barrel of laughs! I don’t think she could be any fun-ner!


          • April 10, 2015 at 12:16 pm

            “…then I said, ‘Excuse me, I wouldn’t be seen deeeeeead drinking a pint'” *Line Manager holds sides together*


            • April 10, 2015 at 12:22 pm

              “Oooh, you’re terrible! Give that woman a promotion! Whua, whua, whua”


  6. April 10, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I don’t see the problem, I spend all day throwing paper planes when I’m looking for attention. Of course, I’m in an office on my own. So not sure how effective it is….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. April 10, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    There is a lot of this sort of thing about! Thank you for bringing it to the world’s attention, Tara…
    I did a column for a Writing magazine about writing comedy. The stock photo that was used to illustrate an article by a woman on writing humour? A middle aged man, smoking a cigarette, behind an old fashioned typewriter….
    I don’t even smoke!


    • April 10, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Oh, for Blog’s sake, Jane… What were they at?! Wouldn’t you love to know which search terms they used to come up with that? My guess is that it was something really deep and insightful, such as………. “Writing”

      I hope nobody called you out of concern for your secret smoking habit afterwards. 😉


  8. April 10, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…I have a lot to say on that subject and am tempted, but…anyway, it’s not a subject they should be opining on too loudly.

    Worst stock photo I ever saw was a white bloke with his head in his hands on an agony article about sickle cell anaemia. In the GUARDIAN, of all places!


    • April 10, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      It’s a shocker, isn’t it Susan? I’ve even seen them in the FT, who charge you for breathing while you read their paper! Sometimes I wonder if it’s a last minute panic to find a photo. And then I remember, of course it isn’t, because none of these articles actually contain news.

      Ah, I remember news, back in the good old days, when people used to report it…


      • April 10, 2015 at 10:25 pm

        Again, I’m very jaundiced against a certain organ of said estate, so probably best if I don’t comment 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. April 11, 2015 at 7:57 am
    • April 11, 2015 at 9:05 am

      Haha! Talk about nanoseconds of comic timing, Conor, we are on FIRE. Of course, this was the only reason o posted yesterday 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. April 11, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Stock photos = my bug bear.
    Reasons? None of them look like me or anyone I want to know.
    They are hugely oversubscribed.
    You know you haven’t got a life when you begin to recognise them recurring in
    vastly different contexts.
    I live in Germany, where you have to submit photos with job applications and they
    routinely photoshop me to raise my chances (because they think stock photos are
    real) .
    My worst example? For years it was a stock photo of Guy Falkes night, which was variously
    captioned “poverty in Liverpool” and “poverty in he UK”. (But it might have
    been overshadowed by a recent Guardian article about depression
    happening to anyone, which showed an absolutely beautiful woman
    looking vaguely unhappy.
    Would you like me to stop?

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 12, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      No! Keep going! The stock photos are endless, so why not the criticism of them?! I feel your pain, Helen. I get so cheesed off with beautiful women looking vaguely something in situations in which they look about as realistic as a pig playing pontoon.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. April 13, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    What’s with the books? Is she working in a flower-pressing company? The md of a newspaper I once worked for (and this is absolutely true) declared that we were all to have a ‘clean desk’ policy and that overflowing baskets were not allowed any more. One of the reporters came in the next day to find his dictionary had been torn in half so that it didn’t stick up above the sides of the basket.

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 13, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Who did that?? Was it a maverick making a work-to-rule point about nonsensical working conditions, or a particularly devout idiot?


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