Thursday, July 29, 2010

I see trouble a brewing

It was 9:27AM. I was waiting for the 9:00AM meeting to begin. My cellphone started to do its impersonation of a dying horse fly by buzzing on its back across the conference table.

I checked the caller ID and then flipped open the phone.

It was the Senior Campaign Manager, he wanted to discuss changes to the piece that was sent to the printers eight hours prior to him calling. He was present when I told him that the piece was sent. The four of us in the room said, “No changes.”

“No changes,” doesn’t actually mean that there could absolutely be no changes, it just means that there will be no design changes. It mean that I’m not going to go moving this thing up a little and that thing down a little, I’m not changing colors and I’m not changing text size or style; or at least not without very good reason.

I worked on the piece for over three days; about twenty seven hours, and that includes working one of those days after an eight hour day job; and it was all for the donut. I get nothing but verbal thank you’s, if I get anything.

He wouldn’t tell me what the changes were, he wanted to discuss them when I had time. I told him that I wasn’t going to get any time. His manner of speaking clued me in that he wanted design changes and if he had told me that on the phone, I would have told him, “No changes,” which is why he probably didn’t tell me.

He shouldn’t be calling me directly anyway and he definitely shouldn’t be calling me at my day job. I work at the request of a friend who is his friend. In my mind, I “work” for her, any changes would have to go through her; and when I’m at my day job, there is nothing I can do to help even if I had wanted to.

I got a chance two hours later to call her; the one I “work’ for, to let her know, the Senior Campaign Manager seemed to be going behind her back and plus I knew she would still agree to no changes.

“Did Jimmy call you?”

She paused before for she said, “Yes he did, and I was very angry that he called you. He shouldn’t be calling you at work.”

“Yeah, I know, but did he tell you the changes he wants? Because he wouldn’t tell me.”

“He told, and I told he we agreed to no changes.”

“Okay, but what did he want changed?”

She told me. They were design changes.

If the requested changes would have improved the piece we would have done them but the changes would have ruined some of the designed purposes of the piece. The changes would have made the piece flat, robbed it of dimension and depth, all of which the candidate’s image needs improving in.

I had wished I was angrier with the situation because I had every right to be angry. Four people in the room approved the design. Four people with experience with design, marketing and campaigns; the candidate is young and the son of the Senior Campaign Manager; who the fuck is he to be questioning the rest of us. Why does his one vote override everyone else’s?

After my day job, I went to her office.

“I can’t believe he said that the Candidate wouldn’t approve the piece without the changes.”

“Yeah, I know. Who’s he hurting? I don’t care if he doesn’t use my work,” I said, motioning at the mockup still spread across the end of her desk.

“And you know it’s true that all of the successes that he has had are with things that we have had a hand in. Nothing else that they have been doing has been working out. He wouldn’t still be in the lead without us.”

“I actually wish that I was angrier with the situation. You and Charlie were more upset than me.”

“He crossed a boundary! He shouldn’t be calling you.”

I also found out that Charlie had not been speaking to the campaign over differences of opinions. They had been asking for his thoughts and then ignoring them. He told me that he only started speaking to them again because he knew that I would be involved with this piece. He said that he was tired of fighting with them.

I see trouble a brewing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If that's what you really want...

I do most of the print work. If the agents need something printed, they ask me. She's been around since the start, so I don't argue too much with her about her ad copy or ideas for postcards and such; I usually just do it when she seems to have a strong opinion. With others, it would be my way or the highway.

She told me exactly what she wanted and I gave it to her and she liked it.

I hated it.

So, when the owner wanted to order up some more, I redesigned it to more of my liking.

Looking at the top one still makes me a little angry.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Customers were served but there was no smiling.

It was the worst week that I could remember but then I usually don't remember the worst things because I move on from them but towards the end of the week I was rather curt with most people; my patience was gone.

Someone was one vacation so that guy's work load get split between my and my supervisor. The split was about 60/40 in my disfavor. When I have to cover someone else's job, I'm still required to do my own job, only there isn't enough time in my day to do both, so my regular job suffers.

I get a little heated when I can't do my job due to reasons caused by others. It didn't help matters that folks were transferring phone calls from people with complaints to me no matter which desk I was sitting at, even though I had nothing to do with the complaint.

Take a damn message and give the message to the proper person and stop being a lazy complaining do nothing.

There is a whole system setup for folk to lodge their complaints. The system tracts the process step by step. Send the calls there.

All I want is for people to do their job. Why is that too much to ask?

MMmmm, Toasty

At my twenty-fifth high school reunion there were a lot of shaved heads, the easiest remedy for baldness.

I still have most of my golden locks only they are not golden.

I wouldn't say that I dislike my job but when I'm on vacation I'm reminded about how much I enjoy not having to do it.

We started having people over even though the house is still mostly in the remodeling phase. The embarrassment of living in a house in the state it currently is in motivates us to finish some of the remodeling.

We had two cookouts in under a week. The first cook-out was a little difficult to pull off with just my Weber gas grill so before the second cook-out, I bought a Weber charcoal grill. I've never grilled with charcoal before but what I did know was that I was going to grill using lump charcoal and I was going to start the charcoal with a chimney starter because that's what people who know how to grill on charcoal do it.

I can crank the gas grill up to seven hundred degrees when the lid is closed. The charcoal grill seems to get even hotter than that.

I'm learning.

Both times, I toasted the rolls, but just the inside and I brushed melted butter on them first. I got the idea of toasting just the inside of the roll from 'wichcraft, a cookbook by Tom Colicchio. Both groups of people nearly marveled over the toasted rolls and commented how they would always have their rolls toasted from that point on.

People, it was just a toasted roll.

I want to put a pizza stone on the grill and make pizzas. I think a commercial pizza oven is usually set to 700 degrees. My oven tops out at 525 degrees. I think with the grill, I can get closer to the 700.