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.

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