During an intense getting yelled at by my boss session. She asked why a certain piece of creative was sent out to print without her approval. My production manager spoke up and said that she had approved it, and that we had her signature on the final version. Her response, to me, was ,“Just because I approve something doesn’t mean that I approved it.” I love statements like that – so very amazing.
I used to do a lot of temp work. When you do temp you are thrown into some odd situation almost always. I started a new job in the fall a few years back. I was shown to my area, and started to get settled in at the computer. As I sat, wondering what the hell I was doing in this strange office, I felt a small tap on my head. I then noticed a small bug, kind of larve-ish on the desk. I was more confused than anything. Did this bug just drop out of the ceiling onto my head?! What kind of place is this? Is there a dead animal up there under the drop ceiling? The office was very quiet. I asked the woman sitting next to me if she was aware of anything odd with bugs in the office. She looked at me like I was insane. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, so I quietly threw the monster in the trash, and got to work. I was always aware of the ceiling after that, and moved my seat at the first possible opportunity. I should have know right then and there how that job would be. Dummy me, stayed for more than nine months.
I’ve been working as a designer of some kind for about 10 years. That seems like a long time to me. People have worked longer, and some less. What I’ve seen, and what I see day to day no longer surprises me that much. I am still confused by much of it. I will admit that. But, the wonder i felt early on is long gone. That wonder wasn’t so grand. It was more like, “I can’t believe I get paid to sit at this monitor and move stuff around a screen.” I’ve done web, print, advertising, in-house corporate work, agency work, temp, perm and everything else in between. The differences are many, but the work is very similar. Offices each have their character and characters, but everyone does a common job. I’m gonna stop rambling now and tell a story.
Back in my early temp days, I worked at one of the major credit card issuing banks. I worked in a windowless room with six or seven guys and one girl. We were the web crew. There were temp and perm, doing web banners, intranets, and mini-web sites for whatever credit card or licensee needed marketing. There was a ramp that led down into our room. There was a half wall down the ramp and a handful of coat-hooks, hangers and some plant boxes on top of this half wall. You could look over the half wall and talk with some of the programmers. Over my time there I got in the habit of spinning hangers on the coat hooks. This turned into a game, that I and many of the guys played each time we re-entered the room. The goal of this little time wasting gem was to spin the hanger as many times as possible while still having the hanger come to rest back on the hook. The sport, like most grand games, started off humbly. In the beginning, two or three loops was considered good. After a few weeks of play, five or six loops became the measuring stick. One day, I was feeling really good about breaking the record. I had a good spin in the morning entrance, and I knew that eight was possible. I made a lot of bathroom breaks, and unnecessary walks just to get another spin. In the early afternoon I came back from nowhere and took my turn at the hook. I gave that hanger a real sweet spin and it flew around gracefully. Six, seven, and YES, eight times around. I had done the un-imaginable. Eight times around to a perfect landing. I was so proud, so excited. I leaned over the half wall to gloat and I hit the planter with my elbow. The whole planter full of fresh potting soil dumped into the top of a large computer monitor. The programmer whose monitor was now full of potting soil was not too pleased. He was pissed. I was embarrassed. There wasn’t any real fallout from the incident. I tried to clean up. I think the monitor was taken away and vacuumed out. I don’t know if it survived. But, after some minor yelling, mostly from the programmer, not my boss, we got back to work. I didn’t get in trouble. The hook spinning game did suffer from this incident however. It had a bad rep afterwards, and no one wanted to play anymore. I would still take a spin here are there, but there was no more competition. I held the record, a great one that may still stand to this day, but the love was gone. It was just work after that.