blogicalinks

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Random Thoughts on a Saturday Night

with 7 comments

images.jpgI’m not in a good mood, so most of these posts are going to be laced with disgruntlement, irritation, and anger. You’ve been warned. 🙂

*****
People who think I should do freelance work for next to nothing irritate me. Do they not realize that I do this in my “spare” time, which is far more valuable to me than my regular work time?

Dianne and I were saying that desktop publishing, while opening up possibilities for designers in numerous ways, has also damaged our industry as well. You have people who can slap clip art into Word or Publisher, and they call themselves designers. (Ignore the fact that they use 10 fonts, 12-unrelated colors, low-res photos, etc.) And when someone trained in design comes along and asks for a decent amount of money to do something well-designed, the response is often something like, “No, I’ll just get my secretary/sister/brother/nephew to do it.”

I had a potential client ask me what I would charge for a certain job. I explained to her how I would arrive at my fee after understanding the full scope of work to be done. She was nice enough in her response, but she basically told me that it shouldn’t take me more than eight hours to do it. Now help me understand how someone who doesn’t know how to come up with the idea nor how to execute it should presume to tell me how long it would take. That’s like me telling a mechanic how long I think it should take to replace a fuel injector.

*****

My week at work sucked. I got everything done that I had to get done, but only after working late every night except Friday. And even on Friday, while I was on my way to the game, my boss called my cell to see if I would be “on call” until noon today. I’m starting to wonder if this company cares if any of us have a life outside work.

The worst part of the week was when my manager did not back me up on an issue when he clearly should have had the balls to step up and say “Enough!”

Short version: During a conference call the DAY BEFORE a large proposal was due, one person out of about 12 on the call, decided he wants to change the cover. This would be 1) time-consuming for no one except me; 2) way outside the process/time frame for getting changes made; and 3) NOT a consensus that this change needed to happen.

Instead of my boss saying all of these things, he said nothing. I could practically hear crickets coming across the conference call. I said, “I don’t understand why we have processes in place if they’re not going to be followed. The time for changing the cover was over a week ago during review.” The guy who wanted the change bellowed back, “I didn’t look at the cover during the review!” I can’t tell you the things I wanted to say in response to that, but because I’m still new and not sure how high up these guys are, I said nothing, waiting for my manager to back me up. Again, nothing from him.

I was livid. These guys are focused on their one project and as it gets closer and closer to time to produce it, they start picking it apart. I, on the other hand, am working on graphics for several project simultaneously. When big changes are made, it throws a wrench in everything down the line.

I asked a designer co-worker if he would say anything to the manager about the lack of support. He said that he’d experienced it on numerous occasions, had said something to him, and it had not resulted in anything. I’ll keep my mouth shut for now, but that is not my nature. We’ll see what happens. And please hear me, my disgruntlement with the first guy is not about the fact that he wanted to make changes (although I don’t agree they were needed), it is about the fact that he did not take the time to review the cover when he was supposed to and waited until it was zero hour. My disgruntlement with the boss is that he is a “yes” man.

*****

I was upset with myself last night because when I found out that my ex has already put herself back out on an online matchup site, it really bothered me. We’ve been broken up for over seven months now, and I know that I’ve had no “say” in what she does since the day we broke up.

I guess it’s just hard to deal with the fact that she’s ready to move on already. Heck, she may have been ready for quite a while, and I’m just now finding out about it. Anyway, it just hit me hard, and it hurt, and it bothered me that I was hurt by it. It’s not even that I want to be in a relationship with her anymore, because I don’t. I think it’s just that it seems that all that I gave up to be with her seemed to have counted for so little. I know it might not make sense, but that’s how it feels.

Ugh. I do want to be in a relationship somewhere down the road, but dang it, this kind of hurt makes me so leary of trusting anyone with my heart ever again.

*****

Watched the movie 300 last night. I’ve been really looking forward to seeing it since it came out, and it finally came on OnDemand. I knew the history behind it, and I loved the screen adaption of Frank Miller’s other graphic novel, Sin City. But with 300, I have to say I was disappointed, and it did not meet my expectations for a good story. It was visually stunning, and the historical story it’s based on is inspiring, but the writing seemed weak.

Lena Headey did a good job of portraying Queen Gordo (see photo), but the guy playing King Leonidas went over the top with the shouting, IMHO.

movie_the_300_leonidas_and_xerxes.jpg
I was disappointed at how “gay” they made the bad guy look. I mean, what’s up with that?! All of the Spartans were so buff and cut and hairy and manly, and here’s Xerxes looking like he just stepped off a SanFran gay pride float! I mean, Persians were mostly Arabs from what is now Iran. They tend to be swarthy and hairy too, so I’m not sure why the movie makers went to such extremes to make the bad guy look so flamboyantly gay, pre-pubescently hairless, and bejeweled (see photo).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no gay activist/reactionary. I think gay people should be cast as jerks and villians, murderers and crooks, just like straight people get cast. But in my research, there’s nothing in history, neither in writings nor in portrayals to suggest that Xerxes looked like that nor was gay. It just bothered me throughout the movie.

Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t spend a lot seeing it at the theater. If any of you have seen it, I’d like to know your thoughts on it.

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Written by blogicalinks

August 18, 2007 at 11:12 pm

Posted in Venting

7 Responses

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  1. I really don’t know what it’s going to take to make people respect graphic designers as a profession that takes a lot of skill and creativity, which takes time and money. It’s like a slap in the face every time I hear about “my nephew could do that for us for free” or “my sister knows how to use Word really well.” Do they realize how demeaning that sounds to our years of experience and education? Ughhhhh!

    I’m so sorry that you had a rough week at work. Spineless bosses suck. I’ve been there.

    As for 300, I really enjoyed it – I guess because I didn’t expect much of a story line. I watched it in the theater because I wanted to see the awesome filming and effects (and the abs). There has been so much controversy about the real history of events versus the movie’s events, that I didn’t read much into that either.

    Carmen

    August 19, 2007 at 7:02 pm

  2. Having gone through a tee-tiny bit of the graphic-arts experience recently while designing a logo for a new worship service for my truck, I really appreciate what professionals do. Of course, I am a little more educated about the profession than the average person because of experience in high school and family in the field. I remember when my Uncle used to have a typesetting business, and he got so frustrated when folks just decided to use laser printers (that were awful quality back then) instead of professional typesetting. Anyway, I can also sympathize with you from an Engineering perspective. The average non-engineer usually has no concept of how much time it takes to design a part or a process, and they make schedule demands that are totally unrealistic. Thankfully, I haven’t really had to put up with the “spineless boss” syndrome too much – you have my sympathies there!

    As for 300, I haven’t seen it and don’t know much about it.

    And I can totally relate to the “ex” issue. A girl I dated many years ago (and who I was quite attached to), decided to break up with me. Within 3 months, she was engaged to another guy (which I found out about while reading the local paper one Sunday and saw their announcement), and they were married about 3 months later. I was livid! Interestingly, she ended up succumbing to cancer less than a year after that. Makes me wonder what would have happened if we had stayed together. Guess things happen for a reason.

    Anyway…hope your weekend was a good relief for all of the “crap”!

    Eric

    August 19, 2007 at 9:45 pm

  3. You want help understanding how someone who doesn’t know how to come up with an idea or execute it should presume to tell you how long it would take? I’ll explain. THEY ARE AN ASSHAT.

    Wow, psuedo-graphic designers, bosses, exes, homophobic casting agents in Hollywood…sorry about your week, dude. This one will be better. If nothing else, it’s one week closer to Dubya leaving office.

    Oh, and BTW, all those 300 dudes with King Leonidas? Gay, gay, gay. Gay as the day is long. The Spartans were well-known for their male (ahem) bonding. They had a ritual when the soldiers would return home from their buddy-bonded units. A Spartan’s wife would cut her hair short, don clothing in the style of a young boy, and wait in the dark for her husband’s return. No kidding. See, your life could be worse, yes?

    Cara

    August 19, 2007 at 9:55 pm

  4. Sorry about the bad week. I have absolutely no idea what goes into/ the amount of time needed what you do, but I do know what it feels like when a manager doesn’t back you up.

    Know nothing about 300.

    Understand a bit about the ex. I found it amazing when mine broke the agreed upon rules while I was still living there. But, I did not feel true disgust until I learned she had a new schnauzer puppy after pretty much abandoning our two labs and then giving me a hard time when I tried to get them back. Betrayal of the deepest (canine) kind. In any case, the decisions an ex makes “now” really isn’t a reflection of the relationship – just a reflection of how the ex handles life.

    Again, sorry. Hope next week is better.

    Ru's Mom

    August 19, 2007 at 10:50 pm

  5. I totally missed commenting on the ex issue. Oops. I just want to say that things happen for a reason. They really do. Life, God and the universe didn’t want you with that person and I’m sure you’re better off that way. Keep the faith and hope you have a better week!

    Cara, you have a gift of mixing the truth with humor. I love it!

    Carmen

    August 20, 2007 at 10:40 am

  6. OMG, don’t even get me started on the desktop publishers…

    I’m sorry your boss is such a spineless yes man. I hope the day will come when you can really tell him what you think.

    The Ex… Sigh… I know we covered that on the phone, but I’m still sorry you had to get upset by it. And I still think maybe you had to suffer through her to get to Atlanta and there will be some great things coming for you here. Like Carmen said, “Keep the faith.”

    300 – I have not seen it yet, but I laughed when you said Xerxes looked like he just stepped off the float in a gay pride parade. LOL!

    Dianne

    August 23, 2007 at 7:36 pm


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