Monday, December 18, 2006

What I’ve Been Doing

Well, my life has been busy and unusually complicated these last few months. Certainly there are people in this world who have lives busier than mine, whose every waking moment may be consumed by issues of unparalleled importance, and on whose shoulders rest matters of universal interest; there are people, I may even suppose, whose slightest whim or decision can affect the lives of millions; but, as I am not an NFL head coach, I can’t make such a claim. Yet even so, I can still say I have been feeling particularly tried and tested of late.

There have been a couple “family emergencies” I’ve had to deal with, and last September I rashly volunteered to become the chapter leader of a support group for stutterers which turned out to be more work than I planned on at the worst possible time. However, the main cause for my distress has been the production of a school book publisher’s catalog that simply will not die. The original deadline for it to go to the printer was just before Thanksgiving, but now the “drop dead” date has been moved to December 22. Our client, the notorious Ms. Smith, coiner of the phrase “I’d rather get shot,” is at it again, making my life miserable. It’s been one headache after another. At one point, Ms. Smith was even hospitalized for exhaustion. But as we stand poised near the denouement of this grand, overdrawn tragicomedy, I find myself with a moment to breathe and an opportunity to offer to my two or three readers actual comments Ms. Smith has written on layout proofs we have submitted to her. These are unedited words of criticism taken directly from the pen of Herself. Enjoy.

“Did someone who hasn’t seen the rest of the catalog design this section?”

“This spread is very poorly done. Please spend some time designing this — let me know if you need direction.”

“This looks empty and boring. Please work on design and layout. The page is not well laid out.”

“The flow on this page does NOT work. Please spend time laying out this spread.”

“I’d prefer you take more time to design something than to give me a spread like this. It’s frustrating.”

“This layout is very poorly done. Please spend some time making this page and spread attractive and balanced.”

There’s more, but you get the idea…

15 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

I'm sorry to hear that she is giving you such a hard time--again. Perhaps though she will inspire a murder mystery?

5:57 AM  
Anonymous dreadmouse said...

I can't believe that Sjust told you to kill Ms. Smith. Scott, that's just wrong!

Seriously, I'm feeling for you Herr Schprock. I hope that you'll have some time to relax and collect yourself over the holidays.

10:32 AM  
Blogger tiff said...

Boy, I like how she mixes up the directives, keeping you on your toes, as it were.

Not.

Hang in there!

10:46 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

Let's hear it for cyanide! Not that I'm advocating violence or anything...

Glad you've got a minute to breathe. Blue is not an attractive color on faces.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Shatterfist said...

You want her gone? You don't need violence - just completely screw with her mind! How about this:

It sounds like you've made several decent attempts at design. Just keep those in reserve and one day, go ape and slap a bunch of magazine cutouts together.

She'll see the false, "joke" lay-outs; and you show your superiors the real thing when she calls to complain - sort fo the "Michigan J Frog" approach.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Farrago said...

No, wait...Really? She went to the hospital for exhaustion? SCHPROCK! YOU WERE THAT CLOSE! Take her up on her offer for direction. Make her take responsibility for EVERY LAST STROKE of your electronic pen. Wear her narrow ass out and put her in the hospital again...maybe she'll hang it up and go live on a beach somewhere.

3:42 PM  
Blogger rennratt said...

I'm with Farrago.

Call her. INSIST on her input. DAILY.

Call her at the last minute for bizarre reasons, and stress that you are doing this PER HER REQUEST.

I would be FIRED by now. People like that REALLY Up My Irish.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Oh dear God, she's still around???!!! You poor dear! I like Renratt's idea. Call her daily at 7:30 a.m. (or 6:00 a.m.), then call her at lunchtime, then again at 6:30 p.m. You don't necessarily need to be at the office during those times, but pretend. Make her as crazy as she makes you. Or let me come to Boston and have a little chat with her about how she's a complete PITA. I can be nice.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Flash said...

MAn, just after reading those comments she left, I'd either resign or quit from that job.

Or you can hire someone to pull her fingernails out one by one.

Take care and relax a bit. Tis the season for happiness, not harpiness.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous mike psg said...

Hey Mr Schprock! Ms. Smith is still nipping at your nose like old man winter from last year?!?! Boy am I glad I never went back to deal with that mess again! Happy Holidays and to you, Schprock, a good night!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Shatterfist said...

Having heard more about 'Smith' in greater detail, I honestly think you've all been too nice to her!

Don't let this Grinch steal your Christmas.

11:51 AM  
Blogger LL said...

Oh Mr. S... I hope the deadline has come and gone, and now finds you able to relax for the remainder of the year.

As for Ms Smith, unless this is paying in the millions, I think you should tell your bosses to suggest she find a different firm.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

OK, Scott's comment hooked me and now I'm stuck on it. Maybe it's true -- she'll inspire some great work. I always think the greatest tests we have in life are the gateways to our greatest achievements and/or realizations.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Just wanted to say Happy New Year, Schprockie. I hope things are getting better and you'll be able to post soon.

8:01 AM  
Blogger briliantdonkey said...

wow, not sure how I missed adding you to my bloglines when I discovered that nifty little tool a couple of months ago, but I did. Glad to see you are back and now I have to catch up starting here.

BD

9:18 AM  

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