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But I Promised, So It Has To Happen!

, , , | Working | August 10, 2021

The small company where I used to work produced illustrations and animations for very demanding clients. The deadlines were often tight and/or unpredictable, and this was not helped by the boss, who often sat on projects for months before giving them to us, the employees, with only weeks or days left before the deadline.

As an illustrator there, I learned that the boss also had an odd notion of how deadlines worked. He would tell me a project was due Friday, so I would stress out trying to finish something in three days when it would more comfortably take me five. Then, as Friday wore on, I’d begin to wonder why clients were waiting eagerly to receive things right before the weekend. I’d ask the boss if he was sure they needed it today, or if there was any chance I could use my weekend to finish. And then — surprise! — he’d say, “Oh, no, they don’t need it until Monday, but I wanted you to have your weekend free, so I just made the deadline Friday!” as though he’d done me a great favor.

Good intentions, I suppose, but I would rather work at a non-stressed pace than wear myself out just for two free days (that I’d probably be too burnt out to enjoy) and I did not appreciate not being told the real deadline so I could make the choice myself. This is just one example of the many things I don’t miss about working there.

As it happens, I met my current boyfriend at that job, and while I escaped a few years ago, he still works there as an animator. From everything I hear, all the same managerial nonsense continues, including the boss’s creative massaging of deadlines.

My boyfriend and I are due to move from our apartment to a house next week — a big event! — and my boyfriend made it very clear which days he needed off for our move. He thought all his current projects were wrapping up, and that he’d be free on schedule. Then, the boss lets [Boyfriend] know that he’s promised a client a lot of changes to their recent animation. 

Boss: “Oh, but not to worry! I know you’re taking next week off, so I made sure to promise that all the changes would be done by Monday!”

Boyfriend: “No! Just because you promise a client something, that doesn’t make the time it takes to do it magically shorter! Even if I could make the changes quickly, the render time alone takes ages!”

Somehow, the boss has not learned this lesson in the TWELVE YEARS my boyfriend has been doing this job. He remains surprised every time!

Some good news: my boyfriend was just approached by a better company for a better job, actually, and I really hope he gets it!

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