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, , | Right | October 24, 2021

Client: “We need a newsletter to be made and sent.”

Me: “Okay, what is it about? What information does it need to include?”

Client: “We actually already made it and it just needs to be sent.”

The newsletter is mostly written in caps lock and in addition, sentences end with three exclamation points. 

Me: “Sorry, but do we really need to put three exclamation points? And it is usually not a good idea to write in caps lock, it can seem a bit aggressive.”

I tried to be as moderate as possible in my comments so as not to offend the client.  

Client: “But how will people know it is important if it is not written like this?”

Me: “How will they know what is important if everything is emphasized?”

Client: “Oh, yeah.”

How About We Let People Do The Work We Hired Them For?

, , , , | Working | October 20, 2021

I create designs for a print shop and have a very frustrating boss. Here are a few examples of how she manages our department.

I was tasked with creating a sign to mark the Employees Only area of our shop. I made a simple design with a red circle with a line through it next to the words, “Employees Only.” My boss made me change it to a text-only design because:

Boss: “The circle with the red line through it is hostile. It’s like we’re saying our clients aren’t welcome here. You should make the sign more welcoming. I went to college for this. I got my degree on this matter.”

It’s true my degree isn’t in Marketing; it’s in Business… but so is hers! I also feel it’s ridiculous, as the red circle with a line through it is a universally recognized symbol, and I feel that maybe, just maybe, the people who don’t read signs would recognize the symbol and stop before entering. Regardless, her version must have been “welcoming” as people did keep barging through the back door.

In a different case, I was tasked with designing a business card for a client. I came up with a design that met all of the specifications and showed it to my boss for final approval. She suggested one change, which I implemented immediately, and then she approved it without further comment. The job was sent to the printers. Before it was shipped out two days later, I happened to pass by the printer area and see it. The graphic I chose had been completely removed, leaving the card as just plain text. I asked the boss about this.

Boss: “The graphic made it hard to read the text.”

I disagreed — I wear glasses and had taken my glasses off to proofread the business card and could read everything just fine — but since she’s the boss, if she wants no graphic, then there’s no graphic. This client had no strong feelings about that particular design choice. I just couldn’t understand why my manager wouldn’t tell me when we were going through the approval process so I could correct it. I can’t understand why she felt the need to go behind my back to remove the graphic herself without even telling me at any point in time!

Speaking of “hard to see,” she claimed that a lot; I know for a fact, though, that my vision is worse than hers. I would look at the things she would nitpick over, claiming that the position of words and graphics were “hard to read.” I never had the problem reading what she said was impossible to read. If anything, it boiled down to stylistic differences. I preferred one strong graphic to interact with the text. She preferred repeating the same graphic in a tile pattern, which resulted in a series of smaller graphics and a lot of white space. I also felt that I was her least favorite designer, as she perpetually commented on my use of fonts — which were always on the list of approved fonts for any given job — while she never commented on my coworkers’ designs. One such coworker went as far as to use a bubble letter font with googly eyes — not requested by the client — and the boss said nothing and didn’t go behind that coworker’s back to change anything.

But through it all, I just swallowed my thoughts with, “I’m being paid regardless and she’s the boss.” However, the most recent incident caused me to post here. 

I worked for half a day on a new job: a series of advertising fliers for a local client. I had a pile of photos the client wanted to use, and this client had spoken to me about which images were the best of the bunch. I worked hard, laying out everything with the approved colors and fonts. I kept everything to no more than three graphics per flyer so that they would all be large enough to see at a distance. Most flyers only have a single client-given photo; a few have two. My boss approved my designs.

The next day, I went through our shared folder looking for an unrelated assignment when I noticed the “recently edited” date on my flyer project was only a couple hours ago. I opened it and, sure enough, my boss had again gone behind my back, except this time, she had absolutely and completely and totally butchered everything. She crammed upward of six graphics on a single flyer, choosing the busiest graphics and putting frames around each image, so each image would be all the smaller when printed. The frames even had the original creators’ watermarks on them, so she just took images from the Internet! She ignored the client’s preferred photos, and she associated photos together on the same flyers that were supposed to be on different flyers. She also butchered a couple of the layouts, resulting in one flyer with the images literally stacked on top of each other like a deck of cards and a different flyer cut in half, size-wise. She didn’t even make a copy of all the work I had done initially. She overwrote everything, leaving behind nothing but her versions with her edits. This meant I had to take another half-day remaking the flyers up to the client’s actual specifications.

The thing is, if she wanted edits, she could have simply not approved my initial designs and given me feedback on what to change. She didn’t have to lie about approving things and then go behind my back to butcher everything.

A Colorful Request

, , | Right | October 19, 2021

A client asks me to color some black and white pictures of his mother as a child.

Client: “It’s for her funeral next week.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear about her passing. What type of hair color and skin tone did your mother have as a child?”

Client: “I’ll snip a piece of her hair off. You can scan it and take the color from there.”

Me: “…”

There’s A Reason I Cannot Afford Clothes

, , , , | Right | October 18, 2021

After working for a designer for over six months at an unpaid internship, I finally had to tell her that I could no longer work without a paycheck. We set up a meeting in which we discussed details about working for her at certain one-night events and receiving pay for the event itself.

After three weeks of my emails going ignored, she finally emails me back a day or two before the event:

Designer “Sorry, my boyfriend’s wife died and we were taking care of him for the last three weeks. I couldn’t email you.”

I reply, gently:

Me: “Business is business and I need info on the details of the event and how much I was being paid for it in order to help.”

I hear nothing from her until the afternoon of the event:

Designer: “Hey, be here for the event at 5 pm, okay?.”

I call her to discuss payment with her (because I was not going to work an event for free, especially after she was notorious for borrowing money from me and never paying me back), and she says:

Designer: “Hey! I have a great idea! In return for working tonight, I’ll give you sample pieces of fabric I’m not using and you can take them home and make your own clothes since I know you can’t afford to buy them right now. Then, we can put my label on them and sell them and I’ll give you 10% commission!”

I politely told her that I could not help her out at the event because I needed to be paid in US Dollars.

Her boyfriend called me back to yell at me about how ungrateful I was being.

Leaving On A Jet Plane

, , , , | Right | October 16, 2021

My buddy has just decided it isn’t worth it anymore. He’s a screen printer/logo designer and garment prices keep going up and his customers want to pay less. He has sold everything, his house, his building, his equipment, and his cars, and left the country.

He wraps up his affairs, finishes up his orders, and notifies the majority of his customers that he is out of business. He then gives me all of his artwork in case a former client wants it.

Former Client: “I need a hundred T-shirts for this weekend.”

Me: “[Buddy] is out of business. I am an emergency contact.”

Former Client: “Tell him I’ll pay double; I need the T-shirts for this weekend.”

I look up the customer’s information and he hasn’t ordered in many years.

Me: “[Buddy] ave has left the building; find another printer.”

Former Client: “Tell him to die a slow painful death.”

I delete the client’s artwork and block the number!