January 14, 2009

Warning: Whining Ahead.

This is all so complicated. I'm design lead for two shows at once. Most of my team overlaps between the two shows. Before I can even show anything to a client, I have to run the gamut of all these internal people (two show leads, three marketing people, a copy editor, a copywriter, and operation leads). The Marketing Lead for Green Show, let's call him Busy Nothingness, treats me as a tool. Never enough information, never a strategic picture or direction, what he gives comes in drips that don't help me. I'm mostly making up headlines and creating layouts on my own.

Seriously, before Christmas Break, I laid out an ad knowing we had a deadline two days after we came back. No one in Marketing saw it. I showed it to the client for layout, told him Marketing hadn't seen it yet. He loved it, wrote some copy, we tweaked slightly and it went to print. However, we're an agency, so we have to go through proper protocol. No wonder boutique ad agencies (with three or four people) can be so much cheaper than my company!

The last THREE days I've been trying to get feedback from Busy Nothingness for Registration Email Templates. He'll send one-sentence responses that are off topic and never really look through everything with a critical eye. He's not as bad as Captain Chaos was, but he's on the same playing field. I'm going to email him tomorrow to see if we can talk Friday.

None of that even touches the complexity this year on the client end! Plus, for more fun, I can't hire anyone as a production designer or as a junior designer. Basically, since we have other offices with people on salary, I'm going to have to Art Direct someone in a remote location (potentially a different time zone). I've never Art Directed anyone, have no idea how to get someone else to be my clone without crushing them, I NEED eye-contact! This is going to be more of a nightmare than I want to contemplate.

The annoying thing is that I'm eating my frustrations. Sometimes, I can't do anything about the client, or our internal people, so I just need a break and I end up eating. I don't want to be overweight, depressed and miserable by the end of all this.

Whine, whine, whine. I have a job, right? Gratefulness Music wafts softly in the background . . . I love my clients . . . I love my coworkers . . . one big happy family . . . SMASH.

My creativity is draining out of my with this client. I don't know if I could make it through another year. Yet . . . it's getting us on good financial footing. Theoretically, this summer/fall, Jrex might apply for a 'real' job. I know that means we'll likely move sometime in Spring/Summer 2010. I feel like I could make it through December this year. Mostly I need to pass off Green Show and his sister, Blue Show. I can't do another cycle of this insanity. To be fair to my company, if I quit in the middle of the spring, I do them a disservice. They need a designer here for the whole Blue Show cycle.

Hmm . . . I'm coming up with a plan. Survive the spring, enjoy the summer and fall. Quit in December, enjoy my break. Do contract work and house hunting (in another city) next spring. I think if I lie to myself with that 'out', I might make it through until we move . . .


Aimee said...

Is there any way you could cc anyone else when you email Busy Nothingness? Someone "over his head"? Or at the very least, the people in Marketing who NEED to see it? Just thinking.

BTW, if you guys need anyone to do writing, editing or proofreading remotely, I know someone who is totally available. ;-)

It IS frustrating and I'm sorry things are so overwhelming. I'm a stress eater as well, so I am empathizing with you on that. I hope that there's some way the shows can come together without you getting burnt out.

Rachel said...

That sounds very frustrating. I hope the situation improves and you get the information you need.

Snickollet said...

I hate it when work frustration starts to affect my overall quality of life. So irritating.

I'm sorry you're in such a stressful place right now. I think you're wise to have a long-range escape plan to help get you through the day-to-day.

Anonymous said...

Want to outsource some work??? :-D jao

Mama Nabi said...

Ugh. I just inherited a similar PI with a grant that I manage (my lovely boss is slowly shedding his duties) and he's a lot like Busy Nothingness. A lot of empty instructions that are vague and no real movement forward. Frustrating! Remote supervision sounds challenging!