Swamped

Every once in while so much work piles up at the office that I am up late in the night just trying to figure out what happened today and what is planned for tomorrow. This is one of those weeks and I am up to my neck in customers who want everything done yesterday. I have racked my brains to figure out some sort of pattern that could indicate when these times happen but no luck so far. It just happens. There are no dates or times of year when its likely or events which trigger the onslaught of customers all at once. And before I can figure out what is going on, its over. Back to the normal daily routine.
Though it may sound like it but I am not actually complaining. As long as these spurts in activity come once in a while I can handle them. It doesn’t mean any more profit, just more work in a narrower span of time because they are the usual clients. So if I finish off their work now, that means they won’t come when I actually expect to hear from them later on. So it balances out in the end.
The only difference this time are my entries here. Usually I surf around before I sit down to write to see what kind of stuff people are writing about that would interest me. I haven’t done that over the last few days. My laptop is sitting silently on my printer waiting for me to switch it on and see what the world is saying. I think it’ll sit for a few more days while I wrestle with work.
Time was when designers for print were in good demand but now everyone seems think they are the designers. With the popularity of computers and user-friendliness of DTP software, anyone can do design. So many come to me with a ‘print-ready’ file. As a result, most of my time is spent in fixing their mistakes and explaining to them why the colors or the margins they have arbitrarily chosen will not ever see the light of day on a printing press. Many of them look at me accusingly as if I am too incompetent to trust with their job and since it is usually the wife or the favorite nephew who has done the work, they are adamant that the work be done exactly as it looks.
And I know from experience that if I just give in, I won’t get paid for it. Sometimes their faith in their design is so high that they are willing to take the risk of whatever happens to it after the image setter. Those are the times I insist on payment first because I know I will never see them again after the job is printed. It is difficult to explain to a layman why the RGB Passion Purple becomes muddy gray in CMYK prints.
‘But that is my wife’s favorite color,’ they scream at me as if its my fault the two gamut are not the same. There’s no point in trying to explain it to them since the ‘designer’ is sitting at home waiting for her husband’s new corporate brochure to be delivered in time for her next kitty. Needless to say, the wife blames it all on me and the husband who has had no complaints till now, suddenly has to find a new designer if doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life on the living room sofa.

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