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I love my job.
I know a lot of people say this in an attempt to convince themselves that it is true, but for me I actually mean it. I don’t always like the people I work with, and I’m not a fan of the industry I’m in, but you can’t win ‘em all. Currently, I am the Head of Creative for a mid-size company. I love telling people I’m the Head of Creative when I introduce myself because it sounds very important and high up. What I fail to mention is that the creative department consists of only me, and eventually an intern that they have promised I can have for months now.
It’s nice overseeing myself and not having to work as a team. I love synergy as much as the next person, but I’m not always in the mood to volley ideas and brainstorm when I can save time and do the whole thing on my own. In terms of job description, I handle any graphic design, copywriting, promotional material, social media management, and web design that’s needed within the company. For those of you in the marketing/creative field, you know full well the pain that comes with creating content for people who don’t know what they want. For those of you less familiar, I’ve created a list of my favorite most ridiculous requests I’ve received from co-workers.
Can You reorder the way things show up on the Facebook timeline?
This was the moment that I realized very intelligent people can say some dumb shit. Someone very high up in the company brought up in a board meeting that he would like me to reorganize the way Facebook sorts posts. Our posts would show up at the top of everyone’s timeline, and link to our business page, that would be laid out like an interactive newsletter, which is physically impossible to do. He also noted that it would be nice if I could change the blue color that shows up on the top banner of the website.
I tried to meet him halfway and explained I could set up some paid advertising posts that would automatically show up on people’s timelines or sidebars, but the other aspects were changes that would have to be made by Facebook’s development team. This was not the correct answer, since he was expecting all this work to be done with a budget of $0.00. I’m still not sure if he really didn’t understand that I can’t change the way Facebook looks, or if he thought I had some direct connection to Mark Zuckerberg that I had been hiding. In the end, I said I would look into it, and just never followed up.
Change all the font on this to Comic Sans.
There are many occasions when I will have a finished product that looks good and I’m proud of, and someone will request a change that ruins the whole thing. Having a degree and experience in my field means absolutely nothing apparently. Someone with thirty minutes of knowledge from a TED talk about advertising visuals knows more than I do.
I was working on a project for someone creating a flyer for a new product line. I like sleek minimalistic design and I felt like that style looked appropriate for this piece. The sales guy who had requested the flyers, saw the final copy and asked that I change all the text to Comic Sans font, and since it was his material, I had to oblige. I tried talking him out of it, but no amount of explanation would tear him away from the idea that Comic Sans is “fun” and “easy to read.” A part of me died that day, and I learned a good lesson about just sending things to be printed before some dumbass can make unnecessary changes.
I know it’s Thursday afternoon, but can you have this 10-page project to me by Friday morning?
I’m assuming this isn’t specific to my job, but it seems to happen way more often than it should. The sales team, business office, or whoever is requesting the work somehow thinks designing a product catalog from scratch takes an hour tops. All you do is move some pictures around and pick some fonts, right? When I was young and desperate to make a good impression, I would work late evenings and weekends to get these types of requests done. Now that I have some time under my belt, I have no issue sending a passive-aggressive email letting the requester know that I will not be getting it to them in their time frame, and also to go shove it.
Can you design this for me? Just so you know, it’s going to take 200 drafts before I’m satisfied.
This person is the absolute worst to try and work with. While they don’t actually come to you with the above statement, it’s understood that helping them is going to be a drawn-out process. They will explain to me what they want, I will show them a product that is exactly what they described, and they will come back with multiple changes. Each time they send changes and I send over a new draft, they’ll respond with even more changes. As the email chain grows longer and my patience grows thinner, we’ll get closer to a final product that looks absolutely nothing like their original idea.
I read this article, saw this video, heard a story etc. about this thing another company is doing. We should copy it.
Imitation on the art field is a given. I’m always looking at what other people are doing to draw inspiration from. Everyone does it, but what you don’t do is copy exactly what someone else has done. I’ll have a manager come to me and ask for an exact replica of an ad a competitor has created. I’ll offer a twist on their design so that we have some sense of originality, but they stick to their guns that we need to put out the same thing, but with our logo on it. This has become my hill to die on. I refuse to do it, and I’m sure I’ve pissed a lot of co-workers of this way.
You don’t really need that much software.
Our accounting department is not my biggest fan. To do my job to the best of my ability, I have the Adobe suite software, which costs a pretty penny. When I first submitted a request for the software and to be paid as a business expense, I was met with a lot of pushback. After weeks of written request on why the software was necessary, pricing quotes, and a meeting with the board of directors, I finally got them to cover it. The whole time I was fighting for my programs, the accounting department kept insisting that anything I needed I could do in Microsoft Office.
I would later butt heads with them over funding for stock images, and they asked why I couldn’t just Google images and use them for free. The accounting department is my Achilles heel, and I’m entirely convinced every accountant on staff wants me dead.
To those of you who interact with your creative department at work, please be nice to us. I know at times the job seems easy, but I promise there are more headaches than you realize. Sometimes I dick around at work and create logos for my future gin distillery, or scroll Pinterest for hours looking for “inspiration,” but I also put in a lot of hard work. My job not be saving lives, or making the world a better place, but I can make a pretty sick blended image in Photoshop, and that’s pretty much the same thing. .