Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Courtesy of Captain Morgan

Last Friday was a strange and rough day at work. It was our catalog deadline day, which always adds a degree of freneticism and lunacy not present in our usual day-to-day operations. It was kicked up a notch, however, when our company network experienced a catastrophic failure very early in the day. This took out not only our Internet and email capability, but also our ability to transfer files internally. This was all a very big deal, because we depend on the network a great deal in all phases of putting our catalogs together, but especially on deadline day. The loss of the network posed a severe threat to our string of having never missed a deadline, a string of which our department is justifiably proud.

Fortunately for me, being without the network didn't really affect my responsibilities, at least as far as the catalog was concerned. It did mean I couldn't search for art we were missing, but then, neither could anyone else. I was able to proofread the few pages that were left, which was my primary concern. The trouble for me came once all my proofreading was finished. When I'm not proofing, I generally perform some Internet-related tasks that were now out of the question. I was able to find some tedious tasks to occupy my time, but it made for a very long afternoon.

The network did not come back up at any point on Friday, which made for a very interesting atmosphere in our office. The good news is that we did not miss our deadline. Everyone worked together to figure out ways to work around our limitations, and a few people had to stay late to make sure everything got done. We made it through, but the circumstances made everyone a little loopy. Some of the strangest and most hilarious conversations were taking place. It really turned out to be a pretty cool day, considering that we overcame a pretty big obstacle to get done what we needed to, but actually getting through it was at least a little stressful.

Because of that, we decided to go out as a department for a drink after work. A few of us had planned on doing so anyway, but the day's events helped to increase the crowd. Outings like that are always interesting, and this was no exception. I've gotten to be pretty good friends with a couple of people I work with, but there are others for whom it's kind of strange to see them outside of a work setting. It's fun to see them in a new light, though. You can learn plenty of new things, especially when alcohol is involved, and sometimes it's easier to talk to co-workers (or your boss) on an informal basis if you don't know them all that well.

I found out while I was there that I was going along with several other people on a field trip this coming Thursday. We're going to tour the facility where our catalog is printed. I'm pretty excited about that. Due to the nature of my job, I don't often get to go on outings like this when others in my department do, and sometimes that bothers me. It'll be cool to spend a day out of the office and on the road. It's not a long trip--just a couple of hours on the turnpike--but it's something. It'll be interesting to see the final stages of how the catalog is put together. I don't know how useful such a tour will be for me, but it can't hurt.

Later, I found myself sitting and talking to the director of my department. I mentioned before that I had planned to schedule a meeting with her to discuss my future with the company, but we ended up having such a meeting at the bar, and I wasn't the one who brought it up. I had done a couple of proofreading projects for her, non-catalog stuff that I don't normally see, and then she had me write up a paragraph of ad copy from some general information. She started talking about how impressed she was with the work I had done, and then she mentioned that someone at some point had changed my title to "Copywriter/Proofreader" (I suspect my last boss, who wasn't with us for very long). She then asked if I would be interested in doing more of that sort of work. I told her I would love to, and that I had actually been planning to ask for some new and more creative responsibilities, and she was ecstatic. We talked about possible workflows and how this new task would fit in with my current job, and it was a good chat.

She told me that my new copywriting duties wouldn't start right away, but that hasn't exactly turned out to be true. Already this week, I've been asked to do a substantial rewrite of some copy explaining some changes to our website's functionality. I'm stoked. The stuff I'm writing isn't all that exciting, but at least it's different--it's not the same thing every day, and it gives me a chance to be at least a little bit creative.

So we'll see how this goes, especially as more projects start coming my way. If it goes well...I have a review coming up in about three months, and this is the sort of thing that should put me in line for more money. An increase in pay and creativity would make me a great deal more satisfied with my job, and that would be an awesome thing.

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