Posted by: raesalley | November 4, 2013

Publications & purgatory

I said a few days ago I would explain the project that had me breathing into a paper bag before going trick or treating. It all starts with my boss saying “I like books” and things go downhill from there.

It’s a year ago and I’m pecking away at translating our product labels from regulatory speak to English without letting it cross into Marketing English. Parts of getting this translation involved reminding folks that when I started this job I knew food was tasty and sometimes grown. This usually kept the technobabble to a 4H level. These translations became the backbone of a pretty book. Said pretty book needs to be updated, as it is out of date almost as soon as it rolls off the press.

Also problematic is the fact that the subset of said pretty book is used in a high profile meeting. This subset gets pretty maps and graphics to go with it. The graphics change almost weekly prior to the meeting, but I need them finalized about a month before to be in the book. Occasionally getting these decisions is similar to nailing jello to a tree.

When I returned to the office after the birth of Buddy Roo planning for this year’s meeting was underway. I asked if the book was being done and received neither confirmation nor denial. Never a good sign. A week later, I was told it was a go. The first thing I asked for was a deadline. My back of the envelope calculation said that it needed to be in first draft mode as of yesterday. Did I mention that we were adding a section? With seven new products? Whoops.

After a weeK I still didn’t have a deadline. Without a deadline, I usually let things slide around based on whatever is screaming at me at that moment. The new products weren’t easy to translate either so I was still chipping away at them when I got an instant message on Halloween saying that the printer wanted everything Monday. I bargained back to Wednesday, but knew it was going to be tight. Much of it depended on getting sign off from five different people on a Friday. Somehow, we pulled that off and the final revision left my hand around three this afternoon.

I have faith I will get a proof tomorrow that will be near perfect and we will pull this off. It will look fabulous again and all will be happy. But I will remember the time spent walking the building to make sure everything was just so.

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