Sep 6, 2006

On Process

I have long since realized that the amount of meticulous and painstaking attention I pay to the work I do goes largely unappreciated. I know it. I'm not saying I deserve any special reward. I just know that people don't generally see the quality in good work, whereas they are very quick to notice when the work is poor. I mean, if you only knew how much time I spend processing my digital photos before posting them, just so you have something to put on your MySpace profile. The project I am working on has been periodically taking over my life. This most recent bout had me sitting on my couch for days on end, napping an hour at a time once or twice a day when I couldn't focus my eyes, and missing out on everything. At the moment, I have been working for twenty-two hours straight. No naps for me today. And no bank errands. And no gym visits. And no dinner with friends or improv shows or bar time. No dinner at all, actually. I took a shower while my postscript file was processing about fifteen minutes ago. That is the first luxury I have allowed myself. And it was well-deserved.

My employers, my clients, my friends -- I don't think anyone really sees how I work. And I'm not saying I do anything spectacular. I just think people don't know how much extra leg work I will do if allowed to. With this current project, I've spent six hours straight just sourcing stock photography. Or two hours today trying to find a title font I was happy with. And then it's clicking on every single object and making sure their x and y values are JUST RIGHT. And then doing it again. And then outputting postscript files and deciding half way through to go ahead and look up the photo credits on the stock images so they can be listed with the copyright information.

So the prickly part is whether or not any of this extra attention to detail is actually worth it. I know my previous employers have never really rewarded me for the countless sleepless nights I've worked, unwilling to let an HTML document or a design piece or a sheet of copy or a PowerPoint presentation go out with an inconsistent use of tags or a comma in the wrong place. It's entirely possible they didn't believe I worked those hours. Maybe they assumed I set an alarm so I could wake up at four a.m. and email them with my questions. I don't think I have the face of a liar, but what do I know.

The sun's coming up now, and I notice it. And I wish I didn't know it was going to be too hot to sleep in three hours.

This has been a complete waste of your time.

posted by Mary Forrest at 6:12 AM | Back to Monoblog


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