Monday, September 18, 2006

This is what I do...

I don't work for the company in the picture, but I think I may as well. I can't believe this company exists.

The most steady work I've had in the last couple of years has been a series of educational journals focusing on children with some form of special need. The most frequent of these have to do with kids with behavioral disorders. Which seems to cover everything from tantrums to autism.

There is essentially no design in these projects. Each issue is pretty much exactly like the previous issue. Some of them only use one font. Ever.

How this works is that I get a package via FedEx (The guy who delivers them seems amused at how often he has woken me up: sometimes he says "well, look who's up!" real condescendingly if I answer the door promptly. Am I really expected to tip this guy at Christmas?). Inside the package is the manuscript (or a marked-up version on later rounds) and a disc of the files. Sometimes there's a picture to use on the cover. Often this looks like it was taken with a phone, or the head of the subject is cropped out. I go through the hundred pages or so I've received and separate them into articles, then I mark these pages up with notes to myself about what formatting or special issues they might have.

I try not to read the articles. There's no real reason to. Since there's no design, the content of the article has no effect on what it will look like. And they're not exactly a fun read; most of the authors are scientists rather than writers, and they tend to write more about the statistics of their study than the kids they might be helping.

Also, like the template itself, each article is more or less the same as the previous article, except that one might be about 3rd graders in Texas and another about 2nd graders in California. So that's totally different.

One guy who publishes all the time in these things has the unique ability to cite himself in his own references up to 30 times. So they can be a bit masturbatory, as well.

I have done almost six hundred pages of these journals in the last year. The client, I guess as a reward, or to shift things around for me, is sending me a 500 page textbook on Wednesday. Which also features no design at all.

Yeah, I agree: this post is boring. So just imagine how satisfying the work itself is. Hence my big-ass plan to get the hell out of this business within five years.

4 comments:

CC2383 said...

I love my job.

the moon topples said...

yeah, well, what do you know? you're 23. plus I happen to know that your job isn't very demanding.

CC2383 said...

Sure it is demanding. I have to actually get up and get dressed and leave my house to go to work! unlike some people...

the moon topples said...

fyi: i have to get up (if my laptop isn't near the bed) and frequently i get dressed as well. my point was that once you get to work, you seem to have an awful lot of time to goof off on the internet and mail weird things to people.