You used to love this job. The day you started was the day you fell in love with digital design. After all those years of keylines, comps, markers, technical pens, India ink, rubylith and amberlith, paper galleys, wax and X-Acto knives, a whole new realm of endeavor opened up for you. The only computer you’d ever seen was the funky little dual floppy drive thing you used in your studio for word processing. This newfangled Mac did it all! Word processing, typesetting, illustration, photo cropping, sizing and manipulation and layout, all in one place. And by gum, you could have as many alterations as you wanted at no cost—a graphic designer’s dream.
From your first day, you broke all their awful “rules” and violated all their sacrosanct “standards” in your quest for beautiful design. You ignored their five-column publication standard and you chose your own type faces. Working with that five column requirement was a dreadful nightmare. Without telling anyone, you simply ignored it and when after three weeks on the job, you produced your very first alumni magazine, it had a fresh, new look and no one was complaining. You slowly introduced COLOR into the department’s black and white world, and when finally, a few years down the road, color monitors were introduced, everyone jumped on the bandwagon.
Your boss with the big head and a hole in his hair, was, in a word, peculiar. A total control freak, he attempted to micromanage everything. It worked at home. His wife wasn’t “allowed” to get a job and his kids were forbidden to watch Star Trek because there were bra commercials. Heaven forbid they should see an article of underclothing on television. Notice the word attempt back there. Creatives area a funny bunch. They don’t respond well to micromanaging. Eventually, your rebellious nature rubbed off on your formerly docile junior designer, who one day suddenly snapped.
Not content with a bell in the hallway that let everyone know when the phone was ringing out at the front desk, big-headed boss (BHB) installed another between and directly over the doors to your offices, set to ring at full blast. Each time the phone rang, you both jumped out of your skin. Your co-worker took matters into her own hands, climbed up and turned the ringer down to a normal decibel level. BHB was livid. The next morning, he sneaked in before anyone else had arrived and bolted the sound control lever into place. Not to be outdone, she climbed up and stuffed paper towels inside the bell, muffling the sound considerably. Later in the morning, as you and your co-workers were all hanging out behind the front desk, BHB walked in and started to give her grief. In a flash, this young woman who used to be so quiet and accommodating lunged forward, arms extended, as though to strangle him. The administrative clerk restrained her and suggested she take an early lunch, but BHB certainly got the message. He never messed with that bell again.