As if I don’t have enough personal stuff on my plate now, my boss called me into his office yesterday and said that, while the projects I’m doing are making money, good money actually, there aren’t enough of them.
Instead of the two months per project I’ve had for the past two years, I now have one month. This slavedriver boss of mine wants my production schedule increased two-fold. Did he mention a raise? Nope. Did he offer to get me some help? Not on your life. Did he say how he expected me to do twice the work in half the time? Magic, I guess.
This new production schedule means a constant workload. The thing I liked about this relatively crappy low-paying job with tons of responsibility is that it was always so relaxed. I don’t make enough money to work 40 hours a week, so I’ve taken it upon myself to work 20-30 hours or so a week, depending on what needs doing. It’s only fair. The other hours, I spent with you reading and writing blog posts, drawing unicorns and lions in Illustrator, and generally not doing what I’m not paid enough to do.
I suppose doubling my workload is possible if I actually work 40 hours a week, but I don’t find that fair. If I work 40 hours, my hourly rate for work is on par with a fry cook. Screw that. I am an Art Director. I direct art for a living, goddamnit. I should be making a lot more.
This is part of the reason I would like to go back to school. Graphic design is a shit job. People take it for granted and think it should be free. My boss, who I have worked with for over ten years, has sat right next to my desk and watched me work on something (which I find incredibly annoying), yet he still has no idea how involved design really is. He seems to think that design is easy-peasy even though he’ll sit right next to me and back-seat drive my work.
Imagine that you own a high-end furniture company. You are smart enough to know that you are a businessman, not a craftsman, so you hire a master craftsman to carve the amazingly intricate legs on your tables. The master craftsman could have gotten a job elsewhere for more, but he took the job at your small company because it’s a laid back atmosphere and he really enjoys creating intricate carvings. He knows that larger companies won’t allow him the freedom to do what he wants. With your master craftsman on board, you’ve changed your boring-ass table legs to this:
What do you know! Sales have increased! Wooooo! You’re now rolling in awesome lion table leg money! You decide not to show up to work for months on end. When you do show up, it’s really only to cash your checks and micromanage.
You stop in to see the master craftsman when you’re in town and sit next to his work table for hours, nitpicking every little thing he does. Does the lion really need four claws? Can’t we just give him three? But lions have four claws and I’ve built this table leg so that four claws provide the most support. If you remove a claw, the table won’t be as structurally sound. Well, build me a mockup with only three claws. But that’s a waste of time and just wrong…
A week later, the master craftsman is sitting in your enormous office with your crappy three-clawed lion leg mockup and he’s obviously not too happy about it. You shove a report at him that says you could save X dollars in time and material by using only three claws. Make the lions with only three claws from now on.
Sales of lion tables dip. Hm, why are sales decreasing? (It couldn’t possibly be the lack of four claws is making the table wobble a bit now.) You guess people are tired of lion tables. So, you call your master craftsman in and tell him you’d like to brainstorm ideas. He starts to tell you about all these ideas he has, but you cut him off. You tell him that you want goat legs!
The master craftsman sighs and says that’s a ridiculous idea, and really, a waste of his talent. Why would you build boring goat legs when you have lion legs? Anyone can make goat legs, but only a master craftsman can carve a lion leg. You tell him that in the time it takes to make one lion leg, you can make twenty goat legs. You’re the boss here and he will damn well start building goats.
Do you see where this is going? I am the master craftsman and now I’m making goat legs. I don’t want to make goat legs anymore. I wasn’t paid enough to make lion legs, and I’m definitely not paid enough to make goat legs. My opinions about goat legs are not valued anyway. And now, instead of having two months to make four-clawed lions, I have one month to make a million goat legs.
Sigh. Someone find me a new job.