Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

So I've been a little busy lately...

No time for political ranting lately - I have been inundated with new work these last few weeks. At the end of last year we found out we'd be losing our contract with Yellow Book, with whom we'd been printing directories for more than a year. They simply didn't have the work to keep us going along with their own presses, so that was it - we printed our last directory two weeks ago. We all left on good terms and hopefully when things turn around they will come back, but in the meantime that left us with a HUGE revenue hole to fill. So last month my boss went driving around the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire (fancy words for Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort and Savannah) picking up every weekly/bi-weekly and monthly he could find, then calling their publishers and offering them a deal. Our press is state-of-the-art, and we can produce far better quality than other folks and do it for less money, which is something everyone in the publishing business is looking for. So within the span of a month, he has landed four new publications, with things looking promising for three others. While it would take at least a dozen new contracts to equal the Yellow Book work, it's better than nothing. So the upside is that we're making money for the company that it wasn't counting on, and every little bit helps. Also, it keeps me and my staff employed, so there's that. The downside is the amount of work it has created for us is staggering - it's not so much the printing, as we've got that down to a science. Mostly it's the time spent coordinating with a bunch of different people who work at these various publications. We were used to dealing with one person at Yellow Book, and I didn't appreciate how easy that made things. We're currently dealing with folks who send us photos in RGB, make PDF's with EPS files (big no no) and are using Multi-Ad instead of InDesign or Quark. It's been a bit of a challenge, but the whole department is pitching in and making sure we are getting all this new work done at a very high level while still maintaining our responsibilities to the Packet and Gazette.

Speaking of which, for as much money as we're bringing in, I know it's not enough and there are going to be some changes coming to the Packet. I don't know precisely what they are, but I have a feeling that my work-life may be quite different here in the next few weeks. We all hear rumors of lay-offs, furloughs, pay cuts, you name it. I won't pretend I haven't looked around at OS X Sys Admin jobs in the state of Colorado, but a) we couldn't sell the house anyway and b) no matter what happens, I still feel a sense of loyalty to the Packet. Not to any particular individual (the guy who originally hired me is long gone, and the other guy who hired me works on Mars now!), but to the company that gave a punk-nineteen-year-old-who-thought-he-knew-everything a chance despite his lack of college or equivalent work experience. I feel like I have a duty to do everything I can to help turn this mess around. For the few who care, I'll post when the other shoe drops, whenever that might be.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Quote of the day

"I am seriously glad to be here tonight at the annual Alfalfa dinner. I know that many you are aware that this dinner began almost one hundred years ago as a way to celebrate the birthday of General Robert E. Lee. If he were here with us tonight, the General would be 202 years old. And very confused."

-- President Obama, in remarks last night