Friday, December 13, 2002


Sorry, gentle reader, but things have been unbelievably hectic these past few days. As you know, Christmas is right around the corner and requirements from clients have my company going beyond the call of duty to accomplish things before the break. Extra business, of course, is always good, however when SNAFUs occur when everyone is running around busy, well, life becomes quite...interesting.

tow, tow, tow your car

For example: A couple of days ago, my partner Marc and I went to telco bid briefing (with incredibly complex requirements that made my head spin - but that's not the story). This company has their own huge building and parking is impossible. So we parked some distance away under a sign that clearly said "No Parking". We rationalized that since it was only a briefing, it wouldn't take us forever - besides, a number of other cars were parked in the same area. Anyway, our briefing went overlong due to the technical blahblahs and we ended up spending a little over wo hours there. When we got out at past 4pm, we walked to where we parked and it was gone. In it's place was a note held down by a rock telling us that the car was taken away by a wrecker (I don't even know why they can't call a tow-truck a tow-truck - wrecker sounds so ominous). So of course we were pissed. We ended up running around a la Amazing Race trying to beat the clock and the traffic while looking for where the car was taken (we had to make it before the end of office hours or go the next day). We ended up taking a bus, jumping out, consulting a map, asking direction, etc., and all the time my feet were killing me (had spiffy shoes on - looks great, but definitely not for extended ambulatory activity).

We finally found the place with minutes to spare and I lent Marc money to redeem his car. While waiting for his paperwork to be processed, I looked around a found a bulletin board festooned with pictures of various vehicles and the towers, with a sign in pentel pen that said "Hung Hunks". Sheesh. Anyway, it cost us P1.2k, which wasn't so bad (we DID break the law willingly). At least the officers allowed Marc to get his car even without all the silly requirements like the original official receipt of purchase (who carries that?). On the way back to the office, we chose just to laugh at the entire thing. The moral, of course, is: wear sensible shoes. You never know when you have to run like mad.

death to printers

And today, after meeting up with another technology client (this one for really funky map services), we got a call that a printer defaulted on work we gave to them and expected to be delivered. To cut the long story short, the printer lied to us, misrepresenting themselves as a printer when in truth they were just color separators. Turns out that one of their marketing people owned her own little printing press and she gave the work to herself. Nepotist bitch! The worst was when we invaded her press and found out that she had only one machine and it was, get this, a one-color press (for those not in the know, most publications are four color, which means that Nepotist Bitch had run each page 4 times)! Our order was a 14-page desk calendar, back-to-back printing at 1200 copies. Her machine couldn't handle it. Why did she commit to us? She wanted our money! Gah!

We spent the rest of the day talking to another printer (whom I got upset at too at an earlier time, but at least I know they have real machines) and making sure that the everything was turned over (negatives, progressives, the works). Due to the restarted printing process, which begins with ordering the paper stock, it will be another week before the calendar sees the light of day. So of course our client is upset because the calendar is time-sensitive and had to be sent today to Europe. Since we couldn't make the deadline we committed too, we are going to have to shoulder the cost of shipping these things ourselves.

I have this thing at the office that resembles a miniature mannequin. We got it from Hong Kong and it's helpful when we need to visualize poses for shots or illustrations because of its mulitple articulated joints. I could not help but think about it because I have spent many an odd moment putting the little bugger through horrible contortions.

Like what I wanted to do to this printer!

What pissed me off was the fact that the stupid printer hid from me, refusing to take my calls. Ultimately, I threatened grave things and got the Nepotist and gave her a piece of my mind. Her excuse? She "miscalculated". Miscalutated my ass. Do the math, you moron. If everything completely falls apart, I'm charging them for lost business for the project plus damages. Our client's business to Pipe is valued in the millions of pesos. If we lose this client, I will become a monk. Well, no, not really, but something like that. After I do violent things. And swear colorfully.

Of course, what this does is freak me out about all the other projects we have in various stages of printing at our other suppliers: comic, magazine, cards, etc.

I hate, loathe and abhor being at the mercy of these printers!

If I had money I'd set up a printing press and I'd - no, no. I'd buy condo and office units and lease them out, be a landlord and get money doing nothing.

Or take out a series of full page ads and malign every printer I've ever fought, and that's really a lot (a light moment during my stress was trying to remember which printer I haven't fought = zero).

And that's just the tip of the iceberg for a week that has been nothing short of dramatic.

Gah, indeed.


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