I'm feeling mentally and physically drained, but today, Saturday, is starting off well with a mostly blue sky, a three-quarter moon still visible to the west and a breeze through the window revealing a brisk fall morning. I ought to get my bike out and take it for a spin. I will do that, after coffee and breakfast.
Why so drained? The morale at work seems to be at one of its lowest points since I started a year-and-a-half ago. The Powers That Be chose to lay off a coworker two weeks ago, without a plan in place to handle her work. At the time they announced the layoff, they claimed they had a plan in place, and that this wouldn't affect any of our jobs. I didn't believe that, and, as I expected, this week I was asked to help with some of her work.
Meanwhile, all the articles I need to edit for the next issue are late -- over 10 days late -- because our top editor can't get her head out of her ass and make a decision. Naturally, that can't be used as an excuse: WE still have to make deadlines. My computer started acting up, not printing properly. Our friend who was just laid off might have helped with this, but, no more.
I'm working on a Mac (I previously only worked on PCs) and in InDesign (previously used Quark) and, while I'm all right with this technology, there are regular moments of frustration I come across. "Why isn't my cursor letting me edit text in this box? How many layers of boxes do we have here? Why are the proper fonts not appearing? What the f***?" etc. etc."
This wouldn't be so bad if we had a help desk person, but we don't. As a matter of fact, the last few companies I've worked at either didn't have a help desk person when I started, or his/her job was eliminated at some point in the name of cost-cutting.
I'm a word person. I've learned enough in modern publishing, over the years, to use these design programs -- as much as I've needed to. In other words, if someone else (ie, an art director) dealt with font maintenance, there was no reason (and usually, not enough time) to learn font maintenance. Why would I learn HTML code if my job is to provide copy to the web experts?
In my first publishing job, I worked on a newspaper with the printing press downstairs. The copy boy would run the sheets downstairs after each page was complete. I sometimes would go down after my shift, talk to the press guys and watch the first edition roll off the presses. (I used to LOVE that, especially when I had a byline on the front page.)
This doesn't mean that I knew how to work a printing press. I was a reporter!
If I'm doing the same job today -- reporting, editing, writing -- why is it that I'm supposed to suddenly be an expert in technology? And if technology is so advanced that it's supposed to be "easy" for everyone to use, why is it constantly frustrating and not doing what it's supposed to do? Why is it not more intuitive?
My company has finally agreed (after talking about this for over a year) to pay for me to take a three-day computer course. See, that's the other thing. Companies want employees to just ALREADY know how to do things, but it's rare when one offers to provide training. I'd like to know where this SUPER employee is who can interview, write, copyedit, proofread, write headlines, do research, answer correspondence from readers, read all the latest industry developments, design the pages, knows HTML codes, knows every nuance of Quark and Dreamweaver and InDesign and PhotoShop and Excel and god knows what else that's out there that I "should" know how to use -- oh, and would you mind getting me coffee while you're up?
Deep breath... okay, so that's my little work rant. All will be fine. On top of that, I'm also dealing with a troubled friend. Not going to go into too many specifics, but I THINK she's lying about her drug use... she asked me to lie to her boyfriend about something very minor; I said no. We are talking, I'm trying to "help," but don't know how much I can help.
So, yeah. A bike ride would help. A burst of exercise to elevate the mood. And perhaps a spanking later, if someone's willing to lend a hand?