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Archive for April, 2005

Work

They say that when you work in advertising, you learn to distance yourself from your self-respect.

I’m beginning to understand this somewhat.

Before I qualify this statement, though, I should explain the working in advertising thing.

The last time I posted anything of substance, I had accepted a temp assignment on rather short notice, but one that I was very much looking forward to. The company is in direct marketing – which is to say that they do some of the more annoying parts of advertising, like telephone sales and junk mail. That’s not all they do, but it’s a fairly noteworthy part of the operation.

I have primarily been working in the IT department, just doing ongoing maintenance for anything more complex than people’s desk lamps. We’ve had the frantic fun of network outages and the blessedly quiet monotony of smooth functioning, we’ve had new geektoys come in the door and pass through my hands on their way to their eventual users (though in some cases that’s still me). We have a foosball table in the break room and enough coffee to sink the US Navy. I haven’t had to repair the foosball table or the coffee maker yet, fortunately.

This position has also given me the opportunity to flex some mental muscles that had been quietly atrophying. Tech writing, for one, since I’m compiling miniature versions of some of the user manuals and making them penetrable by the non-techie mind while still trying to make them educational and worth reading. Programming, for another, since I’ve begun work on an online help system for minor difficulties that shouldn’t really require my attention (PEBKAC issues), which I’m doing in Java just because I can. I could just as easily do it in HTML/XML, but that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

The position as stated is through the end of this month, but they’re currently pushing around the paperwork necessary to keep me on a permanent basis. I’m not going to celebrate too much until such time as pen has been put to paper, but that looks pretty certain at this point.

Now, with that out of the way, I feel I ought to explain the self-respect remark.

Most of the work I’ve been doing has been internal. Since I have teh skillz, though, I’m going to be getting co-opted by the graphics department from time to time, and one of those times is going to be either tomorrow or Tuesday.

They need me to make some banner ads for Web pages. Nothing quite on the order of ‘Spank The Monkey and Win $20!’, but banner ads nonetheless.

Fortunately our policy is that is it looks too obnoxious we won’t let it out the door.

And never pop-ups or pop-unders.

Ah, the joys of the corporate machine. At least there’s foosball. And coffee.

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