I was in Dallas as part of a group I like to call The Shit Hits The Fan Squad. We were there in case something went wrong with a bunch of stuff we'd sent down for a huge presentation. We had people on the project who were so anal about things that I figured being there was just a goodwill gesture toward our client, to help them relax and enjoy the meeting.
I had a team of peeps working the last two months on a huge promotion for later in the year and it was going to be unveiled at the national sales meeting in Texas. That's why two of us flew down -- to make sure all the materials not only arrived, but arrived in one piece. I didn't think there would be any other problems. Not with the hoops my own people had made me jump through.
After spending most of a day trying to get the union to deliver the packages from the shipping dock to the staging area, we finally started opening things up late in the afternoon.
All the pieces were in tact, without scratches or bends or watermarks. While I was absentmindedly looking at each piece separately, I noticed there was a huge printing mistake, which should have been caught in Chicago by the person who was so convinced of her superior proofing skills that she went to the printer alone, without me. She was now in China. Good thing, since I would have been arrested for attempting to end her career. In fact, there were mistakes on every single piece for the presentation except for two small ones.
For some reason, between two art directors and another writer, I was the first person who noticed anything. That's because China girl had everyone buffaloed into thinking she had a lock on doing things right.
My first reaction was to get pissed off and start whining. There goes my weekend. Now we had to actually work. The nerve of the person who screwed up. Now there was a problem to fix. The whole point of spending extra money to go to a sales meeting in case something goes wrong is so that nothing goes wrong. It's when you don't go that there are always problems. But not this time.
It took a couple of days but we got all the fixes done. Instead of looking like it was patched together, we actually made everything look better. Talk about serendipity.
Surprisingly it only cost us around a hundred dollars. And we were using a world class color printer and the services of a very good young keyliner. I was expecting a bill for close to a thousand dollars, since we were working with the printing center at the hotel, one of those places that's notorious for gauging you when your ass is in a wringer. We were at a place that charged almost twenty bucks for a burger, so I was braced for paying through my nose. They said they gave us a discount because we were so entertaining. That's a first for me.
Now I can't wait for China girl to get back into town. She and I have had a few "discussions" during the course of this project. She is one of the most arrogant people I've ever had to work with. And I was the one that hired her. She's all about "process" and making lists of things that have to be done and timetables to go with the lists, not to mention telling me early and often what MY job is, even though I'm in charge.
Hey, little miss perfectionist control freak, it gives me great pleasure to tell you that you totally f**ked up. Even better, I fixed your f**k up.