Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Customer is Always Right?

I spend a lot of time bitching about my job. But to be fair and balanced, it's really not all that bad. I have a pretty high level of autonomy, people in the company seem to like and respect me, I genuinely get on with most of my office mates (especially when they all brush their teeth!) and Napolean works remotely so (even though he wished it weren't so) he can't really control my comings and goings.

There is a down side, though.

We're a pretty lean organization, so we work with a lot of vendors. The theory is that vendors are easy to negotiate into lower costs and they're easier to fire. Tell that to a graphic design firm who is entrenched in your corporate design program.

To elaborate: We've contracted with one graphic design firm to develop the overall look and feel of our collateral (which is marketing-speak for brochures). Then, we've contracted with another design firm to actually layout those brochures since they charge about $100 an hour LESS than firm #1.

Firm #1 takes three and half days to make five minor edits to a brochure. They get all pissy and give me attitude when I ask for updates on where my stuff is.

Firm #2 doesn't make changes I indicate (I'm sorry, for a second there I thought that I was the subject matter expert), saves the same data sheet under a bunch of different names, makes huge quality control errors and won't call me back at all.

I'm supposed to deliver 11 data sheets and one 8-page brochure by the end of the week. Firing these firms now is not an option. Pissing them off isn't really an option either, since they'll only stall on my projects and get me fired.

So, I sit here, at my keyboard, impotent and muttering scathing epithets under my breath.

I can't wait until this portion of the program is completed. Pink slip city, baby!