Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

It's production week at work. This means that everyday the stack of files on my desk keeps on getting bigger and bigger as the deadlines get closer and closer. I stay late, I take work home, and I'm prone to crankiness after a day of fact checking and editing listings. You know, your typical production days.

This morning I arrived at work ready for another day, the last production day before the magazine is submitted. I came to my desk this morning, and sat down to complete the remaining fact checking on my desk.

It took me half an hour. By 9 o'clock I was looking around for something to do. Great, this day is going to be fabulous.

Shortly after, I was occupied with another last minute task; checking the spelling of all the stores mentioned in the mall feature. Considering they talked about 10 malls, that's a lot of stores. I made it fun by opening a different tab for each store and collecting the tab symbols I thought looked best (I still have the 9 winners up on my computer). Sadly, that took me a little less then an hour. I was still kept busy until 11, at which point I walked into my editor's office and handed in the last thing I'd been working on.

She asked me what else I was working on, when I explained the vacant spot on my desk where waiting files usually sit, she thought a moment, and for a few seconds was really stuck as to what she could give her intern to do for the next five and a half hours. At last, she told me to return to a project I'd been working on in July, but had abandoned when production got closer.

It wasn't long after that my two editors retreated into the office to do the "read through," that's magazine lingo for shutting ourselves in a room with an iPod to read every page and ad in the magazine because after all the fact checking, editing, proofreading and spell checking, we need to make sure there are no mistakes. The really sad part is, they often find some.

This is my second production, so I went to work on my not-as-rushed project not expecting to be there for long. Sure enough, 20 minutes later, my phone rings.

"Elena?" my editor's voice echoes in the phone and down the hall. "I need you to call Masters Gallery and ask them about this exhibit in their ad, it's not in the listings."

I throw myself into this new task with enthusiasm, sort of. I have always enjoyed the art gallery side of my work and though I complain about it, I sometimes enjoy being caught up in the whirl of events that is production.

Ten minutes later, I give the info to Laura, and return to my desk. It's another half hour before my phone rings again. This time it's to make sure that the honey cashews at a certain Chinese restaurant are in fact, honey-roasted.

And that is how my day has gone since. I've realized that my purpose here is actually kind of silly. I finished the menial task they give me hours ago, and I just sit here, waiting for my phone to ring for another spontaneous fact check, or my favourite; to count the stores at one mall (via the internet).

It is very difficult to throw one's heart into these little tasks when one can't help but think that were it not for them, one would have nothing to do and could possibly be at home. But instead, I must wait. Perhaps I should slip out to get some silly putty....

1 comment:

Katey said...

Silly putty will only take you so far. How about knitting? It's portable to bring to work, makes you look not only busy but oh so clever, and can be easily put down when the next random task rears it's head. Besides, that scarf you're working on is gorgeous.