Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Boomerang Effect...

(This photo of my niece used merely for editorial purposes.)

I like to think of myself as a professional... That I'm capable of anything I set out to do and when I do it, I do it with style, flare & originality!

I recently took on the job of creating '50th Anniversary Party Invitations'... The client is a friend of mine and I was pleased that she had asked me... However, it was very important to me that I treat this like any other job... Done professionally and with quality!

The job called for 75 invitations... 75!!! I've done cards and announcements before but they usually total 25 or 30... So this was a BIG job for me... I stressed a bit over the availability of the number of supplies I'd need (ie. ribbons, adhesives, accents) but I was determined to prove to myself that this size job would not be that big of a challenge.

I made a sample piece that included a scanned photo of the couple on their wedding day, printed on cardstock with a vellum overlay that included all of the details of the party.... My printer doesn't seem to appreciate having to print on vellum so each overlay took roughly 4 min. to print... Then it was imperative that I gave the printed vellum time to dry or the ink would smear... So roughly a day was spent on printing and drying time.... I ran into problems along the way with the printing of the base of the card with the photo on it, but after a mini break down over that, I figured out a solution that took some extra time but worked out better than my original plan.

The job was due on Friday and I managed to complete it on Monday because hey, I am NOT good with pressure and deadlines so I worked extra hard to not have it hanging over my head. When I delivered the job Monday afternoon I left with such a lightness that I hadn't felt for about a week because I had several other irons in the fire during that time. I went home, laid down on the couch and fell asleep for about an hour.... ahhhhh! wonderful!

Later that night I got a call from my friend, "Ah Margie?"... Me, "Hey, hi! How did your mom like the invitations?"... "Um, she loved 'em but ah, I hate to say this but there's a typo and I wouldn't mind but it's in the phone number for the rsvp."..... You know those moments when the only sound you hear is that one that's similar to holding a shell up to your ear so you can hear the ocean? Yeah, that one!

75 invitations with the wrong phone number.... ONE little wrong number!!! A '4' was supposed to be a '5'... The thing is I remember catching that typo early on and changing it but somehow, somewhere along the way that change never got saved into the file!!! My friend actually considered calling the incorrect number and asking the person on the other end if they would be so kind as to field all of the calls and let her know what the final count would be... All so she wouldn't have to make me feel bad.... What a good friend.... I had considered just using a pen to ink the correct number in by hand but ruled that out for two reasons: 1. It would make the whole invite which was quite classy, look sloppy! 2. Some rather elderly people will be receiving these invites and they need to be able to see the rsvp number quite clearly.... Another idea was to slip an insert into the card that made note of the incorrect number... In my mind all that would serve to do is point out what a lame'o the person who made the cards turned out to be... So NO, I reminded myself, this is a job and I'm SUPPOSED to be a professional!!!

I brooded about the whole thing for the evening... It wasn't so much the fact that the job needed to be redone and the time that it would take... It was more about my pride. I REALLY wanted to believe that I could do as good a job as a high profile, custom card designer.... Instead I came out looking and feeling like an idiot!... All over ONE little wrong number!!!

I spent a couple of hours mulling over that fact that IF I had just taken that extra instant to look over the first copy I printed out, I could've saved myself all of this frustration... That one instant could've changed everything! Then it occurred to me... There are people in the world who wish they could take back an instant in time because that instant meant life or death... Because whatever happened in that instant, had far reaching effects and ultimately changed peoples lives. All I wanted was an instant back so I could gain a little dignity and not have to re-do a job? How selfish was that? At that point it was like 'Cher' walked up to me and virtually slapped me across the face and said, "Snap out of it!"

So Tuesday I reprinted all the vellum overlays with the CORRECT phone number... And yesterday I picked up the invites (because I could still re-use the base pieces), I cut all the ribbons loose that are used to hold the two pieces together, strung new ribbon, adhered new accent pieces and viola! The job is complete and it's not even Friday yet!

I guess it's because I met the challenge of fixing a problem when it needed it, that I feel much better and more like the professional I wish myself to be.
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Blogger Amy said...

Argh. What a nightmare.

Good for you for rising to the challenge and your done before Fridayness!

The invitations really are lovely, Margie.

FYI - speaking of phone numbers, I once put my home phone number on a pleading where my office number should go. Then served it on opposing counsel and party, my client, and filed it with the Court. Took a while to figure out why they were calling me at home.

12:43 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger thethinker said...

Now you've definitely given me something to think about. I seem to experience that "oh no I messed up, what am I going to do now?" feeling on a daily basis, but I usually don't handle it with as much grace as you do. Congratulations on getting the job done!

4:40 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger Margie Blystone said...

Amy, Much appreciative to you for the kind words... It's so good to have the support of a dear friend!

Such a lovely compliment Thinker... I'll put that one in my pocket and keep it there the next time I'm feeling low! :)

4:56 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger M said...

see...finishing them on monday was a good thing. you had time to re-do them!

6:30 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger M said...

ps i liked the picture. it fits well with the theme and your niece is cute.

6:57 PM, August 24, 2006  
Blogger Margie Blystone said...

M, I'm like a boy-scout... Always be prepared!... And yeah, the pic of my niece seemed the perfect illustration for my emotions that day.

10:01 PM, August 24, 2006  

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