Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The simple life

A production controllers life has changed in many ways. That’s me by the way. By day, Monday to Friday, I am a production controller. By night, Monday to Sunday, I’m erm, I’m not quite sure what I am? I’m just me I suppose.
I enjoyed a one week break when I left school at the youthful age of 16. This break consisted of sitting at the park with a friend and watching videos with a friend. Looking back, I wish I had spent this week wisely and done something adventurous and memorable, but I’m afraid to say I didn’t. Oh well.
I remember my first day in the working world. How grown-up I thought I was, despite the fact my mother drove me to my new office in her car, presented me with a packed lunch, and collected me after work. Not quite the independent grown-up I would have liked to have been, but the new office was only a ten minute drive by car. If I had used public transport, the walk to the train station would have been twenty minutes, the train journey a further fifteen minutes and the bus journey approximately twenty five minutes, traffic permitting. It was an awkward place to get to without the aid of a car. Lucky for me I had parents who drove and didn’t mind me using them as a taxi service. Incidentally, my mothers key ring says ‘taxi service.’ What a great sense of humour she has!
Anyway, my first job in production meant I was introduced to such magazines as Sea Fishing, Coin Monthly, Rally Sport and Treasure Hunting. I thought I was so important as I stamped pages with my stamper and logged them into my folder. And I even used a computer, to produce a print order for each magazine. This was the only reason I was allowed anywhere near a computer, it was a ten minute process which resulted in an order for the printing company, each time a magazine was sent to press.
Now days it would be impossible for me to complete my job without my Apple Mac. My Apple Mac with the built in Microsoft Entourage for my emails, Acrobat Distiller to check and create advertisements, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to produce advertorials and flat plans. Not forgetting the Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel for various print orders, mailing orders, schedules and documents. How technology and the world of production has progressed.
Moving back to my first job, unfortunately this resulted in my first redundancy (it happened a further three times much to my shock / horror / bad luck). I realised all was not well before the first redundancy, when our pay cheque turned into four separate pay cheques, and we were requested to pay one cheque per week into our bank account. I don’t think anyone actually carried this request out, we needed the full amount there and then! The doors in the office were then fitted with locks and codes and we were asked not to open the doors to any strangers, as these strangers could be bailiffs. Hmmm.
So, I guess it wasn't a real surprise that my last day at my first job ended in redundancy. A meeting was called and we all made our way to a local function hall where tea and biscuits were served. “This is nice,” we all thought, until the announcement came that the company had gone into liquidation and our final pay cheque would be in the post. Farewell first job!
Thankfully, at the time I didn’t have a store card or a credit card or a loan, or any kind of debt (the good old days!), so I wasn’t too stressed. Although it would have been better to have left of my own accord.
Other jobs and magazines came and went - travel guides, computer magazines, science journals, medical publications, top shelf magazines (I despised the top shelf job and after the first week I called the recruitment agency and commanded “Get me out of here!”). You name a magazine, and I’ve worked on it.
Which brings me to my present employment. Nine years I’ve been here, and I have frequently felt part of the furniture. Which is why it’s been nice to learn a new skill. Recently I have been trained in InDesign and as a result of this I am ‘designing’ pages for the magazines.
I think it would be fair to say I've come a fairly long way since my first job, and I was thinking about this journey this morning, when my password failed to let me into my computer. I actually couldn’t do any work until IT fixed the problem, therefore I had to stare out of the window for goodness knows how long, wondering what the heck I could do without a password and computer that worked. Make a cup of coffee? Then make another cup of coffee? If only my job revolved around a stamper! If only life were that simple?! Then I could merrily stamp the pages without relying on all this technology. But those stamping days are long gone.
Life sure has changed in production.

Picture of the day.

My big calculator.


Spangleystar said...

I remember doing computer studies at school - it used to take about 2 hours to write a programme that would draw a picture of a rabbit out of stars - what a load of rubbish ! I hated it - it seemed such a waste of time for such poor results, and to think I am now a software products manager !!! Love him or loathe him Mr Gates has changed our lives !!!

The World According to Me said...

Hello Spangleystar

How are you on this Tuesday afternoon?

You've come a long way since the rabbit stars!
How basic was computer studies at school?! Surprise, surprise. I can't actually recall learning anything?!


Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

My goodness....no one wants to feel like furniture! That feeling is one reason people feel it's appropriate to banish capitalism!

Carry on with faith, friend!

Rebecca said...

I remember programming in Basic in high school on a Tandy TRS 80. It was the same year of the first apple machine in schools. And to think now even laptops have built in ethernet cards, and a laptop with wireless access is du rigeur. How technology has progressed, indeed. Remember the Commodor machines?

In production, I remember when we had to send type out to be typeset by a service bureau. Quark was brand new to the market.

Ok, now that I've dated myself back to the bronze age, I'm gonna go sip a glass of wine :)

Rebecca said...

BTW, your lead in led me to believe your job had gone away....glad that wasn't the case!!!

JYankee said...

you SAID it! our company software system broke down for two days... believe me...that HURT!

TravelinOma said...

I have just read several of your posts and I'm so glad to find your blog. Your photography is great. Thanks for your comment. It's fun to know someone is reading!

Nick Phillips said...

I'm envious of you and your apple mac. I'm stuck with my useless PC and it's no fun ... *throwing a tantrum* LOL!

I remember the days when things like photoshop, illustrator, indesign and all that never existed and we had to do thing manually. I'm so glad those days are gone! LOL!

The World According to Me said...

Hello Katherine

I must come and visit you. How's life been treating you?

I'm keeping the faith, and preventing people from sitting on me!

The World According to Me said...

Hello Rebecca

The job is definitely still here. No fours times redundant for me (touch wood!)

I remember the typesetting days too! Back in the bronze age. You've got me reminiscing some more...

The World According to Me said...

Hello Travelinoma

Thanks for visiting Flying Pink Elephants! Nice to hear you like the photos.

I'll drop by and see you again very soon.

The World According to Me said...

Hello there Nick

I'm an Apple Mac girl, so I only throw a tantrum when I can't access the bloomin' thing!

How time consuming your manual days must have been!

See ya soon.

Blur Ting said...

Haha, you know what? My first job was in a publishing firm as a proof reader. We published Building News Review and I was made redundant a couple of years later. Then i worked for an Interior design magazine as a writer, and did some freelance writing after that.

What a coincidence!

I think we rely too much on technology these days. I have often seen how airports come to a standstill when the computer system is down.

The World According to Me said...

Hello Jyankee

I feel your pain! Two whole days?!

The World According to Me said...

Hello Blur

What a coincidence indeed!

A writer on an interior design magazine? I'm impressed! Sounds like a great job!

We certainly do rely on technology too much. Do you know what I can't get my head around, when someone sitting opposite me emails me, rather than actually open their mouth to talk to me! Although having said that, I've been guilty of this too. But it's bonkers!

seagrape said...

InDesign training! WOW! I am currently playing around with Illustrator and would love to attend a training course.

The World According to Me said...

Hey Seagrape, how are you?

I recommend InDesign, it's a complex but rewarding package.

Having fun with Illustrator?

Krystle said...

Hello :)

how are you?

I used to work in publishing here in Malta last summer for a short period of time before I went back to uni. I used to coordinate a monthly advertising magazine. When emails or the computer/internet connection wasn't working we used to really panic! And this usually occurred on the day we needed to send the magazine for print!!

Oh and I was reminded of the time when I used to program in Pascal as part of Computer Studies, and when I learned the typewriter before that :)

The World According to Me said...

HI Krystle

So you've entered the world of publishing too?

The word 'typical' springs to mind when you say internet dis connection usually occurred on a press day! I've experienced these problems too!

Arr the good old typewriter days! With tip ex pen!

Krystle said...

Oh yes I remember I used to have tip-ex strips to correct mistakes! And I used to break my fingernails with the typewriter keys all the time!