Articles

"I am sick to death of dealing with you designers. Being able to draw and dressing like women doesn't make you special."

There are many things to be said for working in the design industry but as they are mostly negative, especially those regarding clients, I would rather write about robots.
If I was a robot, programmed to serve people all day, I would throw myself off a cliff.
Working in the design industry is a lot like being a robot. A robot that curses its positronic brain for not allowing it to ignore the first law and attach spinning blades to its arms and take out the next human that states "that's nice but can we try it in green" or "can you make the text bigger?" Actually, scratch that, working in the design industry is more like being a whore. A dirty whore who has programmed their mind to find a happy place rather than be outraged by client requests.
There are many things to be said for working in the design industry but mostly that it is like being a dirty robot whore.


From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 9.11am
To: David Thorne
Subject: Artwork

Hello David,
Can you send me the artwork for our business cards you did last year. Finsbury Press has asked for the original files. I need the artwork before Wednesday so either this afternoon or tomorrow is fine.
Thanks Rob
From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 10.24am
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: Re: Artwork

Hello Bob,
I have received your email but no longer work for that agency.
Due to client account management that could be likened to that German dance where men in tights slap each other, the agency went from a thriving business with over forty clients to basically trading while insolvent. As there were very few clients, I spent most of the day playing a game called 'Staring at the wall wondering what happy people are doing' and answering calls by either ending each sentence with 'over' like talking on a walkie talkie then making that "kchsssch" noise or pretending to be a confused Cantonese woman. Once, I locked my office door and spent the day nude.
In a last ditch effort to retain the few remaining accounts we had, we sent invitations to join us at a charity dinner to provide musical instruments for starving children. The dinner started normally with Thomas, the business owner, talking about his hair and a staff member leaving in tears after being accused of stealing, but went downhill from there. By his fifth scotch, the entire table, including the Managing Director of McDonald's, sat in embarrassed silence as Thomas cried while telling a story about how, when he was twelve, his dog Trevor died of testicular cancer. By scotch ten, Thomas had vomited onto the leg of the CEO of Bridgestone and perforated the marketing manager of Kellogg's arm with a fork while flamboyantly telling a story about his experience in a Phuket brothel.
I penned my resignation the next day. While some may see this as the proverbial rat deserting a sinking ship, I prefer to think of it as quietly stepping out of a bathtub you have been sharing with four retarded children while they are busy arguing over who lost the soap.
I would suggest contacting the agency and requesting your business card artwork before the owner swaps the art department computers for magic beans. Alternatively, if you would like me to recreate and send the files to you, I would be happy to help. I estimate this would take three hours at seventy five dollars per hour.
Regards, David.
From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 12.17pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Artwork

It's Rob not Bob and I already emailed them and they said they don't have the files and to contact you. I'm not interested in what you do at charity events and I'm not paying you $225 for artwork when I already paid you for the artwork last year.
From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 3.02pm
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

Dear Bobajob,
You paid the agency to provide artwork and I no longer work for that agency. While generally a frontline supporter of questioning logic, this support wavers drastically in the face of providing free work.
A few years back, I bought my first four-wheel drive vehicle from a dealership. The salesman who did the paperwork was named Roger. While on a camping trip several months later with my nine year old offspring, I parked the vehicle on a dirt incline near a river and set up the tent. The next morning, we awoke to find it had rained - turning the dirt incline into a slippery mud incline - and the vehicle missing with four tyre-wide grooves leading to the edge of the river. Realising my mobile phone had been on the rear seat of the vehicle along with our box of food, we sought out an ATM by riding a Coleman® inflatable air mattress down the river for two days to the nearest town. I will admit that during the voyage the thought of eating my offspring crossed my mind on more than one occasion but this was less due to hunger than his constant complaining of "Why do I have to hold on to the back while you ride," "Are we there yet?" and "I can't feel my legs."
Making it home and reporting the vehicle as 'stolen', I went shopping for a new one the following week. I did not to turn up at Roger's front door requesting a replacement vehicle for the one I lost. While it is entirely possible Roger may have nodded, sympathised and explained patiently the structure of modern commerce, it is more likely he would have just called me a dickhead.
Also, while three hours at $75.00 does equate to $225.00, the total cost to recreate and sent your business card artwork would be $450.00 due to the Jumping Frog fee.
Regards, David.
From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 3.18pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

You are seriously pissing me off now. I remember you from the meeting you were that idiot wearing a green Atari tshirt. Im NOT paying for work I have already paid for and 3 hours at $75.00 per hour is $225.00 NOT $450.00 - that is double. where the did you get double from and what the fuck is a jumping frog fee?
From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 4.46pm
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

Dear Bobsledder,
I remember you from the meeting too (specifically your haggling over pricing and questioning why animated gifs can't be used on your business card) but no, sadly the Atari clad individual would have been the owner. Nearing forty, he felt retro t-shirts and trucker caps like the cool kids wear, disguised the fact. Once one has seen his size 40 lower-half squeezed into size 32 skinny jeans like two parallel overflowing cake icing funnels, it can never be unseen. I would have been the other idiot wearing a tie and feigning interest in your business card requirements by appearing to take notes but actually creating an itemised list of things I would rather be doing, starting with #1. Being shot in the neck with an arrow.
Sometimes when I am in meetings, I imagine I am a robot programmed not to realise I am a robot and if the code word 'quantifiable' is mentioned, I will explode. I never do though. Other times I imagine I am a small Indian girl collecting water for my village in brightly painted clay pots.
The Jumping Frog charge relates to an event early on in my career when I made the mistake of offering a client a fixed price for a two hundred page website. Once the design was signed off and the build completed over a three month period, the client requested that each page include a frog jumping around the screen because his wife liked frogs. Purchasing a frog from the local pet store and filming it by holding a camera above and a cigarette lighter behind to persuade it to jump, I spent the next two weeks incorporating it into every page of the website. A few days later, the client described the addition as "very annoying" and requested it be removed and replaced with a 3D animated frog jumping onto the screen, holding a thumb up, and speaking the words "jump on down and grab a bargain." After providing a quote for this, I was informed that the amendments would be made "under the original fixed price or no payment would be made at all." The next day, their home page was replaced with a single image of a frog giving the finger and a voice bubble stating "I jump for cash, bitch."
After fifteen years in the design industry and realising the only difference between sitting in front of a computer facilitating client's requests and kneeling on the urine soaked floor of a truck stop bathroom giving five dollar blowjobs to men named Chuck is the amount of urine on the floor, the Jumping Frog fee has evolved from insurance against post-project client suggestion to client incentive to have somebody else do it.
Regards, David.
From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.09pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

You have until 10am tomorrow morning to send me the business card artwork or you will hear from my lawyer. I am sick to death of dealing with you designers. Being able to draw and dressing like women doesn't make you special. You've got no idea who you are dealing with.
From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.37pm
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

Dear Bobupanddown,
That may be so but the label "some dick who wants free shit" does not require CSI profiling and while I am no lawyer, I question whether testimony comprising "I paid an agency to provide me files, I lost the files, I now demand some guy who used to work there give me new files" would have much legal standing but best of luck with that.
I also question your dissatisfaction with the price I have quoted as I believe the original charge for your work by the agency was around eighteen hundred dollars. While the actual process would have consisted of ten minutes on iStock.com for the background, two minutes pretending to consider a typeface other than Helvetica and ten minutes putting it together, this is standard design industry practice and listed under Direction, Design and Build on the invoice. I do understand your objection to the established system of exchange of money for services though and personally envision a utopian future where it is replaced with interpretive dance. We agree on a particular style that seeks to translate particular feelings and emotions into movement and dramatic expression in exchange for groceries or business card artwork. And we all own jetpacks.
In a moment of stupidity, I once agreed to design and built a website in exchange for yoga lessons. Contrary to what they would have you believe, you cannot actually embrace the sun as this would result in severe burns and your arms would need to be over one hundred and fifty million miles long. My favourite yoga move is the wriggly snake.
Unfortunately, until I can pay my rent with mantras and expressing emotional intonations through grand eloquent movements and wide swooshes of the arms before spinning and dropping to the floor while wearing spandex, I will need cash.
Regards, David.
From: Robert Schaefer
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.44pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

Fine. Send me the completed business card artwork tonight with an invoice.
From: David Thorne
Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.49pm
To: Robert Schaefer
Subject: File attached.



Contact

Latest News

The new book is out now.
All new, never before published material.
More...

The first book has debuted at #4 on the New York Times Bestseller list.
More...


27b/6 Products