The owner of my company is mostly hands-off, but there are a few elements he’s still really invested in. One of the biggest ones is the spring product line brochure we send out every fall.
We’re a pretty small company, so we do the brochure in house. Which means I pretty much do all the work. We hold lots of meetings about how we want it to look, which products we want to feature prominently, etc. etc. way in advance, and I keep checking in with all the higher ups throughout the process.
The owner is invited to all of these but never comes and never comments on work in progress.
And yet it always goes exactly the same way as it did last fall.
The owner had been overseas at a conference-slash-vacation that lasted up until the week we planned to go to press with the brochure.
He gets back, checks on my (totally complete) brochure, and tells me he “doesn’t like the feel of it–can you design it without so many harsh rectangles?” He also wanted me to switch the orientation of the pages from vertical to horizontal because he saw one “very professional” catalog done that way at the conference.
I worked overtime (without getting paid extra) for two weeks to make it happen, we got to press ten days late, and we showed up in people’s mailboxes at least 2-3 weeks behind all our competitors, because the printers had other jobs once we missed our deadline.
And the owner blamed me for “poor planning.”
–Kathryn C., Home Goods Retail Brand
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