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Thursday, July 13, 2006 


We finished the Frosh Guide tonight.

We blew the deadline by about three hours. I'm surprised we didn't take longer. Most of why we were late was that it was a 48-page paper when we've only done 16-pagers. The rest was because advertisers who build ads and send them in don't get why you have to build ads in very specific ways; we had to fix them while our own content waited.

It's frustrating, mostly because my staff is really good at what they do. It's not their fault that we got caught up in the fixes we had to do to limp toward putting the paper to bed. But they're the ones who have to finish the job and I'm the one who has to say, 'No, we don't have time to make that page look as good as we can. We have to finish now.'

It's made terribly hard by the fact that the ad manager, the layout director and myself all want things to be perfect; we are the three who have to decide when something is good enough. And I have final say over everyone and I'm nothing if not meticulous. It got to the point where my layout director - a gifted designer - was begging for more time so he could add photos to a contents page. I had to refuse it in favour of finishing the paper. I know it was the right choice given the role I've been hired to fulfill. That didn't make it any easier.

We finished today and I didn't feel relief. I wanted to find a toilet to throw up in. This isn't me. This is a role I have to learn so I can move on to the next phase in my mission. And every phase just gets harder.

But instead of throwing up in a toilet, I doled out the (very much deserved) praise to my staff, smiled, small talked about short-term plans and said my good-byes for the summer.

Then I came home to call my parents.

I had to find out how my sister is doing. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital this morning for a kidney infection. She's still in the emergency room waiting for a room.

My great uncle is in the same hosptial, but it's because he's dying of cancer.

It galls me to know that they were where they were while I laboured away at something with comparatively (as far as I'm concerned) little value.

Sometimes I wonder why life is worth it. Then I see Christa and remember.