Things Can Really Get Rough When You Go It Alone

March 30, 2013

My spirit is crushed.  I think that’s what it is.  My boss would often say, “I hope this didn’t crush your spirit” every once in a while after I’d wrap up my work after a long night.  And I would often say, “Nah.”  But about half a month ago during a hectic week due to a TV show being shot taking my boss away from her regular duties, I had to take the reigns for a big project without much direction from her.  Without going into too much details, the client kept giving us feedback on our work, telling us that it’s not what they’re looking for.  They would essentially shit on our work, and then reference other websites that are not good because they want their website to work like theirs.  Clearly I have never experienced this before, because the ridiculous comments these guys were making, and the lack of cohesiveness of anyone on any team, much less the client, was (and still is) eating away at my spirit.  I didn’t want to think about this fucking project anymore, really didn’t want anything to do with it, and hoped that it was completely blocked from my memory.  I was hoping that if I get as far away from it as possible, maybe I’d stop feeling so bitter towards work, and especially my boss, but it’s not happening.

It was almost as if at that point, I felt like my opinion no longer mattered, and it was honestly heartbreaking.  I am still mad that my team didn’t push back against the client and tell them that they’re being ridiculous.  I can see that that’s not the way to handle business, but the fact that we let them continuously make stupid suggestions makes me feel like we sold out.  Because when you look at it, we didn’t push back because we want their business.  Many problems arose from the lack of pressure we put on them, but the two major problems were that their fucking idiotic feedback and comments fucked up our original concept (more on that later), and that their continuous feedback and incapacity to be pleased with what we present them (more on that later) has made us waste an incredible amount of time that needed to be dedicated to design and development.  The entire project is still, at this point, not completely thought through and conceptualized, and I don’t even think my work means anything right now.

We had originally thought through an idea that was, admittedly a bit generic conceptually, but was at least complete and didn’t have (m)any holes in it.  “A place for everything, and everything in its place”, essentially.  But after 5 rounds of revisions, and each round consisting of progressively more and more ridiculous, nonsensical, and unfounded, we completely lost track of our original idea.  We tried to cram their fucking moronic shit into our original concept–which didn’t have the capacity for all the things the client wanted–and eventually the original product we started with ended up being just mix of most of what they wanted, that clearly does not work.  I still haven’t mentioned the other agency working with our client that’s in charge of branding.  They’re fucking incompetent as well.  There really is so much to say about them and how they fit into this shit, but I’ll stick to the essentials.

They’re supposed to give us assets to work with.  But I get the impression that they’re throwing little tantrums because our original concept wasn’t showing off their pictures and videos and shit that they wanted to do (that they clearly got ripped off for).  So what happens?  They toss their opinions into the ring, and then we don’t push back, and then we get shafted all while the client is fucking us in the ass too.  Our original concept requires that we have section topics, interactions in each section, and section content, but the other agency isn’t doing a very good job at that.  And as of late, we still don’t know what the content for each section is.  I’m smirking at the fact that this is the shit storm that it is.

So then since the other agency isn’t being much help on the conceptual front, we had to come up with placeholder shit to put in my documents to at least convey some semblance of what the website will look like.  Keep in mind that this was all supposed to be placeholder shit until the other agency would give us the fleshed out content.  But the client would pick away at the placeholder shit we had in there, and consequently keep ripping apart our layout and concept.  Since the two go hand-in-hand, when we would change the layout to the client’s liking, the content ended up having to change a little too.  So essentially, things never got to be hammered out entirely, and the project got handed off to design while still not even being completely thought through.

For those unfamiliar with this process, such a thing really is a big deal.  When you’re dealing with a giant website that’s supposed to clearly accomplish X goals, you truly cannot just assume the design is going to work.  Strategically speaking, that’s not good.  Unless it’s one person doing everything in the process (strategy, user experience design, visual design, branding, and development), then it’s simply not going to work.  But, that’s essentially what happened.  It got to design and then no one consulted with our developer on the viability of their designs, and so that was picked apart too.

It seems as though things are finally starting to get back on track now.  The developer is kind of guiding this in a good direction, and I’m thankful for that.  But I can’t help but still be irate at how we had to go through this hellish back and forth with the fucking client, only to settle on something that was similar to the exact concept we first presented, which ultimately got mangled up in design because of a lack of communication with the developer, and now we’re doing this pretty different direction on the project–which is still not completely fleshed out.  Fuck this shit.

So now that my spirit is crushed, I don’t really have the same kind of enthusiasm for work.  And gone with that lack of enthusiasm is the same kind of kindness and upbeat attitude I would give my boss.  All I can muster up now is politeness.  My view on work now is that I’m just taking off the minor projects that my boss doesn’t have time for, and it makes me kind of sad–despite the fact that I should be putting in my dues.


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