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Friday, July 24, 2009

So there you have it...the story of the project that just wouldn't die.

I survived.
The big, massive, do-it-yourself project I've been working on since I went back to work is finally over.
O. - V. - E. - R. Over.
Thank goodness!
I'm not going to lie to you. It was good to see my kids tonight. I don't think I've seen them in four days. Well, okay. I saw them for about 30 minutes each morning...but that was it! I've put in 12 hours days every day this week working on that project for the advertising department. You know...the one that I signed up for BEFORE I accepted the job at the paper.
I finally sent the pages to the plant today. After many headaches, near swearing on my part and about 24 hours worth of delays.
Hmmm....should I share the details with you? Okay, okay...no need to twist my arm. I know I've been awful quiet on here lately. I'll post it, if for no other reason for the blog post count or maybe a couple words of sympathy.
Hmmm...where to begin.
As I said before, I worked 12 hours days Monday through Thursday this week...putting in all kinds of time trying to get this thing done. In fact I put in at least two of those kinds of days last week as well. All the while trying to keep up with my regular writing schedule at work...and I'm proud to say, I did it. I made all my deadlines - minus one by a few minutes because my boss came into work about two hours earlier than usual! :)
Finally, Thursday came, the day I was supposed to send it to the plant to get printed. Even after all that work I still had three stories left to write for it and several pages left to lay out. And somehow I managed to get it all done. (Actually, 'somehow' is a bit misleading - a friend and co-worker came and offered me quite a bit of help. Also, in the interest of transparency, it wasn't like the stories were Pulitzer prize winning full-length articles. They were relatively short (unlike this post) and since they were about home-improvement types of things, I was able to write a bit of it beforehand..I just needed to do the interviews and tweak.
By that afternoon it was ready to go.
I started sending pages...but as I was releasing them from the computer I noticed something called the 'folio' (its the line that has the date and name of the publication) was floating in the middle of all of the even pages.
Since this was a 32 page publication, that meant it was floating in the middle of 16 of those pages. AUGH! So I quickly canceled all the even pages, let the odd ones go through and tried to figure out what as going on.
Two hours later I gave up...deleted the automated folio and put them all in by hand. Needless to say, it took awhile.
Meanwhile I was late for an interview. I was covering an event that started at 6 p.m. and ended around 7:30 p.m....it was 7:10. I left the pages, rushed out, did the interviews, took some pictures, came back to the office and released the rest of the pages, relieved that it was gone.
At least, that's what I thought.
I came in this morning to a message from the plant. They can't print the publication, they say. The page count has to be in increments of eight.
There's 32 pages, I say. It's divisible by eight...it's fine.
Oh, no. They say...there's 32 pages alright, but four of them were done on a different press...we have to have 32 pages on THIS press or we can't run it!
Meanwhile I'm late for a photo shoot...which is another story in and of itself, but let's just say my kids are going to be in the paper and I'm going to be writing a first-person account of school supply shopping. Today was picture taking day. The kids were at the office with me, not-so patiently waiting to head to Wally World.
So I track down the people who can help me, delegate jobs to them (regardless of whether they like it or not), head out to Wally World where I plaster a smile on my face while my kids con talk me to buying all kinds of school supplies that they don't really need, but I can't really say no right now because the story is about - well, I'm not really sure what the story is about, but its about something and I have to write it!
We finally get out of there and THANK GOODNESS I still have money in my checking account and we head back to the paper and I say 'we' because it was 'we'. Alek and Anya were still with me.
It looked like everyone had accomplished their jobs while I was gone so I once again started sending pages. I walked out the door to take Alek and Anya home, without looking back.
When I got back I realized that nothing had gone through. Nothing. Turns out something was corrupt in the four pages we added. The bad file gummed up the entire system. No one in the newsroom was able to print files or send anything to the plant - all because of little old me.
It took five hours, several rebootings of the system, the help of a really generous co-worker and several trips to the candy machine to finally get the whole thing figured out.
But it's gone.
So there you have it...the story of the project that just wouldn't die.
Thankfully, its gone, so I SHOULD be back to regular programming starting today.
Well, tomorrow...or maybe the next day, but definitely soon.
Soon, very soon.

7 salty messages:

MamaPoRuski July 26, 2009 at 1:56 AM  

Couldn't sleep, had to catch your late edition! Hope you are getting some rest now! HUGS!

Rachael July 26, 2009 at 8:18 AM  

Gone or done? You did finally get the darn thing published...right?!

Hope the week ahead is a breeze!

Anonymous,  July 26, 2009 at 11:42 AM  

Oh My Gosh. What a way to start back at work! Aren't computers FUN? Hope you can have some down time and relax a bit now!!

jessy July 26, 2009 at 12:25 PM  

I won't pretend to understand much of the problem...but I'm glad it's resolved!

Jill July 26, 2009 at 11:38 PM  

Get some rest - you deserve it!!!

Courtney July 27, 2009 at 7:56 AM  

Makes staying home with four kids look like a piece of cake, doesn't it? LOL

I'm back full-time today, too. :(

Elaine July 28, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

At the beginning of your post I was feeling all jealous that you were writing articles and laying out pages and dealing with the press, and all the stuff I used to do; but by the end? I'm suddenly not as jealous! Here's to the project that wouldn't die finally being dead. Which reminds me (tangent alert) of the cat we had in our newspaper office (yes, he lived there). He was black and white, so we named him copy. Shortly after I left for full-time mommyhood, Copy got out and got hit by a car. So he was dead Copy.

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