Remembering my dream job
When I lived in Toronto, I worked as a proofreader at a graphics studio that serviced a major advertising agency.
This was no doubt the best job I have ever had. It was more than the job that made this true; it was the people. They were the best group I’ve worked with in my entire career.
The job was stressful. It was a busy studio that had both a day and an evening shift. Some evenings I worked until past 2 am and was given a ticket to take a cab home. I felt valued and appreciated; part of a team.
During the day there were six to eight mac artists, two proofreaders, and about six production coordinators on the floor. Not to mention, there were always account directors and designers from the agency mingling and surveying the work. Jobs had to be turned over quickly, without sacrificing quality.
It was an exciting and creative atmosphere to be a part of. I thrived on it, appreciating seeing top-notch advertising be transformed from an artist’s sketch into the final product that I would later see in magazines, newspapers or on billboards.
Although the job was stressful, the staff handled it well. Jokes and puns were the order of the day… even at the height of a deadline crunch. In fact, they increased at this time. That’s what kept everyone going.
I actually looked forward to going to work, if you can imagine that. Sure, I had a life outside of work too, but rarely did I dread going to work. Life was good.
My first Christmas with them, I rewrote this Christmas poem, using everyone in the studio as a character. I had them printed and inserted into their cards.
I remember these people very fondly. Quite honestly, as much as I love BC I sometimes regret leaving Toronto and the Studio. Some people just have that kind of effect on a person. When a person spends that many hours of their day at work, being with good people is important.
So, in light of this Christmas season, I decided to publish this poem and share it with all of you. You won’t of course be familiar with the names, but I’m sure you’ll get the idea. :~)
Twas the Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas at the Graphics house,
where I sat at my computer, clicking my mouse.
The headline on screen had been kerned with care,
knowing Mister Mitchell soon would be there.
Neil strolled by with an ad to be read,
while visions of a cigarette danced in his head;
and Margaret at her PC and I at my Mac,
had just settled down with our ObusForm intact.
When down in the engine room there arose such a clatter,
we sprang from our chairs to see what was the matter.
Down the hallway we ran in a flash,
rounded the corner and stopped in our tracks.
Ron followed our trail, wanting to know,
if we’d bought our tickets for Lottario.
When what to our wondering eyes should appear,
but “Beatle” sitting there with work up to his ears.
Disappointed, I pulled up a chair to sit,
and said, “I thought for a moment that you were St. Nick.”
More rapid than the blink of a cursor they came,
hoping to join Dan for a computer game.
Hey Martha, hey Syd, hey Karen and Jerry!
Come Sharon, come Leesa, come Shelna and Betty.
But when they saw Beatle, the pile of work and all,
they dashed away, dashed away, dashed away all.
From the couch Johnny watched them as they ran by,
he waved in amusement and said, “Yah hi.”
So out of the studio the sidewinders flew,
with Errol and Bonnie chasing them too.
Then in a twinkling we thought we heard on the roof,
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
But soon we discovered as we each turned around,
it was Allison tapping her foot because the server was down.
Mike the technician, from his head to his foot,
his clothes were tarnished in toner and soot.
A bundle of cables he had flung on his back;
he studied us all before opening his pack.
Sharon and Margo’s eyes twinkled, their dimples how merry.
Their cheeks were like roses, from too many glasses of sherry.
Radigan’s mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was, well you know, as white as the snow.
Jin and Brad held a cigar in their teeth,
the smoke it encircled their heads like a wreath.
But who had the broad face and little round belly
that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of chili?
He was chubby and plump — a right jolly old elf;
we all laughed when we saw him, in spite of ourselves.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
and suddenly there were no ads left to be read.
He had spoken no words, but went straight to his work;
stuffed all the ads in my stocking… then I awoke with a jerk.
I straightened myself from my slumbering pose,
whispered aloud, “I’ve worked too much overtime I suppose.”
I returned to my work, but was sure I heard a whistle,
and my imagination carried me like the down of a thistle.
I heard someone say, though there was no one in sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Have you found your dream job or have memories of one?
If you haven’t, what would your dream job be like?
Photo credit: Alice Popkorn