The Golden Rule…

When I was growing up, there was one rule: My rule was be nice to everyone. This comes with the territory of being the youngest sibling to three brothers. From the get-go, I was nice — but slowly I realized that I had to be nice to survive. Would Dad ground me if after my brother punched me and I punched him in return? You bet he would. I’ve been tripped, kicked, punched, stabbed in the stomach with a pencil, driven over by a bicycle…you name it and I survived it. You dish it, I’ll take it. Grin and bear it, baby. I’ll survive.

Around age seven, I added another rule. No soda by the computer.

Fast forward to today, and my rules are aimed for a nice work environment and for a nice household. Luckily, most of the specifications go hand-in-hand.

At work — We all know that a 4 x 4 ad really doesn’t look great when it needs to be 10 x 12. Hmmmm…I need to talk with the art director about a redesign.

At home — All the furniture that fit into my one bedroom apartment doesn’t fill my 3-bedroom house. Uggh, am I going to survive my husband’s response once I tell him I need to go shopping??

Live Area:
At work — I’ll make sure your logo, contact info, headline and copy stay in the live area and won’t get lopped off once the magazine is trimmed down to size. Hmmm…did it get lopped off?? Time to call the printer, I followed their specs.

At home — I’ll make sure that our bills are covered in our monthly income. Hmmm…living outside our means? Crap, I have no one to call to fix it — it’s up to us.  Breathe, we will survive. Repeat, we will survive.

Material Submission:
At work — I need to know what version of software you want it in, when you need it by and how I should submit it — upload, email, overnight or ground?

At home — We moved into our house the night we signed the papers. I immediately invited my family over for Christmas, because who doesn’t like the challenge of hosting dinner without appliances?? Somehow we did survive — with a full belly, too

At work — This is the last chance to catch any typos or mistakes, even though there shouldn’t be any since it routed to the entire team. But, just in case- you better comb through that proof like a crazy lady.

At home — Even when I Photoshop what the room can look like once it’s painted, that proof never matches up. Blue opal now looks like a baby boy blue. Aaargh! Now I’m a crazy lady obsessing over the paint color in our office. Repaint and — viola! — I’ve survived another room makeover.

Archive the project off the server:
Once that final piece is in my hands, I always page through it, and there is a bit of relief once its all said and done. Time to archive the job and move onto the next project. The same goes looking back on my life with my brothers. All the bruises and tears are archived off in my mind; these boys are going to be by my side for the rest of my life. The hits still come from time to time, but at least now I can fight them back and my Dad can’t ground me. Lets just hope my husband can handle my brothers.

So, you can see that by just doing some prep work and understanding the specs you will survive and you will save yourself time, money, and a few tears and trees. Nice, right?