Hooray Hooray for Deadline Day
Greetings loyal readers,
I know I didn't tease this in last week's post, but I thought it might be fun to give you all a glimpse of what it's like on deadline day here at Promo Marketing, mostly because it's deadline day today, and that's pretty much all that's on my mind. Not that deadlines really bother me, it's more that if you can see the finish line, you mind really isn't on kittens or the great sandwich you had for lunch. We're going to do this piece time-stamp style, and promise each other that we won't think about kittens until it's over.
8 a.m. : I had planned on diving right into my writing as soon as I came in, but the mystery of off-hours e-mails has struck again, and somehow my inbox is full of tiny problems that are going to take about an hour to fix. My morning mental acuity not its best, I alternate between uneasy gratitude for the distraction and staring blankly at my cube wall.
9:15 a.m. : I take stock of the final revisions I need to complete before we close on the issue. It's a decent-sized workload, but shouldn't be a problem as long as I stay focused and approach the problems smartly.
9:17 a.m. : I get up to ask Kyle (our managing editor) a simple question about formatting, which somehow turns into a 15-minute conversation about how many zombies Dracula could feasibly kill in a night. Mysteriously, the debate ends with us both agreeing that no one really knows how to use an apostrophe, and that the American education system needs an overhaul.
9:32 a.m. : Still thinking about Dracula little bit, I finally start my revisions. (I think he could probably destroy about 1,300 zombies in a night, if he found a shopping mall full of them or something. Otherwise, it would probably be closer to 5 or 600, because who knows how hard zombies are to find in the wild? This model assumes a zombie apocalypse, where there are basically zombies everywhere, by the way.)
9:45 a.m. : I wonder where I learned to write, and why they didn't teach me about transitions, comma splicing or how to make things interesting.
10 a.m. : I've finally hit a stride in my writing, but it's snack time, and I'm not missing snack time. I have string cheese at snack time, every day, and it is great, every day.
10:03 a.m. : Post-string cheese, I am unstoppable. My revisions run from me in terror as I smite them with writing skill.
11 a.m. : Bad luck. Deadline day this month lines up with newsletter day, meaning that Charles has dropped about an hour's worth of proofreading in my inbox. When proofing press releases, you're basically checking for the same things in each one: Run-ons; mangled commas, apostrophes and quotes; tense errors; extra words and styling issues. I enjoy the practice in proofreading, but because there are so many releases to read, they can kind of blur together, making accuracy difficult and putting the old monotony clamps on my brain besides.
12:10 p.m. : I have a little time before lunch. I try to get back to my revisions, but after the newsletter, it's just not happening. I fuss with delinquent e-mail responses instead.
12:30 p.m. : I browse through The New York Times online as I eat at my desk. This is a habit that started because I was sometimes waiting for phone calls, but I do it now because I like to read the paper. Today there is an article about how scientists have just finished decoding the Neanderthal genome, and now they might be able to clone one. The article is wonderful, and deals with my favorite kind of science, which is mad science. I delight in picturing the Planet-of-the-Apes scenario that could result with two separate humanoid species inhabiting Earth, and make a note so I don't forget to bring this up to Kyle later.
1:00 p.m. : I go for a short walk outside the building. It's silly but it always refreshes my mind. For instance, now I have time to tackle the question of how many Neanderthals Dracula could kill in a night. It's a much more complex question, because who knows how quickly, if at all, Neanderthal culture will develop the concept of vampire hunters.
1:16 p.m. : Post-lunch at Promo Marketing is business time. The whole office is quiet, but has that energy where everyone is just blasting out their work. If I was unstoppable when powered by string cheese, now I am full of yogurt and apples, which is like the equivalent of 10 pieces of string cheese. Also, I have another piece of string cheese at lunch, so that's 11 total here, people.
3:15 p.m. : All my revisions are finally done, which is a similar feeling to just finishing a six-mile run. It was totally worth it because you ran six miles and that's awesome, but also, you're out of breath, sore and your ears hurt from wearing your headphones too long. Also, it's safe to think about kittens again. If I had to pick my favorite thing about kittens, I would have to say "Everything."
Charles Plyter Fact of the Week: I almost forgot to write one this week, which is fairly shameful. There's a lot to pick from, as his antics have been in high (and hilarious) gear lately, but I'm going to go with Charlie splitting his strawberry Nesquick with me last week. This was unprompted on my part, he just showed up at my cube, set up two plastic glasses, and said we were going to split this like Ernie and Bert. I'm not sure which of us is supposed to be Bert, since both of us are really more "Ernies," what with our near-spherical heads and proclivity for trying to use a banana as a telephone.