Author Topic: Re: Mentoring a CW without stepping on toes. UPDATE #17, #21 #36 #39  (Read 11242 times)

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jpcher

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Re: Mentoring a CW without stepping on toes.
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2013, 06:46:25 PM »

Mark's comment that really put me off was: "This seems more like a simple desk-top publisher type of job and not a graphic designer job. Why are we doing this?" Editor piped up and said "We thought this would be a good opportunity for your group to get company-wide exposure."


Anyway I turn this Mark ends up sounding like a useless and bad anything, because he is either
A) a graphic designer that does a bad job and doesn't want to 'lower' itself by doing a dtp work (that he's doing baddly),
B) a DTP in denial that can't do his job properly,
C) someone with unrelated formation that was dragged into this and should ask out instead of doing a poor job,
or D) someone with unrelated formation that asked in and realised it's actually work and doesn't want to admit he's not good at it.

And for A to D, he doesn't seem to want to improve anyway.
I mean, unless Kathy changed her layout everytime or that he doesn't know how to use an Indesign template (or the software you use), there's no reason he could mess it up so much. Or he wanted to do his own thing, thinking it was the design of the century, but can't take criticism.

Bold above plus A is my take on his attitude.

As for the template, there are creative things that he can do to change things up a bit, there is some freedom of design. However, as with any publication, there are certain rules that must be followed in order to make the entire magazine look like one cohesive piece instead of a sloppy hodge-podge just thrown together.

It seems to me that Mark is taking the "some freedom of design" to a whole new level. I do think he want's to make a statement, trying to say that he's great and the old way of doing the mag is not.

It would be different if I could simply say "Add space between photo and body copy, this is the standard rule" or "Please color-correct this photo and take out the wall switch in the background" or "Add a 1 pt. rule between stories." I have no problem with correcting CWs (in my office) or making suggestions like this.

But it's the actual, horrible, "Are you serious?" type of layout work he's done that really makes me question his background.

Graphic Artists -- you would appreciate this -- This past issue, there was a photo of 6 people in a pyramid (3 on bottom on hands and knees, 2 on top of their backs then one on top.) Mark cropped the full page color photo so that the girl-on-top's head was chopped off. THEN, he ghosted her head in grayscale and ran the body copy over her face. (When Boss saw this she said "It looks like she died! Is she suppose to be in heaven?")

It's (ahem :o) design(?) elements like this that I seriously don't know how to address.

(Forgive my ramblings ::))



I have stated my desire to take over the entire magazine, but my workload is way to heavy as it is. Plus:

Of course, they may still have some weird boss-logic for still wanting Mark to do half of it, and that's their prerogative

Yeah, the weird boss-logic. They want all like-departments across the company to start sharing jobs.




The design process always includes feedback and changes to the initial design. ALWAYS. It's rare that something is completely done on the first round. Part of learning to be a designer is learning to accept criticism.

LOL! How true is that! ;D



Can you send the marked up improved copy to the editor and let the editor send it to Mark?

This is what happened yesterday morning. There was a specific note in the mark-up that I made "When you get to this point, please contact me. There is an error in your style sheet that needs to be fixed." I haven't heard from Mark concerning this.

Editor requested a corrected layout sometime today.

I haven't heard anything, so hopefully Editor is taking charge.



I'll keep you posted.



daen

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Re: Mentoring a CW without stepping on toes.
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2013, 10:45:34 AM »
<snip>

Graphic Artists -- you would appreciate this -- This past issue, there was a photo of 6 people in a pyramid (3 on bottom on hands and knees, 2 on top of their backs then one on top.) Mark cropped the full page color photo so that the girl-on-top's head was chopped off. THEN, he ghosted her head in grayscale and ran the body copy over her face. (When Boss saw this she said "It looks like she died! Is she suppose to be in heaven?")

It's (ahem :o) design(?) elements like this that I seriously don't know how to address.

<snip>


I'm not a graphic designer, but that has me going  "what the?" as well. :o

jpcher

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Re: Mentoring a CW without stepping on toes. UPDATE #17
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2013, 05:38:25 PM »
UPDATE:

Well, that's one way to solve the problem.

Give the job to someone else!

I had an e-mail from Editor this morning saying "I'm not going to get into a debating argument over this, Tammy will be doing the edits." (Tammy works in Mark's group.)

I received the .pdf from Tammy -- what a night and day's difference!

I will still have to do some minor tweaking, and I will definitely send Tammy a .pdf after I'm done explaining why certain things were changed.


Thanks for your help! ;D

artk2002

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Re: Mentoring a CW without stepping on toes. UPDATE #17
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2013, 05:57:08 PM »
Yay! You did the right thing by making this the boss' issue. It sounds like Boss and Editor are as frustrated with Mark as you are. Mark's gunning for an entry in the "Professional Darwinism" thread.

I'm curious about the Editor's wording though. Was Mark arguing about what needed to be done? Refusing to do what Editor said to do?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

jpcher

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Re: Mentoring a CW without stepping on toes. UPDATE #17
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2013, 06:53:04 PM »
I, too, thought that Editors words were curious, but I didn't ask for clarification.


Yes, I agree, everyone's advice for me to stay out of it was a good choice.


Thanks!

bopper

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Re: Mentoring a CW without stepping on toes. UPDATE #17
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2013, 08:35:26 AM »
When you receive Tammy's work for the next issue, then email her and Cc: her boss and the editor and say "Thanks Tammy!  This looks great! Glad to have you on the team."

jpcher

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Last Friday I sent Tammy a marked-up .pdf explaining why I made certain changes. I was very polite and used positive comments, including compliments on things that worked well. It took me quite a while to make sure that my wording was not at all negative. (hey, I'm an artist, not a writer :P)

I copied Editor and my Boss. Editor replied on Monday saying "thank you."

Late today (Wednesday) I received a reply from Tammy. She said thank you for my constructive criticism, she found my comments helpful and she will implement some of my suggestions in the next issue.

As a P.S. she asked "Just curious, why didn't you ever send Mark a marked-up .pdf? This probably would have been helpful to him."*

She did not copy Editor on her reply.



UhOh.

Tammy and Mark are in the same department. They work together.

I'm sure they talk to one another.

How do I respond to Tammy? Or do I respond at all?




*I'm really not sure if the .pdf mark-up that I made of Marks work ever got to Mark or if it went straight to Tammy or maybe their boss? I have no clue as to what happened between me sending the previous mark-up and Tammy taking on the project.

LEMon

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Can you reply "I thought previous mark-ups that I had done did get to Paul.  Perhaps (Editor) decided just to handle the matter himself/herself."  Something to indicate you had marked things up, perhaps they just weren't passed on to Mark. 

You could even add something along the lines of "Due to recent changes, I'm trying to do things differently this time round.  Fix some of the mistakes I made by not communicating enough."

Vague, but indicating you want to make things go great.

Deetee

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Hi,

I'm glad you found my comments useful. Let me know if anything is unclear. As for the marked up PDF s I thought mark did get them but I sent them to editor first for him to review and send to mark. Now that editor seems happy with the format I'm sending them directly"

Or whatever is the truth.

audhs

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It sounds to me that from the start mark thought the project was Beneath him and did a crap half done job to show his displeasure.  Doing the juvenile if I don't do a good job they won't make me do it anymore. (Which quite frankly should put him in the running for committing professional Darwinism)

Also it sounds to me that he's covering his bacon-fed knave with his coworker making it look like it wasn't his fault that he got taken off the project.

Steve

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You could give out a vague answer that with Mark doing the work you never had the time to provide constructive feedback (as you were constantly reworking it)...
but don't include the last part... and let her connect the dots...



Tia2

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Since you did give feedback, I don't think you want to give the impression you didn't - it suggests you just left Mark hanging.  I think you can only say 'did Mark not get the feedback I sent, then?', making it clear that any error was not committed by you.  If that results in Mark being proved a liar (or it turns out his boss chose not to pass on said feedback), at least you will not be held responsible for the problems.

There are people out there who jealously guard 'their job' and deliberately sabotage people who are supposed to be helping them.  Since Mark appears to be implying the OP is one of these people, she should make it clear this isn't true.

SingMeAway

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POD Tiamet. If you sent feedback I would make good and sure that Tammy knows that. I too suspect that Mark is trying to justify to people that he was taken off the project and blaming/trashing anyone within range. I had another designer do that to me recently to justify the fact that her (really atrocious) file had to be rebuilt. It's also quite possible that Mark has been complaining about how poorly he was treated and Tammy smells a rat and wants to hear your side.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 11:49:37 AM by SingMeAway »

MissManager

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POD Tiamet. If you sent feedback I would make good and sure that Tammy knows that. I too suspect that Mark is trying to justify to people that he was taken off the project and blaming/trashing anyone within range. I had another designer do that to me recently to justify the fact that her (really atrocious) file had to be rebuilt. It's also quite possible that Mark has been complaining about how poorly he was treated and Tammy smells a rat and wants to hear your side.

Why? The OPs dealing with Tammy have nothing to do with Mark. I wouldn't want to throw the editor or whomever under the bus for not passing on information if that's the case (the OP seems unclear). If Mark is bad mouthing people that'll come out on its own.

I'd just respond to Tammy that I'm glad she found my comments helpful and I just wanted to make sure she had clear expectations for the project.

SingMeAway

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I look at it this way, she is now dealing with Tammy and while we don't know exactly why Tammy is asking, it may be idle curiosity or she may think the OP treated Mark poorly, if the OP ignores Tammy's question, that may have an effect on their future working relationship. I don't think it's  throwing anyone under the bus (of course it depends on how the reply is worded) - it would simply be the OP saying that she did indeed send markup, in other words, she did her part of the job.