Friday, January 13, 2023

Quick Sips 01/13/2023

Still here. Still trying. Basically the song of my life for the last…while. I do wonder some times if you can just be sort of stuck in a loop of burnout and productivity. I mean…I do things. Many things, really, from reading and reviewing to participating in a number of other initiatives, plus my day job, plus plus plus. Heh. But somehow I am still stuck in the thinking that I should be able to do more, and I am sort of a disaster when it comes to communication, staying on top of deadlines, and generally not feeling like a wreck. But that’s been the case for a few years now. Whew.

But today I guess I want to talk a bit about my day job. Which I don’t often engage with in this space, because it’s sort of incredibly dull. I work in prepress for a commercial printer, and have worked this job for over fifteen years now. Which…wow. It was my first job out of college, and while it has been a bumpy road for a number of reasons, it’s also been fairly consistent and by now I’m fairly good at it. I mean, if you want to know about color correction, the Adobe line of programs, XMF for sheetfed and web offset and large inkjet printing, Fiery for digital printing, etc etc, then I can probably tell you a lot of interesting but also niche information.

Anyway, one nice thing about the job is that it’s union, and while Wisconsin has gutted its Union movement in the last two decades, it’s still nice to be part of a union and having access not only to the various ways to make sure I’m not being fucked over, but collective bargaining and all that sort of thing. We just signed a rather nice contract for the next five years, and given that for the first five years I worked here we had no raises, having gotten to this point is appreciated. I probably should pay more attention to the union as an organization, but still.

Anyway, in the interest of letting people imagine what I do in a given day, most of it is spent at a desk looking at print files, making proofs (electronic and using oversized printers to mock up offset laydowns to make paper proofs), running one of three digital presses, doing laydowns, preflights, etc, and generally waiting for things to rip/print/upload. It’s part of how I have time to otherwise shove in other things, because my brain resists being full idle and I cannot really do things like browse the internet or likewise because it’s against policy. Is reading things copied from the internet or pdfs on my phone not against policy? Well… let’s ignore that for now.

It’s interesting too because the job is like stuck between blue collar and…not. It’s in front of a computer a lot of the time yes but also involves making plates, using some heavy machines, being exposed to interesting chemicals, and knowing about lockout tagout things and a lot of OSHA requirements. Which…I did have an amazing joke while Matt and I were watching a historical mystery and a character/victim got pushed into a machine. I cringed and said “Oh…Sha!” and it was very funny trust me.

But yeah, that’s what I do for most of my day. It’s not glamorous, and I rarely talk about it, but fifteen years later I’m probably fairly good at it. Day jobs…weird. But yeah, I have thrown off the mystery about my employment. Hope all is well with you! Cheers!


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