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It's in the card

I finished my resume on the same day that I saw an appropriate online job listing. This was Friday? I emailed the listing to TA asking for advice (“Do you think this is up my alley? Am I over- or under-qualified?” the usual blablabla) and he shot right back with “Do it.”

Then he sent a second email saying, “Doesn’t So-and-so work there?” And then he looked up from his monitor—because he was sitting across from me--and said outloud “Hey, here’s her card.”

So I emailed this friend So-and-so from long ago and asked for feedback. She sent me an email in the afternoon that gave me the lowdown on the company, extolling its virtues and telling me that she very much enjoyed her work.

“I would love to recommend you!” she even added. Her exclamation point, not mine.

I’m hoping this is a happy portend of things to come.

Also on Friday I paid my studio rent, and in the envelope I included a quickie printout of the holiday card I designed this year. I had a moment’s hesitation (you’ll see why below) but stuck it in there anyway because… well, because I like it, it’s cute and whatever.

Not 10 minutes after I dropped off the envelope, there was a knock on my studio door. It was the building manager, wanting to know if she could use my card for the holiday card.

“Well… no, I mean, it’s my card,” I stuttered.

“No, what I mean is, can we use it as the complex’s holiday card?” she replied.

“Oh… hmmm… Wow… I’m flattered you like the card, but… no. It’s the card I’m using. Sorry.” Then I added (so as not to sound overly asshole-ish) “You mean, no one submitted a design for the holiday card?”

“Well, yeah there were submissions but they were really out there.”

“Oh, sorry to hear about that.”

“Ok, well thanks. I thought I’d ask.”

GAHHHHHH. Why does everyone want everything FOR FREE?

I got the notices with my rent, the ones that said, “Hey submit your designs for our corporate holiday card!” but in none of those notices was there an offer of a free (or 3) months’ rent, or a month (or 3) of free utilities, or any kind of remuneration. I had just given her $350 and she had the nerve to ask me for something ON TOP OF THAT? FOR FREE?

I had a feeling that my card would trump whatever was submitted. And it’s not because I’m conceited. It’s because any designer who knows what he or she is doing is not about to give his or her work away for free, particularly to a building with routine electrical, rodent and water leakage problems.

3:19 p.m. - 2006-12-03



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