Saturday, February 23, 2008

Stick it to the (paper) man

My sister is working at a small print newspaper on the west coast. Like newspapers everywhere, sales and jobs are evaporating. She is aware that they want to find an excuse to fire her ass. They are monitoring her closely and clocking her speed. Only on racetracks is this a good thing.

They've upped the ante and started giving her difficult work that falls outside of her job skills in production. Yesterday they handed her a card with type on it. Victorian posies behind an announcement of a doodad show. She had to take the scanned image, turn it sideways, get rid of the type, and expand it's middle by 300%. My sister only knows basic things in photoshop, the simple fixes. This was major surgery.

We formulated a plan. She sent it to me at work when she got there in the morning. Back on the east coast, I spent part of my lunch hour using the clone tool to disappear the type, copy the border, give it a new middle, and move flowers around. I touched up with the healing brush and sent it west where it was still morning.

She tells me it was delightful to see their look of consternation when she handed in the acceptable image. That even though she has never once cheated in school, this felt less like cheating and more like spy vs spy. It put her in a good mood, a mood her pals at work caught, and they were laughing about little things as they worked. A mood not shared by the bosses.

When we talked last night, she wanted to know how I did the photoshop. I tried to describe it but... she needed to see it. A video is worth a thousand phonecalls, so I recommended free online photoshop training: podcasts such as Pixel Perfect with Bert Monroy, Lynda.com (the first 10 lessons are free in their vast arsenal of tutorials), and for comedy and real tips, "You suck at photoshop". Free, free, free. Throw her more mission impossibles and she'll learn new job skills. Take that mean boss people. You don't mess with my li'l sis.

3 comments:

Christina said...

This was divine intervention for me. First it is incredible to have sister solidarity, and even better when it is your for-real-sister. Unlike revenge, which makes you like them; getting over to get by is truly beautiful. To refuse to be squashed and humiliated is a defiance I hope to repeat and master.

Two of my coworkers have read your book. If they happen to be on this blog: please keep my secret and feel free to revel in it on my behalf!

Claudia, you have been so supportive of me over the years and all of that has been tremendous; but our adventure on Friday will put a smile on my face for years to come!

Labdarugo said...

What an incredible story. Christina, as someone who used to work with your sister, all I can say is, "Yeah, she's like that."

Claudia Carlson said...

Thanks to both of you.