Ready to get OUT of the business ...

SlaveToTheMan

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

Really? I thought we'd actually be more productive! It's a pipe dream, I know. :p

cosmotcat, I feel your pain and I have "only" been doing prep about, 15 years I guess. It's a thankless, crappy job any more. There's little or NO pride in the work done, it's just turning into an assembly line. I'd love to get out too, so I'm looking at things that may or may not pan out also. It may be a false sense of hope, but there's gotta be something to make me want to bother getting up in the morning, right?
 

BayStar

New member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

Sounds so familiar! From files without embedded fonts or bleeds, to mail merges, to low res images, to the boss saying "just make it look good!" My position is that if I have to make cahnges to documents because they are set up wrong, having missing fonts, etc., the client has to pay for intervention or fix it or sign off that the quality is ok for them.
 

jetzerm

Active member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

HERE HERE!!!

I just got nailed for the wrong barcode on a job. I sent out no less than 5 PROOFS for approval. The barcode was wrong on every single one of them. The customer never marked it as wrong, never checked it. The job gets printed and it's my butt in the fire. Why? because on a Post-it Note in the bottom of the job bag was the hand written barcode that was supposed to be used.

CSR response was "I don't look at the jobs, it's Prepress' responsibility to make sure everything is correct. I only talk to the customer and quote the jobs."

I've been in prepress for 15 years. The BIGGEST thing I see is the quality of Sales and Customer Service People dropping like a stone. I had a CSR tell me the other day that I can print an 7 color job on a 5 color press. I get paperwork with notes on it like "How many colors in this job?", "What's an Illustrator file?", "If it's RGB that means it's a 3 color job, right?"
 

jetzerm

Active member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

HERE HERE!!!

I just got nailed for the wrong barcode on a job. I sent out no less than 5 PROOFS for approval. The barcode was wrong on every single one of them. The customer never marked it as wrong, never checked it. The job gets printed and it's my butt in the fire. Why? because on a Post-it Note in the bottom of the job bag was the hand written barcode that was supposed to be used.

CSR response was "I don't look at the jobs, it's Prepress' responsibility to make sure everything is correct. I only talk to the customer and quote the jobs."

I've been in prepress for 15 years. The BIGGEST thing I see is the quality of Sales and Customer Service People dropping like a stone. I had a CSR tell me the other day that I can print an 7 color job on a 5 color press. I get paperwork with notes on it like "How many colors in this job?", "What's an Illustrator file?", "If it's RGB that means it's a 3 color job, right?"
 

John W

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

The CSR is the quarterback for jobs. It is their responsibility to write instruction completely, accurately, concisely and without ambiguity; handle sales and client reps, ask the needed questions, receive all materials bi-directionally, check changes and or omissions and additions, especially if they initiate them.

It is MHO that the operator must check their own work but that another set of job knowledgeable eyes must also check. Let's face it, if the job is wrong, everyone suffers and everyone is therefore responsible to check, check, check. No excuses.

Big problem is that newbee CSR or Jr CSR's often do not have the basic core skills to do the job correctly and no senior CSR is training them nor has time to.
Our son and daugther -in-law are purchasing a house from a biuilder. The foundation, stringers, rafters, roof and undercladding are up. The bricks are sitting on each lot of nearly a thousand lots. There are no brick-layers available to continue construction! Most have retired in the last five years and no apprentices are picking up the slack. This problem seems to be arriving in haste to all industry. The kids now have to find accommodation for months while the builder has to get to work to resolve this issue.

John W
 

G_Town

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

Ok the other side of the coin:

Our customers typically are not printers their primary business is selling a product. To expect someone who makes widgets to be an expert at creating print ready files is unrealistic. Their goal is to manufacture, market and sell their widgets, part of that involves the packaging and that's when they come to us because it is OUR business and we better make it all work our they will go to someone that will.

I go to a mechanic when I need major work done on my car because he knows what the heck he is doing because its his profession not mine he (hopefully) has years of experience and training so that he can do the job right and quickly.

Does that mean I want every job to be the job from hell? Certainly not, that's why I communicate whenever I see an issue with a file. Doesn't mean they listen but at least I'm trying to educate them whenever I can and every once in a while you get one that does.

As far as charging for fixing the numerous screw ups, blunders and plain old FOBAR's thats up to the sales force and upper management. I charge my time and if they want to give it away as the price of doing business thats fine with me (I still get paid either way). In the end I suppose I like it the way it is. I wouldn't have half of my knowledge if every single job I ever worked on came in "print ready". Customers are never going to be print experts and thats fine by me cuz I need to get paid ;-)

p.s. I agree on the CSR thing, they have totally went down the crapper since I started in the biz.

my 2¢

Edited by: G_Town on Dec 19, 2007 9:41 AM
 

disbellj

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

CSRs never have been much use to me. They don't know my job and I don't prefer to talk to customers (although it's easier to talk to customers than those inside this building most of the time). I always end up doing their job too (at least when it comes to knowing anything about the files, and having to re-flight what they preflight).

I'm asked today about a Medium 300 dpi image that the customer wants to buy and wants to know if it will be OK for resolution. I'm given a word doc with the lores image pasted into it, and a PDF of the price spec's that show the image is 300 dpi and like 8x5, and the price the customer will pay.

I try to tell the CSR/estimator that on any job, as long as the image is 300 dpi and used at the same size or scaled down we'll be OK, scaling up is where we'll have problems with resolution. He doesn't listen, and instead tries to go back to this particular job (where I'm trying to get him off the subject of just one job with a word doc with a lores that does me no good, and trying instead to get him to learn a basic rule that applies to all). I stop him at least a couple times to try and get him to understand that what I told him will work for any job - it's a basic rule that applies to almost every print job we'll ever get. He finally got it (after I asked "Is the client scaling it up?" and he said "No, he'll scale it down", and I said "OK, it will work", then he goes on and on for about 10-15 seconds, and I said "How many times and in how many ways do I have to say yes it will work?" (damn it's hard and sometimes I ask myself why I ever got up in that particular morning)

Don
 

cosmotcat

Member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

HA! ... 're-flight' ... I gotta use that one ...

What I used to LOVE is the 'deer in the headlights' look I would get when a certain salesperson would ask me to explain to her what's wrong with the file, so SHE can go back and tell her client. I'd get done explaining and her eyes would be kind of glazed over and I'd almost swear that I heard the sounds of chirping crickets and frogs. So I had NO CHOICE but to start throwing in things like " ... it would work, but the fleeker bit isn't allowing a trap to the franistan, which causes a microflux in the autoquark, and makes the file crash."

Is that wrong?
 

G_Town

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

Ok, I'll join in true story


Had a salesman waiting on plates for a customer OK, he was being a real P.I.T.A. and kept asking why it was taking so long. When I finally had enough I told him that the network was really slow probably because of old data in the network clogging things up and that I was going to run a "data snake" he nodded his head knowingly asked me how long it would take and left to inform the customer.

I still laugh at him to this day.
 
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

Great points made all the way around the block. We can all feel the frustration when sharing the horror stories of our daily prepress hell. Dealing with "P.I.T.A" CSR"s, Sales people, Order Writers, etc... is the worst part of my job because most of them have that built in "I'm better than you" attitude...even after we humble ourselves and go way above and beyond. One day at a customer okay after countless proofs, corrections, headaches and alterations, I was told by an arrogant SOB sales dweeb that he was "in the driver's seat" and would request me to make any changes he felt necessary. I did not respond. I simply grabbed my lunchbox and coat and left for the day. It was already three hours after my shift had ended so without speaking I let "Mr. Salesman" know that he may have been in the driver's seat but "I had the keys." Not my proudest or most professional hour, but we all know when we've had enough. I always try to remember that there are a lot worse ways to earn a paycheck! Hang in there! MK.
 

Franknater

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

CSR? Man...it is not what it used to be. Some printing companies still hold that experience level, but not too many. There are far too many people in this plant that have little to no experience in the field and get this...they're managers, CSRs and PrePress techs. The worst thing is, you HAVE TO EXPLAIN IN DETAIL and they're getting paid more than the Mac people.

I guess I'll just hang out for a while.

Frank
 

C2C

Active member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

he job gets printed and it's my butt in the fire. Why? because on a Post-it Note in the bottom of the job bag was the hand written barcode that was supposed to be used.

Heh. Stickies.. the most annoying part of communication within the office.
Been there, had that happen aswell.

We get alot of Photocopied Dockets (which by the time they get to us, are wrong) and just Dockets with old or incorrect info on it, day after day after day.
despite communicating this to the VP and the office workers its a continual offence and in the end,.. shit rolls down hill.. and right into the Prepress Dept.
Alot of the times the Dockets dont even reach us till the last moment (aka press is now wondering why the docket states 7 cols and theres only 4 plates in the pouch)
(( but this can at times be attributed to whomever made the plates as they need to speak up at that time... ))

After all, its our job to do:

Our own Job,

the CSR's job

Order the Drawdowns (we have now 2 people who SHOULD look after this)

Make sure the inks are correct on the printed docket (again, someone else's job is to make sure dockets are correct for the Presses, they also look after ordering the stock for the jobs)

Place proofs into the plate pouches for the Press (again we have someone whos job is to deal with the plates we make and get them to Press on time and make sure the signed off proof(s) are in the pouch!!! He also deals with coating blankets a majority of the time and works with our scheduler who likes to change all our completed layouts from one press to another at 2:59pm when shes going home...

I could go on forever : )
Its fun.

Despite it all.. I enjoy the craziness of it all.

Edited by: C2C on Dec 20, 2007 2:53 AM
 

kabel

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

Coming from a different perspective, and I know i am the minority here, but these horror stories are exactly why I, as a print manager/buyer, I make it my goal to send out files that require little or no pre-press work beyond the automated workflow. And why I hang out on forums like this.

I don't have the time or the patience for a account rep or csr that doesn't know what they are talking about (and willing to admit it).

If it is any consolation, I am trying to educate as many people as I can. I attend as many press ok's as I can because it gives me a chance to interface directly with the people that are printing my job. I alwys make a point to say hello to every person I see at the plant from the guy that hauls around the pallets to the guys in pre-press. And I try to instill this in all our interns by taking them with me when ever I can.

I have two print vendors I use for most of our work, both are local and privately owned. I love working with them and I feel like Norm from cheers every time I walk in to the plant.
 

disbellj

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

cosmotcat,

"So I had NO CHOICE but to start throwing in things like " ... it would work, but the fleeker bit isn't allowing a trap to the franistan, which causes a microflux in the autoquark, and makes the file crash."

Is that wrong?"

Yeah, but that made by dreary day. They have enough trouble with real lingo, I dare not try to make stuff up. Then I'll forget what I'm talking about and we'll both be screwed. Thank you for that though, made this 'hammered piece of crap' I feel like today - smile. I gotta remember I'm getting too old to try the night life.

Don
 

cosmotcat

Member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

What used to REALLY make me crazy ... one of the CSR's would come in and ...

CSR: "I'm looking for something uploaded to FTP"
Me: "When was it uploaded?"
CSR: "I don't know, maybe sometime between Monday and Wednesday."
Me: "Who is it from?"
CSR: "Well, it might have come from the client or it might have come from their artist, but I don't have a name."
Me: "Okay ... but ..."
CSR: "It's supposed to be a 9 x 12 pocket folder, if that helps"
Me: "I don't see anything uploaded to FTP since last Friday."
CSR: "Oh, did I say FTP? I meant e-mail"
Me: (sounds of a .45 being loaded)

ARRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

But you know what, despite all of my b**ching and moaning here, we do have fun sometimes. But I truly am thinking of moving on. It's QUICKLY becoming a younger man's game (two years to my 50th birthday). Printing has driven me to the point where, since I don't drink (to excess), all I want to do is sit on the couch in my underwear and watch Jerry Springer all day.

Edited by: cosmotcat on Dec 20, 2007 1:28 PM

Edited by: cosmotcat on Dec 20, 2007 1:29 PM
 

G_Town

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

The old timers that were in this business when I started are turning over in their grave listening to you guys, I mean wheres the hard drinking, cigar chomping, you want it when attitude??

Of course, being in this business is probably what killed them anyway so....
 

PeterA

Well-known member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

What u say is very right - its the detail that defeats us - and none of us like to do detail.especially designers - even the college dont teach it.
Customer ask for quote
Designer changes spec
Customer orders job based on quote
CSR starts new job based on quote and write method of working based on quote
Pre Press download file (if they know where to)
Job is an 8pp saddle stitch - not a 6 page.
Pre press dont advise CSR's
Job gets proofed and approved
Paper gets ordered for 6 page
Night shift come to print the job - dont have enought paper so pinch it from another job (which goes late because there is no paper)
Bindery overseer rants because the simple six page job - has to be saddlestitched
Despatch manager rants because he doesnt know were to deliver it.
CSR ask client for money and he says he should have been told at the start.
All the above happens in 24 hours

Of course in the UK none of us have this problem !!!!!!!

Peter
 

C2C

Active member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

Printing has driven me to the point where, since I don't drink (to excess), all I want to do is sit on the couch in my underwear and watch Jerry Springer all day.
Ahahah. that made my night.


edit:
What is the Quote code anyhow :)

Edited by: C2C on Dec 20, 2007 6:09 PM
 

Rob.Morgan

Active member
Re: Ready to get OUT of the business ...

> {quote:title=C2C wrote:}{quote}
> What is the Quote code anyhow :)
You can get quotes by clicking on the "Quote Original" button at the top of the message box. (Beside the smiley face in the rich text editor)

Cheers,
Rob
 

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