Have you been to an Embassy lately? I just came back and what a treat it was.
Do you recall their counter windows, similar to those found in banks? The ones with the narrow slots along the bottom to slide paperwork through?
Why is it, that although we all know modern mics carry, we still lean down on elbows to talk at that hole?
So there I sat, front row in a room full, waiting for my number to come up. Waiting and watching people walk up to those windows, elbow down on those counters, and talk through those holes. Sitting. Waiting. Watching. All at counter level.
An hour into my morning of waiting two men walked up to the window. Grown men, not lads, not boys. The tall, largish (but not lardish) chap slipped his items through the slot, then leaned over to answer a question. Just like those before, each time the gal behind the counter spoke, he leaned.
She speaks, he leans. I bury my head in a book and bite down on my finger. Then two.
She speaks. A lot. He leans a lot. A visual person, it’s all too much of a visual for me.
You see, just like his buddy he’s dressed in a large, bright yellow shirt (not tucked in), with tan Bermuda shorts beneath.
The difference is, his baggy shorts are split from cheek to cheek. Horizontally. The full width of his cheeks. His bare cheeks. At my eye level. And theirs.
So she speaks. He leans. The whole room gets a broad peek.
Some (like me), hide behind books, newspapers or paperwork. Some look to the floor. Some catch eyes, pursing upturned lips tight with teeth biting down.
The result is a roomful of muffled sputtering and tittering, giggling and chuckling. But not loud. No. Not loud. It’s just too familiar. Too close to home.
Yes. We’ve all been there, done that, enjoyed the party. But hopefully, not with such a captive, attentive audience.
Living in a country where help is cheap, we’ve all suffered from the lack of quality control that comes with having day maids. A lack of communication or no, clothes are washed, dried, ironed and put away without comment.
It doesn’t matter if a button is missing, or the whites are washed with the reds, or if there’s a tear in a shirt (or in his case, a pair of Bermudas). Clothes are washed, ironed and neatly put away on hangers and in drawers. Finish.
Finish for them anyway. It starts for you when down you look to find that your cleavage has been shared with the world for hours, your collar is burnt brown on one side, your socks don’t match, and there’s a rip under one arm.
And if asked for a show of hands, I’m sure twenty percent or more of the males in that room would admit to wearing pink underwear in the past year. Underwear once white.
So yes, we all knew what happened. Running late, he grabbed from his top drawer and out the door he went. To us.
That’s right. When there’s a job to do and only so many hours to finish, sometimes corners get cut. And a given, an absence of quality control (and at times proper communication), often results in mistakes being made.
With the better part of a morning to go, and with the men in yellow being sent to another counter in the other room, I settled down and thought about quality control and communication in the design industry. The Visual Communication Design industry.
There are times when there’s no time to check that one last time before something goes to press, a project is signed over, or a product is launched. So we hold our breath and hope clients don’t notice that one little thing that nagged us at the end – a word not properly kerned, a graphic not spaced just so, a colour not just right, code not cleaned to our liking.
And we justify by saying they didn’t give us enough time, or money, or leeway to complete the job properly. And besides, it’s obvious clients wouldn’t notice as they don’t understand design. Right? So, why bother. Right?
Well, maybe. Maybe if they don’t notice (right away or at all), just maybe their audience will? It’s just a thought. A thought I had while sitting there waiting my turn, taking part in an audience not my own.
Then, before my number was called, back they came. Back came the men in the yellow shirts and tan Bermuda shorts. Joining the wait they lean against the wall. And out of the corners of our eyes, the rest of us watch and wait.
So we all wait together. Some in transfixed anticipation.
Technorati Tags: clients, quality control
<< -- Please report dead blogs via the contact form -- >>