Back at the turn of the century, when I was handed my debut “sitting” assignment, it came with a newly-cut purple key to the agency offices, a list of contact details and – what I interpreted as – a thankful smile as agency owner, Steve, rushed to the airport on his ‘first vacation in years’. It was a bit like the Night before Christmas, when you never quite know what to expect, but multi-coloured packages and a host of surprise visits. For no sooner had the long overdue holiday taken our main protagonist off-site and offline, and the title role was recast, when some of those multi-coloured packages began to unravel.
The agency had been working on a major brochure redesign and copywriting job in several languages for a world-class travel organisation. All the proofs had gone to print, neatly packaged and tied-up-with-string, when the unravelling started. Steve was hardly up in the air when the client called with last-minute changes to 15 pages of the brochure. Okay, fine. So, do you know what that means if you have a dozen language versions of the document about to hit the printing press and it’s quite literally the night before Christmas? Not only do you need to be on extremely good terms with the printer, you also need to recall your dozen or so writers and proofreaders from their annual yuletide jaunt around the globe, reeling them in carefully, mid-reindeer flight…
And so it was that my very first sitting assignment was anything but an armchair story. After that, Steve went away on many more trips. And I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, quick – get away, it will all be alright.
Picture courtesy of Renate Kalloch herzlichen Dank!