Maria is back from Australia, so that's the end of my fulltime gig splitting myself between two businesses. In the meantime, the boss of one of them - the one where I spend the most time - has had a business advisor type person in telling him how to run his business, improve sales etc, since in my boss's case it might be better to say he needs help in how not to run his business. In fact, it might be even more accurate he needs help in having his business perform anything other than a meandering, somewhat geriatric shuffle around an old folks home looking for that packet of mints it left lying around in 1946.

Boss has a habit of creating 'promo material' - meaning desk calendars, stuff like that, with the business name all over it. He then employs the cunning strategy of storing this stuff for up to three years in dark festering corridors far from the sight of man, perhaps so that when somebody trips over them and fatally injures themselves, the last thing they might think before the darkness consumes will be "hang on, that's right, i'd better get some business cards printe..."

The point is, I joined Boss and Advisor Guy in the office for about twenty minutes while Advisor explained what he thought would be a more effective way of promoting the printing business by not only producing colourful, attractive, and informative leaflets, but actually following them up with an enquiry or phonecall. All the time looking at me in the way that implied the Fatal Flaw in the Argument: to whit, that I am the one solely responsible for the design and text of previous leaflets.

Oh no. The reality is, I can design stunning, attractive and informative layouts, but then I have to hand itover to whoever ordered it, which is not unlike handing a '58 Moet over to a crowd of antifreeze-drinking down-and-outs on the hottest day of summer. If you give a range of designs ranging from good to bad for people to consider, I can guarantee you clients will always, ALWAYS PICK THE WORST.

So I had to sit there, unable to explain that in fact no, I wasn't responsible for the text of the original leaflet, which explains in infinitely boring detail the finer engineering points of our printing presses, something of no interest to any man, woman or lump of rock. Partnered, of course, with pictures of printing presses. Exciting stuff. And Boss wonders why people aren't stampeding to the door.

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