But Hey, At Least There’s No Benefits

The past 2 weeks have been an utter whirlwind of activity here around the office. A mad rush to launch one client website lead directly into a Black Friday-esque dash to launch another just days later. When all was said and done 16 days had passed, thousands of songs were scrobbled, several fires had been extinguished, and two of our best clients to date had new websites that they were proud to show off to everyone that was ready to take a look. It looked as if I’d be rewarded with a shiny, new weekend full of relaxation.

Then the call came. It was about 4:30 on Friday. I was decompressing from the Big Push™ and about to check out for the weekend when I answered the call. A former colleague of mine from my studio days was working at a publication in the city and they had a major deadline approaching. They were far behind. She wanted to bring me in to help them out with a few templates. Nothing major, but there was a catch, the templates were due Monday. I wasn’t sure if that "Shit!" was audible or just visualized, but I knew my weekend was toast. Her supervisor and I passed a few phone calls and e-mails around and the agreement was in place. There went my reward for the Big Push™… a sequel.

The job was fairly painless, and even with the last minute project I was still able to discover some downtime to be had, so it wasn’t a completely lost weekend. Rather, it wouldn’t have been if I didn’t let the whole situation create the worst attitude known to man in recent memory. I was pissed that my weekend was lost and made sure everyone around me knew. When I should have been enjoying my free time and looking back on what we accomplished with pride, I was stewing in my anger, pissed that there was only more.

It was a shitty attitude to have, and in retrospect, with the Big Push™ extension come and gone, I can finally look back and realize that. These long hours, these last minute projects, these sleepless nights aren’t things that deserve rewarding. They are the reward. It’s the result of making the hardest decision of my life and leaving the safety of studio life. Work tsunami’s like the one I just survived are the reward for not having to ever sit at my desk and look busy for 6 hours for fear of being sent home on a slow day. The 10 hour day is my reward for not having to ever put in an overnight shift to make global font changes in an 1,800 page program going to print in the morning. The lack of holiday pay is my reward for not having to wake up an hour early every day and embark on a soul crushing NYC rush-hour commute.

It was the scariest decision of my life, leaving the studio life and turning LHNL into a full-time venture, but weeks like those that just passed regularly remind me that it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Here’s to a busy, sleepless, last-minute, and chaos-filled 2009 to ensure that I never forget that.

Now, will someone please buy me a comfy chair? Damn, if I can’t miss one thing about the past.