One Week Of Danger

The following takes place between May 26th and June 1st.  Events occur in real-time.

26/5 [1334] I’ve filled up the car, I’ve been food shopping and I’ve had my hair butchered. Time to drive back to RHUL.

26/5 [1546] I went straight to the office. I’m currently begging the printers to not charge me. This is simple, seeing as I haven’t finished (or started) the issue.

27/5 [2006] I’ve been in the office for hours. I’m now watching the Champions League final there on my projector, eating a Pot Noodle and proofing.

28/5 [0045] I’m still in the office, going slowly mad. I bought cake for my Editorial Team, but they still hate me. I can hear them curse me…

28/5 [0458] I would rather be anywhere in the world than the Queen’s Annexe right now.  I haven’t left the desk since 11am on Wednesday. Am I finished? Am I f-

28/5 [1748] I’ve left the office for only the second time since 11am Wednesday to get ready for the Laurel Awards Ceremony. Never mind that deadline…

29/5 [0907] went straight from the Laurels to the Office to slave away again. He’s racking up his 46th hour in here. Cabin fever? Please note:  I’m still in full dinner suit attire.

29/5 [2359] I feel like everything since Tuesday has been one continuous day. The Jack Bauer of journalism?

30/5 [1619] I’ve called in the cavalry and broken out the chocolate fingers.  Any more calls from the printers about bleed areas and I’ll go insane.  At least I’ve changed my clothes.

30/5 [2240] I’m now designing an issue on what feels like the office on the surface of the sun. I’m sweltering. I’ve locked the door and taken off my top. Topless editing:  I mean business.

31/5 [0004]  I’m screaming “Hey! Editor, I’m undeniable! Hey, Doctor, I’m certifiable, oh…”

31/5 [1335] I’m remarkably annoyed that Nick Grimshaw had no idea who Butthole Surfers were.  Radio1 is the only thing telling me what time it is.

31/5 [1418] I have no idea what sort of meat was in my bowl of ravioli and, quite frankly, I don’t care. It’s my first meal for 24hrs.

31/5 [1832] I hope no-one tells me that he’s wasting his life editing an article on bra size surcharges.  Now, where to put that picture of breasts…

31/5 [2353] I’m cutting this, I’m cutting that, I’m still carving out an issue.

1/6 [0121] I’ve just realised I haven’t had dinner. Bit late for that now, I guess. On to exporting EPS! Boot up Adobe Distiller and we’re out of here…

1/6 [0151] I’ve finished the issue, pending a check from my lovely Executive Editor. And they say flattery gets you nowhere. Now for Volunteering Week…

1/6 [0932] I’m up, showered, shaved (he desperately needs new foils) and ready for Volunteering Week.

1/6 [1136] I just saved over The Orbital with the Volunteering Week templates, half an hour before the print deadline. I want to die.

1/6 [1214] I met the deadline. Just. I hope Morton understands his ‘creative time-management’.

On deadline day, I was involved in a joint The Orbital/Insanity session for local school children as part of Volunteering Week, teaching them how we put stuff together in print and on air. I made some funky templates and then saved over the (thank christ, already exported) front page of the publication. Smooth, Mr. Editor, smooth.

On deadline day, due to Volunteering Week/eating, I missed a call from the printers, who rang my Executive Editor, who rang me, a call which I missed, who texted me, which I started to read before the President of the Students’ Union rang me.  Repeat this three times and the system developed that you’d just get the President to ring me to tell me to ring the printers/Executive Editor.  Anyone would think I was ignoring my Executive Editor.  Not true, honest!

Mortons Print, my lovely pre-press/press people, couldn’t get enough of telling me what I’d done wrong.  This image would be cropped, this was the wrong size, did you put the images in CMYK not RGB? (yes!) Did you want the edges to bleed through here, where the spread is just – look, just print the damn thing.  Please.  Efficiency and thoroughness definitely got on my nerves.

I’ve slept for approximately five hours in a week, to almost single-handedly pull off the biggest change The Orbital has seen in almost twenty years.  There’s a lot of almosts in there,  and there’s also a long way to go.  I couldn’t have survived without my equally-insane Editorial Team, who had to endure me barking orders at them, and most notably shouting ‘I wanted to be a journalist, not mayor of crazy town!’, at various intervals.

Although I’d looked at Adobe InDesign CS4 and various PDFs countless times, I can’t tell you the physical and emotional relief when I actually saw the palette, with 3000 copies of my creation sitting outside the SU building on schedule, on time, on Thursday 4th June.

For the curious among you, I’d better mention that the quote on the inside front page of the newspaper is from the first edition of the Yale Daily News…where Rory Gilmore served as editor.

The innovation which we begin by this morning’s issue is justified by the dullness of the time and the demand for news among us.

I now produce a fortnightly newspaper with a monthly magazine supplement.  My life expectancy has drastically shortened.  Roll on, September.  Let’s do it all again.