Flashback to a moment that signaled the beginning of the end.

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This is my post containing the lowest percentage of original content to date (and probably for all of this site’s future, too), and yet it was by far the most tedious to produce. What follows – beginning beneath the double line – is a series of emails, presented in chronological order, borrowed from my time in the job I left 10 days ago.

You will not read the whole thing. If you do, you’re a bona fide masochist. That’s not to say I don’t want you to read the whole thing. Of course I do. It is, perhaps, the single greatest example I have to offer of the agony of my experience in white-collar purgatory. (I saved it for precisely this reason.) My presenting it to you is competitive suffering at its finest: I want you to know what goes on in the world that produced it, and I want you to tell me that you would not have been able to refrain from attempting to drown yourself in the water fountain.

(Jokes aside, I’m serious when I say that I want people to know this stuff. I think that people who do meaningful work would be absolutely horrified to know the sorts of mind-numbing things that people are paid very handsomely to work on in the corporate world. There is no rational person that would read what follows and conclude that it represents an appropriate use of time or money. Note: every character appearing in this story makes a six-figure salary at minimum. And in the case of some of the characters, that’s a pretty significant understatement.)

If for no one else, I invested 3+ hours into pulling this together because I want to have it. For the scrapbook. For the reminder of what I left behind. And when I reread this in 1, 5 and 10 years, I have a feeling that I’ll be very happy I did.

I will present the remainder of my comments as a bulleted list, since I have a number of quick things to draw your attention to:

  • This exchange began in my third week on the job. (It spilled over into the fourth.) I think that if it had taken place in later months (when I was no longer worried about making an impression), I would have refused the assignment.
  • If I counted correctly, there are 58 emails in the series as presented.
  • As they emerged, the emails actually splintered off into different threads (some contemporaneous), between – in some instances – a variety different parties. I’ve done my best to organize them by chronology. Apologies if I made any mistakes on that front.
  • Everything in square brackets consists of an edit that I made. I have been as careful as I could to redact all proprietary, identifying or otherwise sensitive material. All names, except my own, have been changed. Other than that, everything you see is copied verbatim. (If you doubt that, consider that no sane person would go to the trouble of fabricating something of this blandness and length. Oh, the length…)
  • The jist of what’s happening in this anecdote is that I’d been pulled in to help with visual formatting of a PowerPoint presentation. Note: this assignment did not pertain to revision of informational content. Only formatting (and, in the odd case, minor rewording for the purposes of improving that formatting).
  • I was in no way qualified to be acting as a visual-formatting expert.
  • The presentation was being prepared for the CEO and a Senior Vice-President, by ‘Lisa’ (a Vice-President) who was enlisting the help of me and ‘Charlie’ (both of us junior to Lisa by two ‘job grades’).
  • Charlie and I were not members of Lisa’s department. Before you ask, I don’t know why our involvement was sought in this.
  • I later found out that Lisa had a dedicated administrative assistant at her disposal. (Not that I would have wished this sort of work on that poor soul. But still.)
  • For extra amusement, note the following elements that I chose not to redact from the record: dates/times of emails sent, intermittent use of the ‘High Importance’ indicator, seemingly random changes in email subject line and ever-mounting version number of the presentation being amended.
  • “Agreed – I kind of feel guilty having this much fun when I’m supposed to be working.” – Yacine, 3/17/16, 3:02PM. Not gonna lie: I’m pretty proud of that one.
  • I made a six-figure-per-annum salary in this job.

I will not attempt to describe to you my emotions throughout what you see below. But I will note that if at any point you wonder whether I had knowingly signed on for this kind of ‘work’ or whether I was – even for a moment – okay with it, be assured that I did not and was not.

Enjoy. I sure did.



From: Lisa
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 12:31 PM
To: Charlie
Subject: Deck
Importance: High

Hi Charlie – per my vm, [CEO]’s request is all about format (way more visual). Hoping you can help? Please email or call and let me know if you’re free later today to chat.

Thanks,


From: Charlie
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 1:42 PM
To: Lisa
Subject: RE: Deck

Works for me.  I may bring someone else in to the call as well.  Franklin wants the whole department to start getting involved in improving communication, visuals etc.


From: Lisa
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 2:03 PM
To: Charlie
Subject: RE: Deck
Attached: Deck.ppt

Sounds good. Here’s the deck


From: Charlie
Sent: March 15, 2016 2:44 PM
To: Yacine
Subject: FW: Deck
Importance: High

Hi Yacine,

Franklin would like all of [Department Name] to get well-versed in formatting/preparing material for the Executive audience.  Lisa has a deck that needs visual improvement.  This may be a good one to get you started on.  I have a call set up with her at 4PM to see what she needs.  Please attend if you can.

Thanks,
Charlie


From: Lisa
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 4:26 PM
To: Charlie
Subject: FW: Deck

Hi Charlie, thank you again.

I’ve told [Senior VP] you’re assisting with this deck!

Here are my initial thoughts on the deck. Feel free to send a slide or two at a time, or whatever works best for us to go back and forth.

Thank you!!!

Slides 3-6:

  • Slide 3 of the [REDACTED] – I do like that circle and side bar for combining the key objectives of slides 3-6
  • Captions for slides 3-6 for our circle: “Analyze and interpret initiatives and trends”;  “[REDACTED] Committee” ; “Support strategic developments” ; “Build and maintain strong relationship with [REDACTED]” (and… perhaps we can have 2 external parts to this circle – a second caption could be “Strategic participation at [REDACTED]” – so, that’s 5 parts to the circle
  • For each, here’s the bullet for you to draw key words for the sidebars: (not sure if we need to say “internal” or “external” – your call)
  • “Analyze and interpret initiatives and trends” : Effectively disseminate knowledge across [REDACTED], promote early identification of impacts and prioritize and lead coordinated strategic responses and advocacy
  • “[REDACTED]”: Set agenda and chair meetings attended by [REDACTED], prioritize topics for discussion and provide directional input on strategy and messaging
  • “Support strategic developments”: Participate from beginning to end in [REDACTED], provide expertise and direction, particularly where issues are evolving or unclear or exemptions may be required
  • “Build and maintain strong relationship with [REDACTED]”: Establish [REDACTED] as a resource and thought leader, promote informal information sharing and provide input and direction on strategy and messaging for early dialogue and advocacy by [REDACTED]
  • “Strategic participation at [REDACTED]”: Ensure views are known and reflected in messaging and submissions

Slides 8-9

  • Lets try to combine the two slides – all these points are important, so maybe there’s a way to show “current” and “future opportunities” in a more visual way?

Slides 10-11

  • I’m wondering if we can combine these two slides as well (or – do you think we’re able to make it fit on the combined ‘observations’ slide?? Some of it is repetitive to what I’ve said – biggest points: on slide 10, bullets 2, 3, 4, 5; slide 11, bullets 1,2,3

Slides 13 – 14

  • Perhaps there’s a way to tell the story in a circle or bubbles; slide 13 are the [REDACTED], slide 14 are the [REDACTED], slide 16 is the overlay to all of it [REDACTED]

From: Charlie
Sent: March 15, 2016 4:31 PM
To: Yacine
Subject: FW: Deck

Hi Yacine,

Lisa provided some guidance below [Ed.: presented above here].  Let me know if you have anything you want me to look at before sending to Lisa.

Thanks,
Charlie


From: Lisa
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:36 AM
To: Charlie
Subject: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?

The regular one – thank you.

Do you think you and Yacine will be able to get me a revised draft of the deck late today or tomorrow? This way I can edit, etc. and we can turn it again by Monday? I’d like to send to [CEO] and [Senior VP] again on Monday if possible….


From: Charlie
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 9:03 AM
To: Yacine
Subject: FW: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?

See below [Ed.: Above] from Lisa.  Do you think we will have a revised version today or tomorrow?

Thanks,
Charlie


From: Yacine
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 9:10 AM
To: Charlie
Cc: Lisa
Subject: RE: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?

I intend to take a look today.  One way or another, I’ll send what I have by end of day.  (Or at least run it by Charlie, since he’s the expert here!)

-YB


From: Yacine
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 5:38 PM
To: Charlie
Cc: Lisa
Subject: RE: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?

I don’t think I’ll quite have my edits done by the time I have to leave today, but the good news is I’m close.  Will have something to you folks tomorrow morning.

-Yacine


From: Lisa
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 10:03 AM
To: Yacine
Subject: RE: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?

Hi Yacine, how’s it coming along?

Lisa


From: Yacine
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 10:04 AM
To: Lisa
Cc: Charlie
Subject: RE: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?

Will have something to you and Charlie within the hour. Was tied up in a meeting for a good portion of this morning.


From: Yacine
Sent: March 17, 2016 11:12 AM
To: Lisa
Cc: Charlie
Subject: RE: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?
Attached: Deck.ppt

Here’s an attempt. Sending it to you both so that you can review simultaneously.

Seemed as though we were mostly okay with the context of the text-heavy slides later in the presentation, so I didn’t change those much (just added some colour… note that graphic design is by no means a strong suit of mine).

Feel free to revise as much as you like.  My feelings won’t be hurt.

-Yacine


From: Charlie
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:16 PM
To: Yacine; Lisa
Subject: RE: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?

Looks pretty good!  I have some comments on formatting.. some things sound really picky, but trust me it makes all the difference!  I’ll leave to Lisa to discuss any content edits, since it’s her message.

Slide 3

  • I like the way the pie turned out.  I would make the font the same for all pie labels, so one doesn’t appear more important than another.  Also, the Internal and External boxes on the right could be lined up better, if I’m being really picky 🙂

Slide 4

  • The “internal”  boxes may be a bit dark with the dark font; electronically might be ok.  if they’ll be printed in colour, it may not show as well
  • Future Opportunities: would make the bullet spacing consistent with the others and remove the space between the two bullets
  • Since you have “internal” as green on slide 3 and “external” as blue, it may make sense to carry the same colouring through onto this slide (i.e. top row green and bottom row blue)?  Just a thought.

Slide 6

  • Can we line up the right hand content to the top of the box to match the left?
  • Center the content on the page and make blue boxes same width so they align on the right hand side
  • Make the bullet spacing consistent throughout

Slide 7

  • Make blue boxes same width so they align on the right
  • The bullets seem to be moving down a line even when there’s still room on the right?

Slide 8

  • Noticed that these bullets don’t have periods on the end but the rest of the deck does; should make consistent

Slides 6-8

  • Might make sense to carry colouring of slide 5 through to the respective sections

Charlie


From: Lisa
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:56 PM
To: Charlie; Yacine
Subject: RE: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?

It looks good!

I like slides 3 and 4 – in additional to Charlie’s feedback (and, can the colours of the pie chart on 3 be the same shades of colours in the rest of the document?), I will send my content comments in pdf  shortly.

This is a question for you both – Is there a different way to convey slide 6? I’ll send my content changes back but I’m wondering if there’s a more visual way to express (i) the  concerns and (ii) the potential options (and, the different possibilities within each of the [REDACTED]). I’m even open to having slide 7 somehow be part of the slide (I love the visual on slide 5)

I would like to send a revised draft to [CEO] and [Senior VP] by tomorrow morning, because I suspect one more round of edits before we have to submit on Thursday. If you could please work towards a revised draft to me as soon as possible, that would be amazing.

PDF will follow in about an hour – just have to get to another meeting.

Lisa


From: Yacine
Sent: March 17, 2016 1:40 PM
To: Lisa; Charlie
Subject: RE: can you please send me the final deck we used for [REDACTED]?
Attached: Deck v2.ppt

Version 2…

-YB


From: Lisa
Sent: March 17, 2016 2:19 PM
To: Yacine ; Charlie
Subject: Deck
Importance: High

I like new slide 5!

Here are my pdf content comments – including on the new slide.

A few additional format/font comments: can we please stick to one colour pallet? I’m partial to the blues 🙂  and, I’d prefer no punctuation at the end of the sentences throughout the deck.

If you can send me another version today, I will review tonight and be able to send you any final comments for us to then flip to [CEO] and [Senior VP].

Many thanks (Yacine, Charlie did mention how much fun this is, right??!)


From: Yacine
Sent: March 17, 2016 3:02 PM
To: Lisa; Charlie
Subject: RE: Deck
Attached: Deck v3.ppt

Agreed – I kind of feel guilty having this much fun when I’m supposed to be working.

Hope I correctly captured all the suggestions.

-YB


From: Charlie
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 3:08 PM
To: Yacine; Lisa
Subject: RE: Deck

This looks really good.  Some final suggestions below….I don’t think these need to be made for Lisa’s meeting, but probably final copy.

Slide 3 – consider outlining the pies in white, to be consistent with the image on slide 5.  It’ll also break up the image a bit.

Pick consistent bullets throughout – arrows vs. dots

Charlie


From: Yacine
Sent: March 17, 2016 3:15 PM
To: Charlie ; Lisa
Subject: RE: Deck
Attached: Deck v4.ppt

You bet. Changes made.

-YB


From: Lisa
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 4:25 PM
To: Charlie; Yacine
Subject: RE: Deck

This looks really great (and I like the changes made from Charlie’s suggestions!)

A few final edits from me please (subject to boss comments):

Slide 3 – for [REDACTED], can we say “Set monthly agenda and chair…” (add “monthly”)

Slide 3 – for Analyze & Interpret, can we title it “Analyze and Interpret Initiatives & Trends” (using word ‘and’ in the first instance

Slide 3 – no laughing.. can the blue and green match slide 4?

Slide 4 – for the “In Progress” bullets, what do you think about leaving a space between them (we have the room)?

Slide 4 – another style question for you and Charlie to debate – should the shading for In Progress and Future Opportunities be the same (they’re currently different)  I made them different because the green and blue are darker for ‘In Progress’ than for ‘Future Opportunities’. This is easy to change if you [Senior VP]’t think that makes sense.

Slide 5 – please add one more bullet (arrow) under [REDACTED] (make it the first bullet): [REDACTED]

Many thanks! I will copy you both on the final deck I flip to [CEO] & [Senior VP].


From: Yacine
Sent: March 17, 2016 4:44 PM
To: Lisa ; Charlie
Subject: RE: Deck
Attached: Deck v4.ppt

Version 4 attached.  See my couple of comments below.

For slide 3, the blue and green were actually identical to the dark blue and green on slide 4. I assume (since you asked this question) that you mean you want the same as the medium blue and green on slide 4, so that’s what I’ve changed it to be.

For slide 4, I made them different because the green and blue are darker for ‘In Progress’ than for ‘Future Opportunities’. This is easy to change if you don’t think that makes sense.


From: Charlie
Sent: March 17, 2016 4:46 PM
To: Lisa ; Yacine
Subject: RE: Deck

Couple comments

Slide 4 – for the “In Progress” bullets, what do you think about leaving a space between them (we have the room)?

For all boxes I suggest reducing the font one or two notches and then adding spacing after each bullet (go to Line Spacing Options and add say 6pt space after each paragraph).  It’ll break up the large amount of text in general.

Slide 4 – another style question for you and Charlie to debate – should the shading for In Progress and Future Opportunities be the same (they’re currently different)

No preference…maybe remove outline from the two boxes though since the rest don’t have a distinct outline.


From: Lisa
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 4:47 PM
To: Charlie; Yacine
Subject: Re: Deck

Let’s make all these suggested edits! 🙂


From: Yacine
Sent: March 17, 2016 4:54 PM
To: Lisa ; Charlie
Subject: RE: Deck
Attached: Deck v5.ppt

Version 5 attached.


From: Charlie
Sent: March 17, 2016 5:03 PM
To: Lisa ; Yacine
Subject: RE: Deck

Lisa, for slide 5 would you be starting the discussion with “Concerns” or with “Broader Environment”?  If the former, you may want to reverse the order to match the order you’ll be discussing the items (circles aligned on the top, rather than the bottom).


From: Lisa
Sent: March 17, 2016 5:10 PM
To: Charlie ; Yacine
Subject: Re: Deck

I’m starting with concerns, but I kind of like the way it sits – the immediate issues, layered with potential response, then these overriding possible changes in the background. Let’s see what [CEO] thinks!


From: Lisa
Sent: March 17, 2016 6:34 PM
To: [CEO] & [Senior VP]
Subject: For your review
Attached: Deck v5.ppt

Further to our initial discussion, attached is a revised deck for your review and feedback. We still have to add the appendix slide.

I look forward to your comments.

Thanks, Lisa


From: [Senior VP]
Sent: March 18, 2016 7:58 AM
To: Lisa ; [CEO]
Subject: RE: For your review

Hi Lisa:

This looks very good.

Two comments:

  • On slide 6, I would add the topic of “proficiency” and possibly “professional standards”; and
  • I realize the deck that has been used with the [REDACTED] will be attached as an appendix – there may be merit in outlining the various meetings that have been held

-[Senior VP].


From: Lisa
Sent: March 18, 2016 8:22 AM
To: Yacine ; Charlie
Subject: FW: For your review
Attached: Deck v6.ppt

Hi Yacine and Charlie,

I would suggest adding to slide 5 “[REDACTED]” after the bullet “Desire to move from…”.

I will work on a new slide and will send to you so that you can format, etc.

If you can make these changes, we can wait until later in the afternoon to see if [CEO] also responds today. If not, we can resend the document with the appendix slide and these changes by end of day.

Thanks!


From: Lisa
Sent: March 18, 2016 8:25 AM
To: [CEO] & [Senior VP]
Subject: RE: For your review

Thanks, [Senior VP].

I was also thinking it would be worthwhile to have a slide just before the “[REDACTED]” highlighting key messages, follow ups from our recent meetingS. I will add that for everyone’s review. We’ll put the [REDACTED] presentation in the [REDACTED] as a separate document (rather than an appendix, given its length) under this item.

Lisa


From: Lisa
Sent: March 18, 2016 8:30 AM
To: Yacine; Charlie
Subject: Powerpoint Precedents

I had forgotten – [CEO] had suggested that the “[REDACTED]” slide from the [Other Department] presentation be added as an appendix to our deck. Can you please add as an appendix (after the feedback slide) – let’s call  it “[REDACTED]” . If possible, can you please add [REDACTED]? The [Yet Another] slide deck (which Charlie has) can also help with corporate entities. See what you can do!

Thanks so much for all the help!

Lisa


From: Lisa
Sent: March 18, 2016 8:34 AM
To: Yacine ; Charlie
Subject: FW: Powerpoint Precedents
Importance: High

Changed my mind… it will be too complicated to add all the [REDACTED] pieces – so, can you please try it a few ways:

  • An appendix slide that is labelled [REDACTED]
  • An appendix slide that is labelled [REDACTED v2] and we remove the boxes and somehow just show all the different [REDACTED] (in any creative visual way you’d like!)

How about that?


From: Yacine
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2016 8:55 AM
To: Lisa; Charlie
Subject: RE: Powerpoint Precedents

On it.

-Yacine


From: Lisa
Sent: March 18, 2016 8:56 AM
To: Yacine ; Charlie
Subject: RE: Powerpoint Precedents

Let me give you my new slide to include in the revised version you circulate. Working on it now…


From: Lisa
Sent: March 18, 2016 9:22 AM
To: Yacine ; Charlie
Subject: Here’s the deck with a new slide 7
Attached: Deck v9.ppt [Ed. We skipped a couple of versions here. Not sure what happened. I probably screwed something up when I was pulling together all of the way-too-many emails from which I took this conversation, and there’s no way in hell I’m going back to figure this out.]

I’m thinking maybe it makes sense to keep it after the [REDACTED] slide now… definitely needs formatting help (we’ll need to add the title to the agenda page as well).

While you work on the appendix, I’ll also ask around to see if we have any different diagrams that show the [REDACTED] framework (I saw something once I really liked).

Thanks, Lisa


From: Lisa
Sent: March 18, 2016 9:36 AM
To: Yacine
Subject: FW: Powerpoint Precedents

Another idea for that appendix is to have a slide with all the  images of the logos for the various [REDACTED]? Now I’m just making things up!  🙂


From: Yacine
Sent: March 18, 2016 11:29 AM
To: Lisa
Cc: Charlie
Subject: RE: Powerpoint Precedents
Attached: Deck v10.ppt

Here’s an update with the requested edits made.  The appendix, however, needs work.  Version A is identical to the other deck; for version B, I didn’t do anything other than regroup the boxes (and lazily slap an ‘Other’ tag on the boxes that weren’t already part of a group).  I don’t know enough about the relationship of the [REDACTED] to one another to be able to offer anything more appropriate than this.  Lisa, if you can provide further guidance on that, I can fix up the slide.  Otherwise, I’m afraid I have to plead ignorance here.

-YB


From: Lisa
Sent: March 18, 2016 11:31 AM
To: Yacine
Cc: Charlie
Subject: RE: Presentation

Thanks.

I’m going to resend to [CEO] et al without the appendix. I will follow up with [Others] to see if they can have someone help organize and fill in the blanks. If we can, we can then add it – otherwise, I’m ok with leaving it out. I will copy you two when I send the email and I would ask maybe, Charlie, if you could follow up them by Monday?

I suspect we’ll get feedback from [CEO] by Monday.

Have a good weekend,

Lisa


From: Lisa
Sent: March 18, 2016 11:57 AM
To: [CEO] & [Senior VP]
Subject: RE: For your review
Attached: Deck v10.ppt

Here is a revised version of the deck for your review which incorporates [Senior VP]’s feedback.

For illustrative purposes, I have also added a slide to the appendix that shows [REDACTED].

Lisa


From: Charlie
Sent: March 18, 2016 4:49 PM
To: Lisa
Cc: Yacine
Subject: RE: For your review
Attached: Deck v11.ppt

Hi Lisa,

The appendix matches the rest of the deck now.  It was hard to read, so I adjusted it.  I saw the other idea you had; we can discuss maybe after [CEO] comments?

I also removed the line on the right of the slides as requested.

Charlie


From: Lisa
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2016 4:49 PM
To: Charlie; Yacine
Subject: revised draft – Deck
Attached: Deck v12.ppt

Here is the latest draft – with Charlie’s new working of slide 3.

My own thoughts –

Slide 5 now seems to have some room at the bottom so maybe you can shift text down?

Slide 7 needs help with spacing to fit on page – if you have to change font size slightly, maybe do the same on slide 6 so it looks the same?

Please send back to me tomorrow, and I’ll flip to [CEO] and [Senior VP] a final time!

Thanks again for all your help,

Lisa


From: Yacine
Sent: March 22, 2016 9:44 AM
To: Lisa ; Charlie
Subject: RE: revised draft – Deck
Attached: Deck v13.ppt

Made the couple of fixes.  Let me know if you need anything else.

-Yacine


From: Lisa
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 9:03 PM
To: [CEO] & [Senior VP]
Subject: for your final review and sign off
Attached: Deck v14.ppt

Please see the attached draft, which reflects some additional feedback I received from [CEO].

The materials for the March 31 meeting are due this Thursday.

Please let me know if you have any final edits and I will go ahead and submit.

Thanks, Lisa


From: [CEO]
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 9:01 AM
To: Lisa & [Senior VP]
Subject: FW: for your final review and sign off

Looks good – I would effectively drop page 8 and turn it into a blank page with “Appendix” on it to mark the distinction between presentation and appendix – you can then end your remarks on page 7 – there will likely be conversation throughout.   Also, I would add a page between page 5 and 6 listing all the meetings we have done and have planned – this bring more profile to this very successful initiative that you encouraged….


From: Lisa
Sent: March 23, 2016 9:29 AM
To: Charlie ; Yacine
Subject: Some final adjustments to the Deck needed asap today
Importance: High

Hi Charlie and Yacine – please see [CEO]’s edits.

Attached you’ll find my changes based on his feedback. I’ve corrected slide 8 (now slide 9) to read “Appendix” and have corrected the Agenda page but please take a look if it requires any additional ‘cleaning up’ or font changes, etc.

My big ask is on new slide 6 – to fit all this info on the slide, the font got really small – can you please come up with another, more visual option possibly (chart?), to present the information. I’m sure we can make this slide look better?? If not more visual, then fix the font and formatting?? Also – I need you to please add in the appropriate French accents to the ‘e’ in the couple of French words.

If you can get working on that – and flip me something this morning – I can send to [Senior VP] for his last look before submitting. I am waiting to hear from [Other Guy] but I think we should be good to go.

Please call if you want to discuss – I appreciate the assistance on this ‘rush’.

Thanks!


From: Lisa
Sent: March 23, 2016 10:10 AM
To: Yacine
Subject: slide 6 .. maybe a chart of some sort like slide 4?

🙂


From: Lisa
Sent: March 23, 2016 10:35 AM
To: Yacine
Subject: when I print the deck, the font doesn’t look so bad… but formatting would still need fixing

I leave it in your capable hands! I’ll stop harassing you now.


From: Yacine
Sent: March 23, 2016 2:26 PM
To: Lisa ; Charlie
Subject: RE: Some final adjustments to the Deck needed asap today
Attached: Deck v15.ppt

How’s this?

-YB


From: Lisa
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 3:23 PM
To: Yacine; Charlie
Subject: RE: Some final adjustments to the Deck needed asap today

Looks good!

Can you take one more shot at it, and instead of “Final meeting…”, lets say [REDACTED]

If [REDACTED] doesn’t work for you, lets at least change the sentence as indicated above.

Thanks so much,

Lisa


From: Yacine
Sent: March 23, 2016 3:41 PM
To: Lisa ; Charlie
Subject: RE: Some final adjustments to the Deck needed asap today
Attached: Deck v16.ppt

Here’s an attempt…

-Yacine


From: Lisa
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 3:49 PM
To: Yacine; Charlie
Subject: RE: Some final adjustments to the Deck needed asap today

I like the way the earlier one looks… I’ll give you a call!


From: Yacine
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 3:50 PM
To: Lisa
Subject: RE: Some final adjustments to the Deck needed asap today

Just on a call right now.


From: Lisa
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 3:51 PM
To: Yacine
Subject: RE: Some final adjustments to the Deck needed asap today

Call me if you can when you’re off. How about old format, with the new text?


From: Yacine
Sent: March 23, 2016 3:56 PM
To: Lisa
Subject: RE: Some final adjustments to the Deck needed asap today
Attached: Deck v17.ppt

Like this?


From: Lisa
Sent: March 23, 2016 3:59 PM
To: Yacine
Subject: RE: Some final adjustments to the Deck needed asap today

Sold!

I’m going with this – thanks again Yacine.

I’ll let you know how it goes…

Lisa


From: Lisa
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 4:13 PM
To: Yacine
Subject: A final ask
Importance: High

Can you take this version and on slide 6 remove the lines between the bubbles???

If you could then flip back to me, thanks!!


From: Yacine
Sent: March 23, 2016 4:14 PM
To: Lisa
Subject: RE: A final ask
Attached: Deck v18.ppt

Sure thing…

*****

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5 thoughts on “Flashback to a moment that signaled the beginning of the end.

  1. Oh my god!!! Funny stuff, if it were a skit!
    Random thoughts:
    -Imagine all the nonsense Wikileaks folks have to sift through to find the juicy bits.
    -And we laugh at the joke about changing a light bulb.
    -How HOW do real people have these kinds of conversations.
    -Last thought- was any effort put towards the content?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. {via crackly intercom speaker voice} Masochist? Party of 1? Ah, that would be me. You know, I honestly thought my issues at work were unique. How in the flying f&*@ does a person get to these lofty positions without basic knowledge of MS Office Suite?! I mean, stuff that can and is performed by elementary school students who use MS programs for their book reports! Not to mention those condescending chimps with the larger than necessary grins that just seem to mock you with their high pitched laugh and mysterious – never mind – sorry, I digress. It was always so….perplexing to me how something that’s, really, almost criminally user-friendly could present such a complex puzzle to someone with a masters degree. From an Ivy League, no less. And I, of the Associates Degree from the Community College by my house , I often found myself wondering if I was THAT effing much of a genius that I was able to – pretty quickly and without much effort – figure out and dare-I-say master, MS OS, sans formal instruction? OK, yes, I am a genius, I’d say. But is the higher up in question really that incapable of simply typing a question in that little box up top next to the question mark, cause that’s what I did whenever I didn’t know how to do something. I mean, the box is called “Help.” What more do you need? Anyway, I would see your 58 entry e-mail chain with one of my own, but I think yours was enough illustration for all of us, eh? 🙂 Cheers to the Rear View Mirror! Looking back is always better than not looking forward.

    Toodles,
    K

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually take less issue with the lack of MS Office skills than I do with the *requirement* that a presentation be visually appealing. I wouldn’t even argue the point that a visually appealing presentation is “better”. I just think that some consideration ought to be given to *how important* it is that THIS PARTICULAR presentation be 100% perfect (whatever that is). Whatever happened to “good enough”? Whatever happened to “this is an embarrassingly poor use of time and resources”? Or to the desire to be able to look oneself in the eye (with the help of a mirror) and feel good about contributions made to the world…?

      Like

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