You’ve probably read lots of blogs and newspaper articles about the best and worst jobs in the world but even in a great industry like book publishing there are times when we have to do things which could be described as the ‘worst’. They might not be on your job description but someone in the office has to do them, and it could be you.
Two things that always spring to mind are:-
When I was working for Andre Deutsch Publishers, the founder Andre Deutsch CBE had injured his ankle skiing. The bandage had come off and needing replacing. I was the only person in the building listed as the company’s registered first aider so I had to bandage Andre Deutsch’s foot. It was clean, it did not smell but (and I am truly sorry Andre) it was not a pleasant experience for me.
Within the same company a very long time ago we had major building works going on next door and a nasty smell had developed in one of the downstairs departments and we called in the builder to investigate. The builder came to find my boss with the answers but sensibly he was out at lunch. So instead, he took me down to the office where the smell was unbearable and showed me 9 decomposing rats hanging down from an air vent. I don’t think I ate for days afterwards. I’m not sure how ‘Health and Safety’ would deal with this today but the rest of the building carried on whilst the situation was rectified.
If you ask me what was the best task I’ve ever done, I would answer “EVERYTHING!” including the author signings where only 5 people turned up. As much as I write about workplace difficulties and some of the major challenges facing the industry I know I have been extremely privileged to have had a fantastic career so far, and its a career I intend to continue. There are so many great opportunities within our publishing roles for all of us and sometimes we don’t celebrate this enough. So if you are working in publishing today give yourself a big round of applause and celebrate; you are very fortunate.* For today it is confession time, what is the best or worst task you’ve ever had to face?
* If you are not working in book publishing and would like to be, get in touch, we may be able to help.