Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hey gang

So it's been a while since I have posted, ne. To use the japanese grammatical construction, to say how come is to say that I have been v. busy.

I have another few days in the chemical company. The homepage is more or less done. The only that remains now is them asking me to change little shit. This is the kind of stuff I had wanted them to be giving me all along but it's like my main boss only just realized that hey, I am working on this and need help. Actually, I suspect he got yelled at. Whatever the cause, now he is calling people and getting information for me, so the trade-off is that I have gotten even busier but in smaller chunks. The main body of work is, as they say, finis.

If you would like a sneak peak, please go to

Now, I know what you are thinking. This looks a lot like the old site. That is indeed the case. It is the old site, I have changed up some photos and translated it and plopped the whole thing into a new standards-compliant structure, but on the surface it does look v similar.

Of special note should be the about us -> Facilities page, that took me a good week to get right.

So like, I had me a meeting with the bigwigs maybe a week ago and showed them this and also a new design I had cooked up and they yelled at me for the many errors I had. Like, the org chart was completely wrong, the facilities page had cities in the wrong places, etc. The activities page, with the identical content that it used to have (sorry, odd grammar there), drew one boss's ire - "Nissen does more than just host OSU Interns, you know." Apparently this is because there is a photograph of OSU on that page. This is all old content, of course, and though I had asked for updated content none was forthcoming. So I took a lot of heat at the meeting, they didn't really want to look at my new design ("That would take at least 6 months to get necessary approval etc!"), just yelled at me for errors. I sat there fuming but it was funny - I realized that I have been trying, I have been going to superiors to check shit etc, and this is what came out. At this point it's not my fault. When three guys stand around and look at the map I have shown them and tell me that everything is as it should be, I take their word for it. When I spend a day drawing up an org-chart from a disorganized bundle of papers thrust at me and then show it to my boss and he says "yeah, looks good," I don't second guess. When I ask for new content and new photographs and am told "yeah, we will get that," but never see it, what more is there for me to do?

So they basically tore me a new one but in the end I kinda felt a lot less stressed than I had been. Here I was doing this thankless task for a bunch of computer-illiterate drunks with nobody really helping me, nobody giving me the info I need, and then in the end they have the balls to blame me when it isn't perfect. So all the stress I had been feeling for months about this page evaporated, because I no longer gave a shit. And still really don't, but I don't mean that angrily or maliciously - hell, I am not even frustrated. I have given them my time and my best efforts and they can take them or leave them. I am still of course doing everything they tell me, making all the corrections. But it is with a lighthearted sense of ease now.

Here is a metaphor. Imagine that there is a big, giant shark. And imagine that there is me. And imagine that for months I got horrified every time it came close to me. And then imagine that one day I realized that there was a big wall of glass between me and the shark and that the shark would be in that tepid tank until it died, whereas I was free to leave at will.

That was like the insight I had at that meeting. Suckers.
I saw the website. It's a job well done cosidering it's your first web project. It sure is up to par with other Japanese commercial sites, if not better. They have a serious lack of creativity in that department. When are you done in Niihama? And what are you going to do for the summer?

Thanks for the kind words! The site is actually getting better on a daily basis now that my boss is interested, so maybe there is some hope.

I go home end of August. Not sure of date, seems to be some problem with my ticket. I hope to finish working around Aug 19 and bum around. Might have another friend coming out, too. Happy days.
Good job. I always have problems dealing with people when I make Web pages, and it's usually the most difficult part. I like the shark analogy. Peace.

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