Thursday, November 18, 2010

Argh. - Updated.

My boss is on the holiday party committee for our service (group of divisions here at work, whatever, not an important detail), and she asked me to make the flier to announce the party. It went out last week. I don't mind making fliers but please don't get it in your head that this is all I do: I do it once a year. I use Word but since I'm pretty stubborn about not using tacky cartoon clip art or their mostly lame templates, I make them from scratch. This year I used a photo of a fireplace with a roaring fire and a wreath and some other holiday stuff on it. I tried to make something relatively classy, that was legible and made sense. My friend  - who liked it - said it looked like a very well-done Open House announcement. I'll take that as a compliment. I follow the simplest design rules I can find and I take my time and they usually come out pretty good. And, the committee must like my fliers because they keep asking me to make them, and I don't think it's just because I can spell (you wouldn't believe some of the "typos" I've seen on other fliers around here).

Anyway, the day it went out (as a PDF), I got an email from someone in one of the other divisions (not on the committee, but it doesn't matter). She liked it and wondered if it was possible for me to send her the Word file so that she could use it for her personal use, if that was okay with me.

Well. It's kind of not okay with me. And, my boss agrees that I don't have to give it to her.

I haven't responded yet, even though apparently this person contacted another member of the committee to ask the same question (that conversation probably went something like this: "I asked Irene if I could have the the Word file for her flier but she hasn't gotten back to me!"). The other lady on the committee called me today to basically ask me what was what. I don't fault that person for contacting me, but the woman who asked the original question is now starting to get on my nerves.

It's not a big deal, just a dumb flier, but it did take some time, I did use some advanced Word techniques, and my own hard-won knowledge of fonts and all that crap, and you know? It's MINE. Nobody's stopping her from copying it or going out and figuring it out herself; I didn't make anything that complicated. Word is probably the easiest program to learn, I'm not saying this is genius work, here. I mean, take a class. Do an online tutorial. Play around with things. These are all examples of how I and everyone else I know has learned how to do anything creative on the computer. Seriously. If I just give it to her, how is that teaching her anything? Or should I just not give a damn? Maybe I'm just being silly. It would probably be easier to just give it up, but hey, isn't that kind of like the argument some guy used on me 20-odd years ago? And I did I listen to him then? Oh. Wait a minute, bad example.

Now I just have to figure out how to let this woman know. I already considered and rejected telling her I "accidentally" deleted the Word file (because I don't want to sound like an idiot. Who deletes their master file? Not me!). Your input would be appreciated.


I wrote this message:
I’m sorry, but I prefer not to share my work for your personal use.

Thanks for the compliment, and have a good weekend!
She wrote back and admired the clip art I used (a photo, remember). I told her where to find it. So - maybe she doesn't need me after all. Happy ending!


  1. I was glad to read your update. I liked what you wrote to her, it was concise and polite. I'd have felt a bit annoyed at that too.