Saturday, 26 March 2011

Half way through second placement

Apologies in advance. I will be talking about a placement again. Sad but true, not much else going on in my life right now. So if you are really not interested in what I'm doing at a publisher, feel free to skip this post completely.

For everyone else, this last week I was at an academic publisher out in Basingstoke. When I accepted the placement I looked at a map and figured it wouldn't be that much further than Wimbledon (where I used to work). Took me just over an hour to get to Wimbledon, so clearly going to Basingstoke should be 1 1/2 hours tops. WRONG! Takes just over two hours door to door. Four hours commute every day. I'm beat. Stayed in bed till after 12 today. I felt so tired and just couldn't face the day. But that's all the negative there is to say about this placement!

Now to the positive. Everyone is very welcoming and wanted me to get a real experience of what it's like to work for them. My main contact Steve was very kind and showed me around the office and made introductions. He had read my CV and I mentioned that I would like to see production and rights. So he put me into production the first week and next week I will see rights. He also said that I will be working on real projects and not be used as a 'labourer'. More sweet!

So I wandered off to production to work with Matt, their main electronics guy. I basically helped out on the ebook front, which was really interesting. Got a list with 1000 backlist titles that they want to convert to ebooks and then I was let loose onto their system to chase down old pdf or any other file I could find. Matt had kindly already collected the most recent ones (200) and I found about 600 more. So we were only missing 200 at the end. He told me that those now had to be ordered up in hardcopy, scanned and then converted into PDFs. Was really relieved when I found out that I wasn't going to be the one who is going to scan them. Phew. The next task was to update their database. Basically I went through their most recent titles and added on their database lines and tickboxes that would enable them to check whether ebook files had been ordered and received. All of this doesn't sound really exciting. But I thought it was pretty cool. Plus Matt explained everything nicely and I got to ask a million gazillion questions. He was also so kind to be my interviewee for my thesis plan that I have to write up sometime soon. The last day I spend on the office ipad checking if some of their earlier titles looked ok on the ibook. Overall an amazing week. It thankfully also showed me that there is not only one publisher I could work at and have fun at, but there are plenty!

Next week I will be in rights. Not sure what I will be doing, but I was already told that they have a project for me. So it should be fun. But I'm glad it is only two weeks as the commute is horrible. I got to talk to one of the production girls who seems to be in charge of new hires. She was very excited that I want to work in production and was already starting to plan ahead on how I could fit in. That was really lovely, but I told her that I want to work in London. Darn. That might otherwise have been a brilliant opportunity to cheat myself into a job. Well, at least I'll have a good reference.

This weekend I will be working on an assignment for uni. Urgh. Hate working and studying. Really wanna get it all done and over with and go back to full-time work (never thought I would say that!). Uni is all nice, but I love those days when I can just come home from work and don't have to study or read.

Ok, back to my sales assignment. Need to manipulate figures on excel...


  1. 4-hour commute? That's rough.. i remember when i had an over 2-hour roundtrip commute, and i thought that was bad! That's good that the job has been pretty great though, makes the commute semi-worth it :)

  2. It's definitely worth it! Knowing that it is only for one more week helps too. What doesn't help is switching to summer time this weekend (Britain does it later than North America), so next week I'll be getting up in the dark and leaving the house in the dark. That's gonna make me really tired. But only one more week, one more week...