Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hello Summer!

I am so happy summer is here. It's my favorite season. Today I joined the other Toy Design intern to check out the local street festival, and thanks to my first paycheck, I got myself a shirt, purse, and some books. Guess I'll be shipping stuff back to New York later!

I'll say more about Toronto later, but for now I will say it's been treating me quite nicely, and it's a lovely place to live –in the summer, that is. The temps range between upper 60s and low 80s, which is just about perfect for me. The only thing is that I can't read the freaking weather reports on tv because they're all in CELSIUS! Thank goodness for the internets.

On a downer note, I am already behind on my goddamned summer homework. Can't a girl get a break!?

Also: that guy I liked so much... apparently now has a girlfriend!? Goddamn!

Okay, I admit, I am not entirely surprised. And I don't even want to know when this happened. But doesn't he know that I am the one???

Well, if he's anything like my exes, he'll snap out of this cloud of stupidity in a year and ask to be with me again. Except, from past experience, I'll have to make it clear that I'm over it by then, and then he'll marry the next person he dates. Apparently that is my lot in life. In the meantime, I am doing my best to forget about him. –Like, pretending that he's dead, so I can still look back at the memories with some remnant of fondness.

ANYhow, Spin Master is a great place to work so far. Oddly, it shares some striking similarities with my old days at Yahoo (as opposed to its more somber days now), which is a good thing:
  • The company was started by a few young guys, now in their mid thirties

  • People work in open cubicles, mostly decorated with piles of toys

  • Everyone who works there is super friendly and likable, and people are free to wear jeans or summer dresses to work

  • When you start your job, they give you your name printed on a purple star (Yahoo! prints it on a gold star)

  • Free bagels and various shmears/spreads on most mornings

  • Employees are super nice to the interns, giving them real work, inviting them to big meetings and throwing them fancy dinners

  • Marketing folks do their best to make designers antsy at their jobs

  • Designers struggle to balance meetings with time to actually design

  • Engineers like to tell Designers what can't be done

  • They manage to recover from PR disasters (like selling date rape drugs by accident, or pushing porn online)

  • I end up having to decline contract work, because I have enough work to deal with as it is, and I like to keep my free time free

  • I often get away with free lunches (for things like open brainstorms and presentations)

  • They offer volunteer opportunities to employees, to give back to the community

  • It's part of my job to play with things

  • We produce things that bring general goodness into the world (At least, I like to think so)

  • It's fun to answer strangers who ask what you do

  • I found myself watching the other designers try on wigs and afros (Some of you might remember that an afro played a key role in an early Yahoo! commercial)

  • There is an upcoming tropical-themed office party, luring us with a limbo stick and karaoke video games
Things at Spin Master that are not like my old job:
  • No free espresso bar (but of course, we get free drip coffee)

  • Lots of women work here

  • No free gym, no free commuter bus (but free rent and utilities for interns!)

  • Facebook is blocked (which is wise on their part, especially if they knew my habits)

  • The other designers like to drink

  • The things I work on... probably end up contributing to landfills more than I'd like them to

  • Nobody IMs at work... and I don't mind it

  • I use colored pencils just as much as I use my mouse, and sometimes more than the mouse

  • People don't really care about having the latest gadgets (my supervisor doesn't even own a cell phone!)

  • The office generally empties out by 6:30pm

  • My vast knowledge of cuteness, fashion, pop culture, and toys comes in super-handy

  • People don't presume that this industry is all anyone ever thinks and talks about

  • The office is walking distance to the local funky fashion district and all kinds of awesome shopping

  • No stock options, no six-figure salary. –Doh! (It's not about the money, right? RIGHT?)

If they get me a Brobee doll, I'm pretty close to being sold on working for them post-graduation. Also they have an L.A. office!

Also, that thing about how the sun doesn't go down here until like 9pm? It completely messes with my head, because then I feel like I should stay up later than I should, and then I don't get enough sleep and I get groggy all week at work. Which leads me to getting to bed now.

(BTW, I am very much digging the album "Shine," by Estelle. You may have heard her single, "American Boy" featuring Kanye West. It's the perfect album for summer listening.)

Hope you're all enjoying your summers too!

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Anonymous Jessica said...

I feel you on the Celsius. When we were in Ottawa (IN JANUARY), I was desperate to find out how badly I was going to freeze every day and people would be like, "it's only Minus Five," and I'd be like, BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!

8:26 PM  

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