The Nine Secret Emotions of a Working Designer


1. VAIN SELF PROMOTION: I can do anything! 

3. RELIEF: It’s the first thing I feel on winning the bid, as if I didn’t deserve it or someone’s doing me a favor. Thank God, I wonder why they chose me?  Did I under charge them?

4. GRATEFUL ACQUIESCENCE: Grateful for the chance to work, I acquiesce to whatever extra tasks they ask for, including multiple long drives to meetings at their  house, any and all changes- three versions, expensive samples, no upcharges, etc.

5. EXASPERATION: Fatigue sets in, and I succumb to the weaker emotions of resentment, spite and righteous flares of self esteem, all too little, too late. I should exercise, eat better and learn something from the experience, but instead I work like a maniac to Rage Against the Machine.

6. REGRET: I regret I didn’t charge more. What was I thinking? How could I forget to include that? Can I ask the client for more money?

7. RELIEF PART II: The first thing I feel on getting paid. I feel relief that money still exists (it’s been a while since I’ve seen it in person), that I am finally done and I have a sense of urgency  set in – to get the heck out of there before something else comes up.

8. DENIAL: With money finally in hand, does anyone believe they have been fairly compensated? Up close everything looks smaller, especially money. Isn’t this counter to the laws of perspective- closer is bigger- but in line with the laws of desire and gratification-wanting is big, having is small.? I ignore the disappointment and move on.

9. VAIN SELF-DELUSION: I can do anything!

paraphrased from Chronology, Princeton Press

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