Alright, Avery Dennison, or CD Stomper, or Click N’ Design, or whatever you call yourself, you have just pissed me off in a BIG way. And I’m taking time out of my busy day (indeed, a day so busy that updates to this blog are quite rare) to write this so that I can make myself feel better. You see, I know it’s entirely possible that nobody will ever see this blog.
Then again, wouldn't it be great to score another Brent Beadling?
Here's the back story. We’re in the process of putting together a professional demo CD for hubby’s company, but it’s not going to be ready for a month. He’s got a group of important clients coming in to town this Friday, and he’s asked if I can burn him six copies of the demo. Of course, this needs to have a nicer label than my standard chicken scratch with a Sharpie pen, so I need to come up with some sort of label.
Now, mind you, if we’re going to get the real, professional demo produced before a regional convention in Atlanta next month, then I need to finish it by the end of the week. It still needs to be edited. I still need to get text to the graphic designer, and at some point we’ll need to approve whatever she’s doing. On top of that, my editor is retiring at work, and I’m going to be taking over some of her responsbilities, and I’ve got A LOT to learn before she leaves in a couple of weeks. And then, I’ve been assigned to a project that requires me to have PGP access, and the act of getting that set up is taking WAY more time than it can possibly be worth. And finally, we’ve got people coming to the house for Memorial Day, and while we’re almost finished with the renovations that have been going on since Christmas, there are still a few things that need to be done. Things like cleaning, for example, so my friends don’t end up wading through half-empty paint cans on their way to the Bubba Burgers.
As you can see, I have plenty of other things to do besides burning one-off CDs and printing semi-professional labels for them. But it’s a big deal and potentially a big contract, so I’m doing them.
At any rate, there’s a reason why Avery Dennison is the leader in labeling products. They’ve been in bed with Microsoft Word for years, so that you can simply give MS Word the product number of your Avery Dennison product, and it automatically generates a new document for you, based on the correct template.
So today, on my ever-shrinking lunch break, I drove to Staples and asked about CD label kits. Now normally, I’m cheap and don’t have any problem spending extra time or effort to save myself a nickel, but as I pointed out, I just don’t have time this week, and this CD needs to look great. I spend several minutes evaluating the products on the shelf, and I decide to go with the CD Stomper CD/DVD Labeling System. I chose this one for a few reasons:
- The design is going to be simple (maybe 10 words and a corporate logo), but I don’t have time to figure out how to make this work on a standard template. (Have you ever seen a CD design template?)
- I’m not convinced my hand is steady enough to center the label exactly on the CD, and the CD Stomper CD/DVD Labeling System comes with, well, a CD Stomper.
- The name CD Stomper has been around a very long time, so I’m thinking that maybe they’ve got their design right.
- After scanning the box, I find that CD Stomper is a trademark of the Avery Dennison corporation, and lets face it. Avery Dennison has been at the top of the label heap for years now.
I damn sure didn’t buy it because it was the cheapest thing on the shelf. In fact, it was the most expensive thing on the shelf. But I’m paying for convenience, no? I plop down my money and come back to work.
Now, a word about design software. All of it sucks hind tit. Every. Bit. Of. It. And I’ve been around long enough to know better, having purchased a couple of ill-fated 45,000,000+ FONTS FOR YOUR COMPUTER!!!!! packages in my youth. They never work. They’re buggy as fuck, and when you finally realize the gravity of your mistake, they’re considerably harder to shed than leprosy. So I bite my lip and install Click N’ Design on my Microsoft XP at work. Because I’m still convinced that Avery Dennison and CD Stomper couldn’t possibly lead me astray.
I shit you not. I start the software, and the first thing I see is this:
What. The. Fuck. You mean to tell me that I just plunked down good money for the Avery Dennison CD Stomper
, and it comes with EVALUATION FUCKING SOFTWARE???
Then I calm down and read it again. No, it seems that Avery Dennison and CD Stomper used evaluation software to create their Click N’ Design POS software. I can’t be-fucking-lieve this. And of course, the evaluation license has long since expired.
So I take a deep breath and start looking at my options. I go to the CD Stomper website and I start through the long litany of clicks that it takes to find anybody in support. I don’t have time to call and sit on the phone. I damn sure don’t have time to send them any snail mail. I search for TE Developer’s Kit. Nothing. I scan the FAQs and find plenty about checking on the status of my order. Yeah, except here’s the thing. I’m not waiting on an order. You see, you already got my money, and I already got the useless product. I finally find the “click-here-because-you’re-so-important-to-us” form and send them a very nice e-mail.
Really. A lot nicer than I’m being now.
Of course, you’ve all filled out these forms before, and we all know just how much I expect to hear back from Avery Dennison. Or CD Stomper. Or Click N’ Design.
Next option? Hey, maybe MS Word has an Avery Dennison template already for my CDs. Of course they do. Go ahead and pull it up and look at it. I’ll wait.
See that? Two squares on a sheet of paper. Absolutely nothing to restrict the text that I’m typing to a circular shape.
Having exhausted my options at the CD Stomper site, my next stop is the Avery Dennison website. And there I find something that looks hopeful. Something called Avery Design & Print Online. Apparently you can use Avery Dennison templates online and design for just about anything, and then print it to your own little inkjet. How cool is that?
So after a few attempts (and in a moment of weakness, actually clicking the button telling Avery Dennison how much I’d love to get spam from them), I finally get to the start screen. Yes, I see the message that says I agree to print my project only on Avery brand products. But I’m not worried about it. You see, I actually paid for Avery brand products. Remember? CD Stomper is a trademark of the Avery Dennison corporation and all that?
So I finally get to the start screen, and that’s when I realize that the labels made by Avery Dennison are configured differently from the labels made by CD Stomper. Even though CD Stomper is a trademark of the Avery Dennison corporation.
So I'm back at square one. I've got to figure out how to format these CD labels so they can print on my CD Stomper labels, because apparently CD Stomper is a completely separate fucking universe from Avery Dennison. And after paying good money for your software, and your name, and allegedly for a convenient experience, I just don't have time for this. I'm supposed to be editing or training or meeting or installing or cleaning or designing or some other thing than this. I mean, you were supposed to be the easy way out.
So fuck you, Avery Dennison. Fuck you, CD Stomper. And fuck Click N’ Design while we’re at it, though I’m sure it would be a horrible lay. I mean, it hasn’t been any good for anything else.
So that’s it. I’ve completely blown off work and not gotten a single thing accomplished all afternoon. And you know what? Even though I couldn’t really afford the time to type this, I feel better. Apparently I'm just petty like that.