"Is there something wrong?" we asked her. She looked concerned.
"Maybe something aesthetic, not content," she said, like a mysterious Zen master of design. And off she went. We went on planning the issue launch slash reading slash web issue unveiling slash multimedia extravaganza (there will be refreshments!).
Fifteen minutes later, Zen Design Master came back. She did not have an air of equanimity. Her face looked a little stormy.
Issue (a). One page was bound in the book upside down.
Issue (b). That page was a repeat of a page about seven pages earlier in the book, where said page was bound right side up.
Issue (c). Page 70 is missing.
What. we said. We said What. The. Hell. We really couldn't believe it. I, Faculty Advisor, had gone through the book before sending it to the printer. The Design Editor had surely gone through the book only about a zillion times. She and the Print Services middleman liaison person went through it together before sending it off. This was not an advisory oversight problem. This was not a layout problem. This was not a middleman liaison person problem. This was a printer problem, one with only a little more than twenty-four hours to turn it around.
The Print Services middleman had what I can only imagine was a terse, perhaps even spiky, conversation with the printers, who are now reprinting the book. Her followup e-mail to me even said something like "as we speak," which I can only hope was literally--and I mean literally literally--true. We agreed to have a less-matte finish than we had originally ordered on the cover (WOE!) and they agreed to have the book to us by 4:30 p.m. Which is precisely 90 minutes before the reading slash issue launch slash multimedia showdown slash web issue extravaganza is supposed to start (there will be tea!).
Meanwhile, I have about 30 photographs, illustrations, drawings, prints and paintings in my office, which will need to be carted over to the venue, along with the putative magazine. Catering will be delivering crackers, cheese, fruit platters and assorted tea bags along with what we hope will be very hot water, to celebrate what may be a phantom book.
But by golly come to the event! It's an issue launch, art and multimedia gallery, web-issue debut, and reading. With refreshments! And hopefully a magazine!