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Day in the Life: Arik Hardin

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Managing Editorial Assistant

Thursday, May 14th

6:30 AM – 9:00 AM: I wake up in the basement of my parents’ home (the glamorous place that I am currently quarantining in) and roll off my cot to start my day. I have dedicated most of my free time during the past few weeks to my Animal Crossing: New Horizons island, so after my normal morning routine, I like to use the time that I would have commuted to visit my islanders and hit rocks. It’s a really rewarding morning.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Work starts promptly at 9, and I spend the first hour of my morning catching up on emails that came in Wednesday evening or early this morning. I also send out approvals for proofs for various books that are getting reprinted so that my colleague in Production can get back to the printers in time.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: The bulk of this hour is spent tuning in to a 45-minute Town Hall with our company’s CEO. He’s been doing regular town halls and company-wide emails since the stay-at-home order started, and I listen in to his answers as I respond to more emails and work on more general administrative tasks for my team.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: My team has started doing weekly catch-up meetings to discuss our workloads, how we’re handling working from home, and how the changes to the routing process (which is suddenly 100% digital) are working out for the various departments that we work with. Before the quarantine, this was a monthly meeting, but we don’t have the opportunity to catch up and discuss problems casually at the office these days, so a weekly meeting has made it possible for us all to keep in touch and keep updated about the goings-on of our department.

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: This week, after our department-wide catch up, I have another personal catch up with my boss. We discuss my workload, how things are going while working from home, and generally chat about how things are going.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: This is my lunch hour, and I try to always take the full hour so that I can enjoy my meal and have a nice break from the day. My parent’s basement is quite cold right now, so I usually spend my lunch huddled under a blanket and use any time that I’m not eating to visit my islanders once again (because they’re missed me during my absence, of course).

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM: The hour and a half after my lunch hour is mostly spent preparing for the Print and Bind (P&B) meeting that starts at 3. I review the list of titles that we will be discussing and make sure that my notes are ready for the meeting, and I also make sure to keep on top of any emails that have come in during my meeting-heavy morning.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: The next hour of my day is solely dedicated to P&B. This is the most important meeting of my week, as various departments come together to decide which books will be reprinting this upcoming week. The decisions made in this meeting decide what I will be working on in the near future (which titles will need corrections, which titles have pricing changes, etc.), so it is very important that I take excellent notes.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: The last hour of my day is primarily spent reviewing my notes from the P&B meeting and making sure that I have everything I need for the next day (when I will meet with Production to discuss what corrections, if any, will need to go through Design and what can be processed directly by Production). I also keep a grid of all of the titles reprinting each week, so I make sure that my grid is accurate and ready to be shared with everyone who works on reprints. Finally, I wrap up a couple of final emails for the day and mentally clock out.

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM: After my actual work is done, I join in on a learning event/happy hour with some coworkers. We get to hear one of our colleagues in Design explain her job and the process she goes through when designing a new cover (which is fascinating), and then I spend about an hour chatting with my coworkers and enjoying a drink. After this event is over, I “head out” for the night (which basically just means that I emerge from my parent’s basement, pet my dogs, grab some food, and return to my dungeon for a night of Animal Crossing and Netflix).

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