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A Day in the LIfe: Jessica Rothman, presentations designer, Publicis USA

What is a typical workday like for me? This is an interesting question. I have some days (very few) when there’s little to do, and some days (way too many) when I just slog through piles of work for 13 hours straight. I’m giving an example where I have some work to do, but it’s not consuming my every waking moment. Enjoy.

9:52 a.m.: Show up at work. Make enormous vessel of herb tea. Meet up with coworkers (there are five of them) to discuss previous evening’s activities. Consider lying down on disgusting never-washed carpet and going back to sleep.

10:07 a.m.: Read e-mails. Answer work e-mails. Divvy up work between me and my coworkers. Børkke [my coworker] walks into office to have meeting about daily work tasks. She has composed a new song about cheese.

10:07 a.m.–10:11 a.m.: Listen to horrible Michael McDonald-style song about cheese.

10:12 a.m.: Discuss what everyone’s going to have for lunch.

10:14 a.m.–1:43 p.m.: Design a Keynote presentation, or a brochure, or an e-mail signature, or a headsheet for a meeting, or a letterhead, or Photoshop some images. (To create presentations, I use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, as well as Keynote software.) Listen to unch-unch-unch dance music the whole time while wearing big floofy earphones. Refill giant tea mug twice. Go tinkle forty-seven thousand times because of it.

1:44 p.m.–2:03 p.m.: Actually eat some real-person food. During that time, check myriad Web sites like BuzzFeed. Snort-laugh repeatedly at videos while wearing earphones so no one knows why I’m laughing. Reinforce preconceived notions that I’m mentally unbalanced.

2:04 p.m.: Have important office meeting. End up coming up with dance moves for "The Cheese Song."

2:05 p.m.: Figure out with coworkers how we’re going to deal with the enormous soul-crushing project happening the next week. Make mental note to see friends and do laundry this week, because next week I will be so strapped for time that I will be unable to find time to shower. Consider lying down on too-small uncomfortable couch and going back to sleep.

2:06 p.m.: A new staffer swings by to drop work off and asks how my pitches are going lately. I tell him it’s incorrect to ask me if I ever win new business even though I work in new business. I don't win or lose anything. I am like a secret ninja that makes the CEO or the CCO look good, and then they close the deal with the client. Did you ever watch The West Wing? I am like one of those people who run around behind the president feeding him information, brushing off his suit, taking notes and then disappearing into the mist while he makes a speech and gets all the glory (or derision).

2:09 p.m.–6:04 p.m.: Continue working on the Keynotes or brochure or e-mail signature, etc. More tea. More bathroom. At some point inflict a video of a bunny/kitty/owl on coworkers. Coworkers feign interest while I make squeaky noises and threaten to pet the subject of the video to death à la Lenny from Of Mice and Men. Because I love it so much.

6:30ish p.m.–7:15ish p.m.: Put on coat and head out for the hour-and-a-half commute home.

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