Short stories about life in design hell...
Last one for now. My boss keeps talking about making the document "flow", which in her language means squashing as much text on each page as possible. (I've been tempted to hand over a version with 7 point text and 0.9 line spacing to see how she likes it.) In one case we were looking at a pie chart diagram with numbered sectors that referred to the following paragraphs of text.
To tie the diagram visually with the paragraphs, I had come up with the bright idea of graphical bullets - little numbers in circles - in both the diagram and the paragraph headers. I thought it was a nice, elegant solution. Naturally my boss hated it. Somehow, in her twisted mind, these unique circled numbers occuring in two places on the same page did not tie the information together; it didn't "flow".
Her demand - take out the graphical bullets, but tie the diagram and text together visually (so they would "flow"). I asked how the hell I was meant to make it link up when she was demanding I take out the visual link, and she didn't know - she just knew that was what she wanted.
Fine. I re-designed the fucking diagram, took out my cool circled numbers, and just used a normal #. on each item in the chart and each paragraph. It wasn't much, but it seemed a reasonable middle ground.
I came in today and she had put in outline numbering on those paragraphs. The diagram still says "1.", "2." etc. but the paragraphs they link to say "5.2.1", "5.2.2", etc.
In her demented brain, this "flows" better.