â€œHi, this is Dave. Iâ€™ll be out of the office tomorrow. In my absence, Iâ€™m leaving the Magic 8-Ball in charge. Itâ€™ll be happy to answer any of your questions. If itâ€™s an emergency, please ask the Magic 8-Ball if you should call my cell.â€
It sounded like a good plan. The Magic 8-Ball is well known for its quick decision-making and outstanding leadership skills. It left me free to take the day off and go for a ride while leaving Back40â€™s staff with the security and confidence that all of their questions would be answered while Iâ€™m out goofing off.
The next morning I geared up, gassed up the red Ducati and headed toward Arkansas, where the roads are windy and the scenery is new. Heading east on I-40, I imagined the Back40 kids filtering into work and reading my mass e-mail proclamation. Some are saying, â€œYeah, thatâ€™s about right.â€ Others are spewing coffee on their monitors and asking,
â€œHas Dave lost his mind?â€ Yes, absolutely.
Refreshed and ready to tackle a new workday, I returned the next dayâ€” confident that my second-in-command, the Magic 8-Ball, dispensed wisdom and resolved all the problems that usually land on my desk. Reviewing its performance, I knew I had left the company in good hands. Some samples:
Can we have the rest of the week off with pay? The answer is no.
How come Dave gets the day off and we donâ€™t? Concentrate and ask again.
So far so good. The Magic 8 Ball is down with the Back 40 program.
How come no one knows how to replace a roll of toilet paper in the restrooms? I have no idea.
Will people freak if we put a preacher with tattoos on the cover of the Edmond Outlook? As I see it, yes.
Are the programmers dangerous? Better not tell you now.
Will gas reach $5 per gallon by summer? Yes, you may rely on it.
Is this our best Outlook issue ever? (Iâ€™m not sure that answered the question.) Outlook good.
Sadly, this issue marks the last issue Peyton Hutchison will be working on for awhile. She accepted a position at the stateâ€™s largest ad agency, Ackerman McQueen. Peyton joined Back40 Design in 2003, fresh out of Oklahoma Christianâ€™s design program. Since then itâ€™s been my pleasure to watch her develop into an excellent designer, as well as an outstanding and reliable project manager.
Peyton was Back40â€™s fourth staffer. Her efforts helped grow Back40â€™s size and services â€“ from a 4-person web shop to a full-service design firm of 17. Working long hours and weekends to complete projects, her contributions played an essential role in the birth, growth and publishing of two monthly magazines. She worked hard and never complained – ever. In the office, Peyton was my â€œgo toâ€ person and an indispensable sounding board. Outside the office sheâ€™s been a true friend (Peyton and her husband, Dusty, even attended one of my daughterâ€™s middle school concerts â€“ and Braumâ€™s afterwards). I, and the entire Back 40 staff, wish her the best and much success with her new job.
Will we miss her? Count on it.