James McGoran reflects on his work experience, Winter 2010

After a cramped train journey, using my luggage as a seat and gazing at moonscape valleys I arrived at Dalwhinne station and met my good-mannered, would-be captors! After a brief introduction to the family, a tour of the building, an evening in front of the tele and a good nights sleep I started work for Spartan.

Most of my work involved putting together covers, scores and parts for the newly acquired Phylloscopus Publications (and I think if I ever see one of them warbling songbirds again I might have to do something... silly? dramatic? interesting? tearful?). Wasn't too bad however, having an ipod to help me through, and after said music player was produced I was even given my own "office"; I would like to think it was because of my pure awesomeness, but fear it was more to do with my earphones "being too much of a distraction". Outside the PP project, I was involved in proofing, printing, folding, collating, stitching and general finishing of a product. I also spent a good bit of time in the new building, where the distribution center is located. I pulled stock for orders, packaged them and helped send them on their way. I was at the forefront of the new "Bargains" project, inputting old and damaged stock to the web-based database and even spent a few grand for the year's royalties (and actually on the royalties, not beer).

My free time was spent in a multitude of ways. I had brought a small audio interface and laptop, which allowed me to spend some of my (relatively) distraction free time writing and sequencing music. Copious amounts of xbox was also played, mainly MW2 online, which left me disliking console controllers and hankering for a good old fashioned mouse instead. We managed to have a day trip to Glasgow, and a good evening at several local pubs. The house was filled with the lovely, welcoming family that run the whole operation, and just as many animals, from lizards to dogs; cats to fish (by the way, cat's make excellent footwarmers!). I even managed to rouse myself to actually go on a walk as well, with photos to boot!

Overall I really enjoyed my time here and am very grateful for the experience, allowing me to see and participate in the way a publishing and distribution company works. I've met a number of very nice people and am so glad that I was able to have this opportunity.

James McGoran