Been lurking off and on for awhile, but now I have a generic gripe to air and can hopefully get some feedback from others in the sign business to help put this in perspective. I work as the only designer at my company. In addition to that I also am the only experienced print tech for our wide format. My duties are split between running the printer and shuffling media rolls around and doing layout work. I do everything from setting type for DOT numbers to complete car wrap designs. Recently I got a talking to by one of the owners because when I'm asked to be "creative" and "use my imagination" to "really dress up a design" the results aren't what he's wanting. I'm conflicted on this because on the one hand I want to make good dynamic designs and I know I'm capable of it but on the other hand I'm already responsible for so much and simply don't have time to dedicate half a day to a design without getting behind on my other duties. Also compensation is pretty lacking and I feel running the printer is just about all my hourly wage is worth. This is compounded by the fact I think the current level of design making technology has left my employers behind and they do not understand the complexity of factors involved. Just today we had a representative from the local art museum send us a PDF of a flier she made in publisher and wanted us to modify it into a larger poster. The only changes would have been to make it a different proportion and also delete a portion of the layout. The problem is we don't have publisher and trying to open the pdf in illustrator I find out we don't have a single font in the design on our system. They don't understand why I say I can't make changes to a design without a lot of extra tedious work massaging back into shape paragraphs of text that relied on fake italic or narrow filters that don't exist in illustrator. Or situations like yesterday where my employer worked a personal deal with a friend for design work on 6 holiday greeting signs each with a unique illustration. I'm given the task about an hour before close and a deadline of close the next day. I talk to my colleagues from school who work as freelance designers and they said for 6 designs each with unique illustrations would cost would be around 250 dollars and a week to do the work. I cut corners, I traced photos and it still took about 5 hours and left me with a huge stack of neglected orders. All in all I think our shop is about a step above a kinko's in capabilities but they're trying to run me like a dedicated ad agency on top of being a print tech and type setter. Am I being unreasonable?