A story from my days at the Church Office Building:
The week before each General Conference, many of the General Authorities from around the world fly into Salt Lake for meetings. During this week, the church hosts a luncheon for General Authorities’ wives.
One year, the wife in charge of organizing the luncheon (I really wish I could remember who it was) asked that the church produce invitations for the luncheon. She wanted these to be special and of high quality, so she insisted that our editing staff (me) and the graphic design department be involved in creating the invitations.
She sent me a list of the items that had to be on the invitation, and I sent back a proposed text for the cards and the envelopes. The graphic designer came up with a simple but tasteful layout for both.
But the GA wife wasn’t satisfied. She kept asking for this change or that change, and what should have been a simple job went on for a few weeks. Finally, she had what she wanted, and the envelopes and cards were produced at the church’s printing press in West Valley City. You have to understand that it’s no small feat to stop a multimillion-dollar printing press to do a run of perhaps 100 cards and envelopes.
In the end, our time was billed, and the total was over $5000, meaning that the cards had cost about $50 each. Apparently, it had never occurred to this woman that our time and the printing press time were valuable and that someone would have to pay for the invitations.
Shocked, she said there was no way the GA wives could come up with that kind of money. So, she went to her husband, who finagled a way for the church to eat the cost of the cards.
But the cards did look pretty nice in the end.