So the printer got back to me around 2:30 today. And literally, the proof looked like he'd thrown it together in about 20 minutes. If he had sent this as a first pass, to get my feedback, last week, I would have tolerated it. Sending it as a potential final product, 8 days after getting my files, is unacceptable. I downloaded some poster templates over the weekend to play around with layout, figuring it would be useful to know how to do. Thank goodness for my nerdiness and neuroticism, as my layout looks way better than his (him being the professional graphic design artist who, you know, does this for a living). So I called him up and suggested some layout changes, then e-mailed him mine and suggested combining the best parts of his (the title) with the best parts of mine (pretty much everything else). That was around 4. I called around 5:30, figuring he'd left for the day and not wanting to stress out stalking my e-mail. He was still there, and said he'd try to have something for me by 10 tomorrow morning. I'm just so worried now that tomorrow morning's product will still be sub par, and we're rapidly running out of time to make corrections and get the damn thing printed. At this point I'd much rather cut my losses and send my layout to the university printer (who has been nothing but patient and helpful all week while I drag them along as a backup plan just in case this falls apart). But the more I thought about it today, the more I realized I probably can't bail at this point because a) this other company was recommended by my bosses on another job, I name-dropped them when I made the call, and bailing now might be a social faux pas between me and them and b) although none of it has been satisfactory, it is within the realm of possibility that the current company will choose to bill be for their 'work' so far. I can't really cause my department to get double billed.
On the tiny silver lining part, at least it has distracted me from pining away from my still-being-constructed laptop. And all in all, my therapist says I've been handling my week remarkably well.