Nov 26, 2005

Is your traffic department lacking?

Here at WAS we discuss any and every topic and everyone should get bashed once in a while. Although the easiest and probably most fun target is an AE or a Creative due to the classic cliché confrontations that exist between them, that doesn't mean that some departments are exempt from getting their taints handed to them. So here's to the traffic department, sorry people, it was your turn.Does it feel like some people in your traffic department are simply incapable of free thought or that for some reason, they are the type of people who totally flunked the analytical segment of their SAT's and College Boards? I do not mean the people who've worked in that department for an extended period of time and actually know what the hell they're talking about; I'm talking about the other 95% of people that make up this department with a range in variety that would make Baskin Robbins cry in shame.

Truth be told, this is one of the most vicious departments to work if not THE worst in all of advertising. I actually worked in this department for little less than a day and a half. See, I started out interning at an agency and pretty much being the handy man because I wanted to grasp the entire amalgam of duties, hardships and responsibilities that exist in this industry. Yes this means I was the proverbial agency bitch that got most of the crap work. Call me anal, weird, or mildly psychotic, but I needed to know the shit everyone goes through so I could truly appreciate everyone's role, and so... I tried traffic... and I also realized how tough it is on a person's self esteem not to mention their sheer physical threshold. Yet it's amazing just how many Advertising newbies enter this department with a whole series of myths biting their inner cheeks as they have taken the bait and are in for a ride in the gag factor test to top them all, dealing with being in this unholiest of all advertising departments.

Traffic departments certainly have opened the doors for many people I know, but it has also used and abused of countless others. I've literally seen people been used until they can't take it anymore and quit, get fired or commit animal necrophilia while whistling Christmas carols. It's massively harsh and here are just a few of the people you might find in a Traffic Department that could pretty much make your life a miserable hell, even if you are tempted to be sympathetic.

Exhibit A: The 'There's No Stupid Questions Except the One That Isn't Asked' traffic employee. Asking when you have a doubt is something commendable and will help you grow as a professional and as a person. But asking the wrong person, for the wrong thing, in the wrong tone, at the wrong time will only make your temporary stay in this department that much more annoying for those of us who've gotten stuck with you. No one's perfect and that is one of the few truths in this world, but when you ask an art director for the telephone number of the supplier, you're pushing the envelope. Did you by any chance lose a bet, or do you really enjoy looking that stupid?

Exhibit B: The 'I only took this job to get into creative' traffic employee. Oh my, my, my..... what a coincidence that you happen to drop your portfolio on the desk of any unsuspecting creative that you have to work with to see if he or she'll drop it on the Creative Director's desk.. What’s worse... although sometimes you do get to see someone who's good and who has done anything just to get the contact and a shot to show that he or she deserves to be in creative, there are quite a few people who are using MS Paint from Windows 98... and whose artistic merits are... shall we say uncreative to be kind or shall we say that they look like finger paint from a dyslexic, hermaphroditic child with down syndrome, horse teeth and an ingrown toe nail?

Exhibit C: The 'I wanted to see what advertising was like and so I called my best friend's dad up' traffic employee. Incredibly so... a favor turns into a heckle as a poor unsuspecting schmuck gets shoved into the lion's pit so he or she will learn never to ask for a favor like that EVER again.

Exhibit D: The 'From point A to point B' traffic employee. ok, the fact that a department like this exists might be weird to some people but you aren't just supposed to shove jobs all day long to creatives. You're supposed to read them, understand them, take them back if they're incomplete, and know when to bump a job over another. That's your job... effective job distribution so everything comes out in a timely manner and no one gets stuck Jolt Colaing late into the night just to get a job out that really isn't that rush worthy. Don't just get a leg workout from carrying one job from one desk to another, use some neurons for something other than moving one foot in front of another.

Exhibit E: The 'This is only temporary until I get that other job position I was promised' traffic employee. Good luck and don't hold your breath. It's nice to be hopeful, it's unhealthy to be so in said position in such an industry. 'Nuff said.

Exhibit F: The 'here one minute gone the next' traffic employee. These are some poor unfortunate souls that literally got suckered into covering a position for a week. This is just plain sad and just when you're starting to learn the person's name.. or at least the first syllable of it.. they're gone and soon forgotten.

Exhibit G: The 'I'll harass you to the end of time because I want to make a good impression on my boss' traffic employee. The only truly hateful specie in this kingdom, this hateable tick of a person will harass you constantly stopping by your desk every 15 minutes just to make sure you're doing the job he or she told you that had to be done ASAP even if that's not the case, and especially when they don't even know just exactly what you have to do. Feel free to shoot yourself, you are a detriment to the human specie and your very existence is a mere diaper stain on advertising. Look for a job as a director's assistant where kissing ass and being obnoxious is not only a must, but rewarded.

Sometimes people in the TD do not do their job. It's not an easy job by any means, but if you applied for the position, get ready to get fucked uncomfortably because that's just what you're getting. If by any chance, you even suspect you are any of the above mentioned types, feel free to be happy in some other industry; it's a tough department and odds are you will not be appreciated. If you insist on being there even if it makes you miserable or you suck at it, by all means enjoy the poopsicle.. It'll be a nice sucky existence as long as you let it be so. So what'll it be.... Red and stop in this department to see just how long it'll take before you get suicidal, Be yellow and approach it with extreme caution, slowing down just to be safe and take a brief glimpse, or green light it and don't look back for one second while you smile on your way into another job. The choice could be in your hand. What'll it be?
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