Feb 6, 2008

Comment wisdom

In our run here on WAS, we've had some ups, some downs and enough comments to publish a book on. That being said, sometimes it's a bit of extra assholeness courtesy of Moi, at times we've had a nice discussion with people and things have gotten extra spicy thanks to topics dealing with race, so maybe for readership's sake I'll write something controversial soon just to get the anger flowing and the hate mail/comments coming in. That being said, a recent post dealt with yours truly commenting on some thoughts shared on scamp's blog. In a comment for that post, one of our readers took the liberty of adding his two cents of wisdom and I thought it meritorious to post the comment and add my own. As an added bonus, I've said it before if you send in a post, we'll not only publish it but donate money to any cause you deem worthy (your bank account though needy is not what I'm referring to). So Ben, if there's a cause you're interested in, feel free to say so but for now, your comment has the floor.


With regards to this particular post, I think I could add a bit more advice for the young.

Yes, work on your book... not just now, but throughout your career. Never stop. Save copies of everything you do. Even if you think it sucks. If you're not careful, someday you'll be a 48 year old copywriter with a mediocre book, but when you go back to spruce it up, you wont have copies of anything for reference.

Also, if you do get that job at the great agency, BE APPRECIATIVE AND NEVER BECOME A PRIMADONNA. Someday, someone younger and smarter will come along who is willing to work longer hours and for less money. And you'll be looking for a job at Home Depot, just to cover groceries. Be thankful you have a job in an industry that allows you to be creative and that pays EXTREMELY well.

Retail pays, like, $10 an hour. So when you have an asshole Creative Director bullying you... choke it back and call a headhunter. Don't get cocky and do something stupid.

When you're sitting there, thinking of headlines, imagine how tough life COULD be.

Play the game people. Do good work and suck up when you have to.

And if you see an old fat man at Home Depot or Lowes with a Texas accent... be nice to him. He's already lived your life and is starting a new one.


Obviously there's a lot to comment on so lets go through parts.

First off, to work on your book. Having recently been bitten by the "Fuck this place and keep it" bug, I've been working on my book and have actually put forth a decent effort that still needs tweakage but is better than what I used to have, which was nothing. It's incredible I'd gotten jobs without portfolios but a decent hard working reputation did me some favors even if my mood swings and anger pangs are already becoming stuff of lore. Being an artist, you need to be organized and have a mean streak where you keep everything in high-res jpegs that always get in a backup for your convenience. Being a copywriter, it's not so easy because you sometimes have to harass your artist to get you copies of the stuff you've done together That being said, annoy your artist to no avail or better yet, learn to make jpegs, final pdfs and stay after hours to get your book together. Don't be idle. Please don't because it'll bite you in the ass in the long run, in the short run, in any type of run. Don't say, ok I'll do it tomorrow. Trust me, a great friend had to spur me on a lot more than I consider I should have to be spurred because once I saw my book together, I was like damn, why have I taken so long and to add to the goodness, you see exactly how much work you have done in a year or two. you see what's worked, what hasn't, what have been your shining moments and which are more than discardable. So work on your book, trust us.

Second off, if you do get a good job, don't be an asshole. Being good will only take you so far... actually it can take you pretty far but when you retire, do you want to be remembered as the talented prick, or the talented guy everyone looked up to. Throw bitch fits, break shit, fine, just don't suck as a person. you never know when someone you step on can help you out in your career or in life.

Third, advertising can pay extremely well but it's an industry that at least leaves me empty on a few levels and gets me to thinking if it's really worthwhile. True I enjoy my job and when I'm allowed to do great work I feel like a million bucks, but regarding extra hours worked, weekends lost and friends forgotten, I don't think we get compensated enough because when you see some other professions, you can get more ahead with less effort in other fields even if it's boring as shit.

Fourth, don't get cocky and do something stupid. Tex is spot on regarding this and especially in this industry. Fuck up bad enough or piss someone off to ever higher levels and you won't be able to escape it. in large part I often recommend people don't eat where they crap for the same reason. if you're a shitty lay in advertising, odds are more people than you care for will know about it. Just a thought. But blasting off and burning bridges is a pretty big no-no in this industry especially.

Fifth, imagine how tough life could be. This is self explanatory. you just need to look to your left or right to see there are people worse off than you, including within advertising. If you hate your accounts, know there's somene who has to do shoppers. If you do shoppers, know there's someone who has to do brochures. If you do brochures, know that someone has to do classiffied ads, and if you do classifieds, just know that there's someone that has to proof read all of that shit.

Regarding sucking up, some people insist on having to do so and I'd rephrase it to be likeable with everyone especially a CD. Don't be a kiss ass, be genuinely interested in their well being and who they are besides their job role. i don't know if it works wonders, but a couple of people in high places have appreciated that I give them 3 minutes to vent even if I'm still a little shit.

And if you see an old fat man at Home Depot or Lowes with a Texas accent... don't only be nice to him, tell him to open that damned restaurant he rants about so he can put the life lived in the past and enjoy the present.



TexanInHippieland said...

"...so he can put the life lived in the past and enjoy the present."

Nicely put, my friend. I'll work on that.

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