Nov 30, 2008

From the outside in

This is the new perspective I'm getting for advertising. I'm no longer walled up in an agency and instead am offered the harrowing tales that continue to happen in the Advosphere. It also seems as if my timing is finally peaking regarding how lucky I was to have left exactly when I did. The week right after I left, 4 days after 1 AM, lots of pizza, lots of bullshit, AE's dropping the ball and having the Cinderella creatives clean up after them more than 4 times because they "misplaced a job". Once? Fine. Twice? You're pulling my chain. More than three times, you have got to be kidding me.

On the other hand, I got out of work at an average of 6 PM. True I get into work an hour and a half earlier, but honestly, it's a small price to pay to be able to have a life if you ask me. Oh and things are rush as well, but it's not "develop a campaign for tomorrow" kind of rush. Honestly, I can't help but laugh at the level of rush i've been faced with up to now.

Am I asking for extra pain? Hell no. I know for a fact that things haven't bitten down hard for me work wise because I'm still new. But what I do know is that for a long Thanksgiving weekend, I was out of the office before 6:00 PM and even had the chance of enjoying a massage courtesty of my new employers. By the same token, my ad brethren were offered the joy of advertising well into the hours of the night.

Does this mean I think I'm in shangrila? Well taking into account the bitch spankings I've had to go through most jobs, I doubt I'll ever think I'm in ultra heaven ever again, but I can tell you that for a week and a half, it seems as if I can bear to part with my t-shirts, ripped jeans and the matted facial hair I sometimes insisted on calling a beard.

But since the departure from your typical ad environ is still very much fresh in my system, I can't help but still be weirded out at knowing I have the real opportunity to leave work at 6 PM rather than treating such an occassion like some mythical beast people have rarely seen. I find myself looking at advertising with the same eyes I had when I left meaning that I still see bad ads and blame the client much more than the creatives. Funny thing is that I'm working with two people who have exited the ad game as well. One was over ten years ago and the other is someone who is still fresh out of the ad game. Even though there's a decade between experiences, they both agree that this is a much better fit than advertising ever was.

For my part, I'm still finding out. People ask me how I feel at doing something that isn't as creative. My response is this blog. I'm asked whether I can handle the early start time. My response is that I haven't been late once at the point where I should be screwed over and not being able to make the time. Oh and there's that little detail of being able to rest from one day to the next. I'm asked if I won't get bored with dealing with the same type of work always. My response is that though it isn't as varied as advertising, it's nowhere near mechanical. Am I going to miss coming up with random things for my clients? I'm almost tempted to say yes, but being honest, I'm not and here's why: I'm not inclined to keep producing compelling advertising that is designed to work only to have a numbskull kill it internally. I'm not looking forward to revisions that make me want to grind my jaw to explosive levels.

If I needed any other reason to think that my work in advertising wasn't worth the effort, a change in perspective has done a lot to back up the feelings that steamed within me. People say I look like a different person, and not like a "who the hell is this stranger and what have you done with Joker" type of feeling. Instead people insist that I look calmer, more pleased and even at peace in comparison to one week earlier and I can't help but agree. I guess that's what happens when you're not caught in the crossfire of stupid. Oh well, lets see how long this lasts. I'm hoping for a very enduring tenure but as always, only time will tell.



RestrictionsApply said...

Hermano –
Pinch yourself, because what you’re living is the real deal. I too found it hard to believe that there is an entire world out there, a world in which people can enjoy dinner and a movie on a weeknight; a world in which you can be in bed by 11:00 p.m. without having to think of quirky headlines for tomorrow’s campaign; a world in which the building is empty by 6:30 p.m.

As you know, I left the ad game many years ago, and for the past two years I’ve been working in public relations. Simply put: I cannot complain. Yes, life can be lived like this and there is nothing wrong with that. PR is not nearly as creative or as out-of-the-box as advertising, but it is still very challenging and satisfying work – and all within reason. Once you learn the ropes and see how the game is played, you’ll end up asking yourself how does anything get done in “that other business?”

Enjoy and good luck to you. Well-deserved success indeed.

Joker said...


I have pinched but it won't sink in until I'm well into my third month knowing me. For now, I totally agree about work being very doable and not as insanely frustrating, and that the tradeoff of less creative work versus a life is a fucking no brainer. As for learning the ropes, all in due time but I'm already asking myself how the hell anything gets done in your average agency.

Regardless, my thanks for the endless support bro. it means the world to me. Will do my best to deliver on all fronts but thanks for all the tips.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...