If you know your words of wisdom, you know about Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. You cannot begin to understand how bad a day I've had. And all I thought today while I solved my dilemma was: I got to write about this, so that younger people out there can learn from my mistake.
As you all may know, I am deeply loyal. Not only to my friends, but also in my job, I am extremely loyal to my suppliers. When someone delivers greatness, for me it's like a marriage. I will gladly join you, for better or worse, for as long as we both shall live. In all my years of doing this advertising thing, I've always counted on the same people, eyes closed. I trust the fact that if you don't let me down, I will work with you forever.
Today I learned that even the most trusted suppliers can fuck something so hard, I have to say goodbye.
I will not go into the gory details because, again, too close for comfort. I have to protect innocent and guilty bystanders. But still, my story is so damn interesting, hence my post. You see, there are many problems that popped up today, in the worst way. And it all starts with me.
First of all, I have a "condition". It is called "looking more younger than I actually am". Even though it's a blessing and even sometimes funny - I sometimes get asked for ID at a bar, people always think I am 24-25 years old and gasp when I tell them my true age - there are some other times that people just think I'm a rookie or just don't know what I'm talking about. While looking young has been something that my mother gave me which I would not trade for a million years, I sometimes find myself being fucked over because I look like a kid.
Case in point. Today a supplier of mine, which I trusted completely, tried to bullshit me into the greatest lie known to any advertising man or woman. As I stood there, I could feel and smell the true shit coming out of my account executive. I was astonished. Here was a company that had all the backing from me, lying to my face and, if I would have been the rookie they thought, they would have tarnished my reputation and my client's respect.
Suddenly, I made the strongest and most scariest decision of my career. I took the project away from them and found another supplier on the spot. I actually took the project not having a single supplier to back me and took an incredible gamble.
I write about this because I know that we have younger readers out there who follow us and hopefully learn from our mistakes. Dudes out there: there will be a time when you have to know enough bullshit is enough. Having any friendly feelings do not help whatsoever. If someone lets you down, it's game over. Second opportunities are a gift and you cannot give them to any person or company, just because. Your name, your company, your reputation, the quality of your work is more important than anything out there and you have to protect it with all your might. Heed this advice, because this sort of day doesn't happen that often to me anymore.
Murphy's law is on the spot, but in time you learn to deal with the bullshit that will come. Today, it all started with a really bad gut feeling. Things are not looking promising and something tells me, I thought, this is not going to work out. Minute by minute I felt the horrible pain inside my gut. I knew it was going to be nasty and really uncomfortable, but I had to become the bitch I hate to portray just so that my client got what I promised: excellence. For me, my client suffering and having a deadline destroyed was not negotiable. Period. If you fucked it up, I will give you one last time to make good. If you look me in the eyes and flinch, I will see it. And God help me, it happened today. Someone flinched. Game over.
A couple of years ago... maybe a decade, who knows, I had a very strict boss. One day some shit hit the fan and I walked over to his office and told him what was happening. Instead of listening blame the guilty parties, he looked at me and said only this: don't bring me problems, bring me solutions. I stand here today respecting this man more than ever. He was absolutely right. Today, as I sat there and watched the circus around me, I thought... fuck this shit, figure out a way to solve this problem, and now. It took all the sheer force I had left to figure out a way to restore all the bad shit that my supplier gave me and my client in record time.
At the end, when all was solved (which was like an hour and a half ago), I sat down in my office and told myself: dammit, you grew up. You made it. You might not have a huge agency, but today you were the boss. I finally felt that I had the exact same pair of balls that he has. This post is an honor to him, because he taught me everything I know and I will be forever grateful.
We sometimes live in a "creative bubble", where all our bosses are crazy, we think, and they just ask of us so much that we don't truly understand. Not so, my friends. There are some bosses out there who are giving us the greatest lesson there is: your name and what you stand for are not negotiable. Be smart, be strong... and you will do good.
This is for you, boss. I think I made you proud tonight.