Though the concept of 6 degrees of separation often proves true when you talk about people you know and the thin contact line between all of us, the same can be said for advertising. I think no other industry is less forgiving if you make a mistake tham this one. Let's put it this way, if you mess up bad enough, your name can soar through a network system that at times loves to pull the old Jon and Kate, by building smoeone up just to tear them down. If you say you don't believe me, I'd say to try it out, but odds are the consequences would be nasty enough to partially compromise your career, at least locally. But honestly, I've seen cases where people have to work at odd cities if they've messed up because various NYC, Chicago and LA agencies have even got the ehads up on the person. It all pretty much depends on your fuckup and who got pissed off at you. If a well connected CD is your target of choice and they are of the type to hold a grudge, start looking at agencies off the beaten path because a phone call to verify references is all it takes to have you strike out even after a flawless industry.
That's part of the reason why it's good for people to not lose their cool, as I did so many times. Though having a reputation for being a hard worker, I also got a reputation of being stubborn and problematic at times. It doesn't matter that I had a point when I lost my cool, it just mattered that I lost my cool. That's why in the last job I had, I really kept my cool, and under anger I took a walk rather than speak my mind, because though I still had a reputation of being a good creative, being one of the best people to choose for a translation, for being ridiculously responsible and hard working, I still had that whole temper thing to live down.
This does turn out to be kind of funny because the people that spread the news weren't even sworn enemies, they were actually friends who I met up at a happy hour and who decided that after five or six beers, just NEEDED to tell about the two times I threw my shoe (in different agencies). Each time it was understandable that I lost my cool, but throwing a shoe? You'd think I was a middle east reporter watching a Bush conference. After getting nice and ribbed, the joke was there, the laughs were had, and the damage was done because people from that agency were always waiting for me to blow up.
Luckily I haven't given anyone else that satisfaction of losing it, mainly because it took me getting slammed against a wall to realize that it's not worth it. But in the good part, it also prompted me to give another type of company a chance and I can honestly say it's the first time I've ever been satisfied with a job, but hey, that's another post altogether.
If I do have to close this off with one more thought, then check your think tank and see if you can't find a memory log that has an adage which goes something like this:
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
Well the reason I write that is because in advertising, tabs kept are asses saved and your friends can turn out to be your enemies if they happen to have a little too much drink and a little too much to say.