I relatively recently became Hooked on Lost and have finally reached Season 5, having seen the first episode. Though I could go on a huge tirade about my new found obsession and how Lost and a couple of other choice selections have inspired me to write during these quasi lackluster months. But no, this is a post about me and advertising and how I feel about the industry now.
Seven months into my exit from full time ad hell, I've learned so many things about myself that it's rather refreshing yet scary at the same time.
First off, I realize that like me, I do enjoy the type of work that comes along with the ad territory. What I hate is the bullshit that comes attached with it. The eternal conflict between execs and creatives, the butt ins of media, traffic and production people IN this battle and how some groups are organized enough to be considered another faction altogether. I hate the long hours and the sense that I've truly genuinely wasted my time for x amount of hours or days. I hated having to have dinner with co-workers rathen than non work related friends and family. I hated missing out on family events and truly becoming sick for the relentless pressure that the agency context fabricates. I hated how clients didn't trust a word the agency said because we're paying for the 80's and 90's dirty laundry and above all else, I hated the anger that flowed through me constantly.
Now I'm at a desk job, I have my own cubicle and it is the first time in my life I enjoy what I do most of the time and I feel as if what I'm doing makes a difference and actually matters int he grand scheme of corpo world. I know it's bullshit and that I'm merely a cog in the machine, but at least this machine is not designed to suck and store bullshit. I have a job that doesn't hang on an eternal wire and my job security is not determined by soured relationships with clients that swear they know better, or actually do. I get in early, I work ten hours plus but I don't feel completely exhausted. When there's stress and things are done rush, often times it's for a reason. You don't just hurry because some exec wants a biscuit and a pat on the head.
So why do I feel like an Other? Simple. I actually ran into an ex boss of mine not too long ago and I noticed that I had a spring to my step, knew where I was headed and was actually able to smile, almost seeming as if I had a trump up my sleeve no matter what. My boss on the other hand actually looked despondent, lost, frustrated, exhausted and curious as to the physically similar being that stood before him. He looked at me like an alien and that he should, because where there used to be a semi bright lad with a knack for occassionally hitting at least fools gold, who knew how to present but who was just a trigger away from stapling someone's asshole shut, he now saw a happy go lucky kind of guy.
I might have been a bit on the odious side mainly because I was kind enough to share just how happy I was with my new job, how satisfied I was with the challenge, the dynamics, and the work itself. But hey, at least I didn't rub in how much I was enjoying my freelance work. Though quite honestly, it was like running into an ex and letting them know just how good things are going for you. You hear them say oh wow "that's great", "good for you", etc, but their eyes kind of look at you and plead, "won't you please come back?". That's when they start hearing whispers, look all around and end up asking where I just vanished to, while I'm half way to my book club meeting, with my dear madame joker in tow.
Ah the beauty of the Other side.