Jun 27, 2011

A comment worthy of a post: A Tired Creative writes back

What is it with ad people and stress? That was the post that got this amazing response, so brilliant that we had to post it. Thank you, TiredCreative. You made our day.

Here is the comment in full:

I find that 70% of the stress is created because the people hiring us, whether it's the CEO, the Executive CD, or the clients, react to any error, however minor, like it's the end of the world. I don't know about at your agency, but at mine (my former, I'm gone, and honestly thinking about quitting the business for good), one broken link on a website precipitates panicked, angry phone calls from the client at 4 o'clock in the freaking morning.

The general attitude is "We're charging/spending a lot of money for you stupid creatives to play with pictures, which the rest of the world views as highly irrelevant, so it'd better be perfect."

As a woman in the industry, as well, the subtle and blatant sexism both add to the stress. I have been denied basic work materials while my male counterparts (and subordinates!) received them in triplicate. I've had men on the same level as me try to act like my boss, and when I (and my co-workers) told them "No you may not," they persisted, and it was just fine, because they're in the Old Boys Network. I have also had the pleasure of watching a man's name being put on an award I won! Men are viewed as inherently creative, funny, witty, whatever...women are viewed in this industry as...kinda in the way.

Finally, the other 30% of it is inept Account Executives. Jay-sus. If you add up all the time they spend either sitting on a job so you have to slap it together in miracle-worker time, or not following up with a client so something that should've had a two-week timeline needs to be done in three days, or simply giving me stupid-crazy deadlines without ever negotiating with the client (because EVERYTHING is an emergency), you'd have the rest of the stress right there.

Why am I even remotely considering staying in this field? I dunno...because I can make cool stuff and wear "whatever" to work. But I've also learned that the higher you climb in the agency, the less chance you get to do even those two things.

I'm considering paying my bills with phone sex. And that's no joke. It's got all of the sexual harassment and creativity of advertising, but I can do it from home and make my own hours. Failing that, I could rob a bank, like that middle-aged man did, for the healthcare.

Oh, and I'll add to that, poor time management. My pie chart is full, so I don't know what percentage of stress poor time management contributes, but it's a damn domino effect, and it starts with the client.

1. Client demands something with an impossible timeline.
2. AE, scared of the client, accepts.
3. Traffic Manager, knowing the job is impossible anyway, sits on scheduling it.
4. Creative team sits on it further because they're panicking about how they're going to get 3 print ads and 2 radio spots banged out before 6 p.m.
5. Creative Director sits on signing off on creative because s/he has his/her own schedule and will get around to it whenever s/he feels like it.
6. Creative team stays late for the 40th night in a row because the ads aren't signed off yet.
7. Client requests 40 jillion rounds of revisions. Due IMMEDIATELY.
(Sometimes) 8. Client "takes back" half of those revisions. "On second thought, I liked your previous version better." Or, worse yet, "Let's combine my revisions with your original idea and create a hodgepodge of fuckery! It looks ugly, it sounds ugly, but I am the client!"

Rinse, repeat. Sound familiar? Hope so, 'cause this has been the story in every agency in my experience!


RestrictionsApply said...

This entire post should be carved on a marble slab, with gold-leaf lettering, and placed in the lobby of every agency in the world.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...