Apr 19, 2012

Worth your salt?

Simply put, some people know how to play their cards.
Only in an ad agency can an overpaid Creative convince the Bosses that’s he worth their paying for his family’s (international) relocation AND baby shower.

Here’s the rundown:
· The ad agency hires Creative Guy from another country. A really far away country.
· The agency pays for relocating his entire family – dad, mom, and a kid.
· Creative Guy’s wife is pregnant.
· Because Creative Guy is a foreigner in a foreign land, he doesn’t have many friends or family, so the agency offers to pay for his baby shower.
· How? By collecting money from agency employees.
· Keep in mind that Creative Guy has only been at agency for less than two months, and it’s a large agency, so nobody knows him too well, at least not well enough to give up a few dollars for his baby shower.
· Human Resources is bugging everyone, pressuring people to “please help the poor Creative Guy, he’s so lonely with a baby on the way”.
· Creative Guy and the Agency acknowledge that the cost of living in this country is high, and that things are tough.
· BUT… Creative Guy lives in one of the most expensive/exclusive neighborhoods in the country, the wife doesn’t work, and he drives a brand new Mercedes. The Big Boss drives a 2008 Lexus.

Creative Guy wouldn’t have left his old job for chump change, let alone leave his country. This explains the new crib and ride. He’s not hurting, that’s for sure.

So why should we – the legions of employees who haven’t seen a raise in over five years, whose spouses work twice as hard AND raise a family, who live in so-so neighborhoods and can barely afford filling up the tank in our ten year-old cars, who burn the midnight oil doing freelance gigs just to make ends meet – why should we sacrifice the slightest fraction of our meager salaries for someone we barely know? Why is the agency banking so much on this guy? Is he worth it? Only time will tell. Will keep you posted.


Liz said...

Feel your pain. Creative people who catch the eye of upper management live in a special world.

I go to work every day for someone who has perfected the art of protecting her image and her job security. She's a CD who is no longer either creative or a director. She just takes up space and looks bright and perky. And runs out the door every day at 5 pm.

The rest of us are left to fight our own battles. She worries about keeping the owner happy (and off her ass). When necessary, she's really good at playing hero. She just did that this week to mollify the owner (again) on a new concept presentation. Jumped in at the 11th hour without even telling the regular creative team the owner thought their work sucked and she'd been called into save the day. I'm sure she loved being so important.

Side point: good concepts come from teams. Not group cluster&*@#s where everybody's playing solo instead of owning their work and actually diving into the messy business of building a good idea.

I'm actually grateful I was too buried in my own badly managed workload to play in the concept sandbox. But it's a disaster and I feel bad for the art directors. I've never seen such unbelievably bad lines--including the ones our glorious CD just co-concepted. And which are, of course, beyond reproach because SHE wrote them. Please. A good idea - wait, an ORIGINAL idea - is still a good idea.

But the agency owner doesn't know the difference. Which is why we'll never be more than a 20-something shop with a handful of decent accounts. Who can't figure out what to be when they grow up. We've 30 already. Please.

Probably doesn't matter what size the agency is. Great ideas come from great management. I hope your Creative Guy turns out to be somebody worth working for.

Sorry for the bitter rant.

I'm paid okay. But my soul's been bought and sold and I'm just about out.

Joker said...

If I don’t know you, don’t expect much from me. I may be the first to chip in pretty much any event, but when it comes to shit like that? Sorry, but I’ve been dealt my cards and if you want the cake and party, you better be a hell of a nice guy.

The thing is that some people are seen as the chosen few who deserve to roam the streets of Valhalla. Fuck that, I’ve worked for every single thing I’ve earned and owned. I’ve sweat bullets and shit hellfire in brimstone to provide for my mother and family and I don’t take kindly to charity or people who take advantage of charity.

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