Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Last week I recalled the story of my first and only encounter with Jay Chiat. But sometimes when old synapses are reconnected, they spark off recollections that had long since been forgotten. This is one of those moments.
Turns out that no sooner had I started my career at Chiat/Day -- always a technological pioneer -- that the folks in the IT department had begun installing QuickTime mail. This was before email, before the Internet, before Facebook and before Twitter.
In essence, it was a huge bulletin board that allowed for instantaneous and immediate exchange of electronic information. It was a new toy. And a pleasant distraction from the drudgery of makings ads. Of course, like most things that are fast and fun, it was also dangerous.
One morning, I received a QuickTime mail from my buddy Frank Krimmel in the NY. office. He had figured how to upload pictures onto the system. This was not as simple as clicking an attach button. This required writing code, an advanced knowledge of COBALT and the ability to confibulate flik flaks. OK maybe not, but Frank knew how to put pictures in QT mails, I didn't.
One fine morning he sent me a picture of an obscenely-endowed woman in a bikini. Naturally I wasn't about to let all that effort go unrewarded, so I shot back the picture with a funny caption. Something that included the word, "Funbags."
Funny, right? Except in my absent-minded rush to secure a laugh I accidentally forwarded the message to the company-wide directory. That included the man with his name on the front door.
Minutes later I got a call from Sharon, Jay's executive assistant. Oooooh, I wondered, three months into my career at Chiat/Day and I was already being summoned to the big guy's office. Maybe Jay had seen my Nissan tent sale ad? Or that killer direct mail piece I had written for Home Savings Bank? Maybe I was being fast-tracked?
But that was not to be. Instead I received the tongue lashing of a lifetime. And I was put on double double probation. If memory serves, I even had to sign a paper promising that I would never ever write the word FUNBAGS on any piece of communication.
And I have kept that promise.