Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Itchy & Scratchy


This week marks an anniversary. Seven years ago I was gainfully employed as a Group Creative Director at Y&R in Irvine, California. The job had many ups and downs. Good people, good accounts, good autonomy, good pay, good benefits, bad commute.

Very bad commute.

I could have been going to work in a helicopter and that commute still would have sucked.

I used to tell my wife I was one Sig Alert away from going on an AK47 rampage. When the precious moments of your children's lives are flitting away, the last place you want to be is on the 405, stuck in the number 2 lane because some cretin from Fountain Valley doesn't understand the Low Fuel Gauge Alarm.

So I quit. And became a freelancer. And I have loved every minute of it.

In fact 7 years in this position is actually the longest I've ever stayed at one job. The shortest I ever stayed was at TGIF. This was a long time ago. I was hired as a short order cook, but the first day I showed up, I was handed a clipboard and a pencil and told to go in the 110 degree attic and take inventory. The second day I was handed a clipboard, a pencil and a ski parka and told to go in the freezer and take inventory. The third day, I ended up in the walk in cooler and proceeded to drink half a case of Heineken over the course of 6 hours.

I wasn't back for a fourth day.

I bring all this up because within the last month there has been a flurry of staff employment activity. No less than 4 agencies have talked to me, some in vague overtones, about the possibility of signing up for a regular paycheck. In other words, working for The Man.

Naturally I have mixed feelings about all this. I love the freedom and flexibility of my current job, but I do miss the opportunity to actually produce work and have some kind of influence of a brand's direction. One thing is for sure, if we do get to the negotiation stages, I'm going to ask for a nice window office and primo dental coverage.

Oh, and a helicopter.

1 comment:

geo said...

My advice is this: ask for a decent wage and $5,000 for each meeting you have to attend. $10,000 if you have to meet with HR. $15,000 if you have to attend a meeting on "hostility in the workplace," or "the ins and outs of sexual harassment."