Monday, November 18, 2013

Shaking in the bush, boss

It might happen today.

It might happen tomorrow.

But there can be no doubt, it will happen soon.

A Fortune 500 company will put out a press release announcing an advertising agency review.

"We have been extremely satisfied with ________, _____ & ______. Their creative execution and strategic insight have been impeccable and have served us well for more than 32 years. However, with the changing social media landscape and the emergence of new global markets we feel compelled to trash this veneer of respect and loyalty and explore all options. We look forward to being wined, dined and in some cases, provided with mounds of cocaine and expensive escorts."

This will set off an all-too-familiar chain of events.

There will be blood in the water.

The holding company war lords will move their pieces around, figuring out the best point of attack.

Motivational staff memos will be written. With empty promises of fame, glory and wealth. After all, no one gets bonuses or raises until these guys get paid.

And finally, vacations, those much-needed breaks from the demoralizing grind that is advertising today, will be canceled.

Thanksgiving won't be spent sitting around the fireplace, watching the Detroit Lions lose and eating turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving will spent at the cubicle farm. With cold coffee and muttering co-workers. Although some overly-perky assistant who mistakenly believes she can turn those frowns upside down, will bring in special Thanksgiving pizza, topped with turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

And Christmas?

Well, that's sacred. So agency bosses will insist everybody leave the office by 9 PM on Christmas Eve. And not come in until noon on Christmas Day.

You know, just like last year.

New Year's Day is when millions of American make their resolutions and vow to change the habits that have blackened their lungs, rotted their livers or chewed through their nasal membranes.

In that spirit of change, the all-knowing powers that be in the agency world will ditch the brief everyone has been working against for the last two months and proclaim, with no hint of irony, "we have a new strategic direction."

If you sense I'm grumbling, you're not reading this correctly.

As a staff guy, this annual ritual would make my blood boil. But as an atheist freelancer with no regard for the holidays and an insatiable desire to work, this kind of nonsense only makes my Stay-Out-Of-A-Dirty-Nursing-Home-Retirement account swell.

For me, this really is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

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