Monday, March 9, 2015

We're all Earners.

Before  we moved to the bucolic, tree-lined streets of Suffern, NY, I was raised in the hard-scrabble hoods of Flushing and Jackson Heights in the borough of Queens. In the city that never sleeps.

These were working class neighborhoods, populated by mailmen, low level accountants and soldiers.

Not the soldiers that went off to fight misguided wars in Vietnam, Grenada or Iraq. I'm talking about soldiers who fought for Team Genovese, Team Gambino and Team Corleone.

Mafia guys.

There were plenty in my neighborhood. Hell, there were plenty in my apartment building. I know because my father told me about them. He also played poker with them every other Tuesday night.

For all I know, my father, a fledgling CPA, might have "kept some books" for these wise guys, as he was always looking for a side hustle.

And while he was chummy with the Mob, he was also very careful to make sure I wasn't.

If he caught me hanging out with a bunch of guys with Italian surnames he'd always tell me...

"Never let that guy do you a favor."

"Whaddya mean?"

"Nevermind whatta I mean, you just never let that guy do you a favor." 

I suppose had he lived long enough he would have been very happy that I ended up in the crisp, clean corporate world of advertising, free from graft, cronyism and corruption.

All of which is a long winded way of saying that try as I might to avoid the Mob, I ended up being a soldier for them.

We all have.

We might not be shaking down dry cleaners for protection money or hijacking freight trucks leaving La Guardia airport but clearly those of us with marginal talents in the arts, writers, art directors and UX designers, are into prostitution. In a big way.

We don't create shell companies and fronts to create diversions that send IRS tax collectors looking for love in all the wrong places but we do 'creatively' fill out weekly time sheets, and those alone should be enough to file a RICO indictment.

We don't threaten people or run shakedowns, but when a client is unhappy, we conveniently trade them off from one ad agency to a sister agency in the "Family" so that all those little white envelopes stuffed with cash still go to the same bosses.

Maybe you're not buying my Mafia analogy.
Maybe you think it's a stretch.

But the org. chart sent to me by a friend who just got a job at one of the holding companies suggests otherwise:

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