Wednesday, July 27, 2016
As I've mentioned on this blog many times in the past, when senior creatives, fellow copywriters and art directors who've spent years in the trenches, suddenly find themselves booted from those trenches, due to rightsizing or just the willy-nilly hiring of inexperienced (cheaper) kids, mine is the first phone to ring.
They want advice.
They want reassurance.
They want to know there's life after the agency world.
All very strange, because anyone who knows me knows I'm not exactly the nurturing kind, oozing with positivity and optimism.
I tell them all the same thing.
"Take a deep breath. Relax. And follow this fail proof formula for getting freelance gigs. Grow your ear hair out. Ask for twice as much as you think they might pay. And don't return any job inquiries for at least three days. It makes Creative Resource Managers want you that much more."
Let's keep in mind these people are now going after the same jobs that put food on my table and keep two college bursars at bay.
Because I've been fortunate enough to stay very busy during my past dozen years as a freelancer, every one of these panicked phone call ends with the same plea:
"If you have any overflow, send it my way."
And for twelve years, ever since I was 32 years old, I have.
I've placed more people in gigs than many of LA's top headhunters.
Two weeks ago, for instance, I found myself up to my own ear hairs in work assignments. And, as always the case, an agency called to inquire about my availability. Had they been open to me working remotely, I would have taken on the project, climbed out of bed at 5 in the morning, clicked and clacked on the keyboard until the clock struck midnight and gleefully started sending out the invoices.
But they wanted me onsite.
So I flipped through my Rolodex (you kids, look that up on your Lycos) and gave the recruiter the names of other freelance writers.
I know many, many freelance writers. But I know of only one who, 6 months earlier, repaid the favor of a referral with a rare bottle of Opus One Overture, which Vivino describes as "approachable in its youth with a generous fruit and a soft, supple mid-palate."
I have no idea what the fuck that means. Nor does it matter. Suffice to say, that writer's name was at the top of the list. And today, he is starting his second week on the job.
That gives me great joy.
What gives me even greater joy is that in addition to the very nice bottle of wine he sent, today I received another FedEx. A carefully bubble-wrapped bottle of premium Hibiki Suntory Whiskey (seen above).
Keep that, and my empty liquor cabinet, in mind next time you guys start hitting me up for overflow.