Monday, September 12, 2016

The Lead Lining

There is nothing so wonderful as getting booked on a new gig.

It's one part, "Holy shit, I fooled them again."

Mixed with another financial part along the lines of, "great we don't have to eat ketchup packet sandwiches next week."

If you're like most people, according to the Department of Labor statistics, you get a new job once every 2.7 years. But when you're a freelancer like myself, and an increasing number of my readers, you get "hired" for a new job 13-18 times a year.

It's great.
And then, it's not so great.

Because each of these 13-18 new employers has their own onboarding -- god I hate that word-- procedures, including new applications, new identification methods, new invoicing, new timesheet, and enough federal regulation compliance papers to choke a small industrial shredding machine.

On the Pain In The Ass Scale of 1-10, it's a 94.

Years ago, men had this fetishized thing about letting a gerbil run up a toilet paper tube to massage their prostate. Replace that gerbil with a snaggletooth piranha. And then fill out this I9/gwq-K form and have it notarized. In triplicate.

That's what it feels like.

Years ago, one unnamed agency sent me the pdf of their new employee paperwork. Mind you this was for a three day gig. I printed it out and it was no less than 78 pages. They wanted ID forms. They wanted me to read a Code of Conduct manual. They wanted me to know where all the fire exits were. And they wanted copies of my high school transcripts with a full description of why I requested an exemption from Rope Climbing. (Chapter Seven in my upcoming new book -- Things Jews Don't Do).

The pundits claim ad agencies have failed to maintain pace with digital technology. That's not true. Because HR Departments are now migrating the entire onboarding process to a computer or mobile device near you.

You'd think that by utilizing all the whiz bang technology available at our fingertips that the whole thing would be a breeze -- that with autofill, electronic signatures, and intuitive tabbing, it'd be wham-bam thank you Omnicam. You'd be wrong.

How wrong, you ask?

I am by no means singling out Omnicom, because this takes place across the board at all the holding companies. But the process can be so daunting, that one agency and their third party onboarding partners put out this helpful video on how to fill out your timesheet.

Which of course begs the question, 'Is there a pamphlet that explains how to upload the how to video about how to fill out the timesheet?'

Not long ago, I completed a job for another unnamed agency. Keep in mind, I passed several college level courses in differential calculus, so I don't consider myself a dullard, or a Texas Congressman, but their invoicing procedure was so complicated and so fraught with technicalities it required 12 emails with four separate HR team members.

That's a lot of wasted man hours and loss of productivity.

Or, in terms that ad agency people can understand, that's one less bottle of Chateaunef du Pape in Cannes next year.

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