Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Taking requests

I'm blushing.

I'm blushing because I'm flattered. This blog has grown and grown and continues to grow. So much so that some folks are even taking me seriously. I don't know why anyone would consider my opinion worthwhile, but on occasion they do. This surprises me. But it surprises my wife even more.

The growth has been so spectacular that now I am fielding Requests.

"Hey Rich, you should do a post about the shitty bagels in the lunchroom."

"Why don't you write about the crappy parking situation?"

"Please post something about work/life balance."

It should be noted all these requests come from ad brethren toiling at the sweatshops...er, ad agencies throughout the land. Since AgencySpy shut down the anonymous comment section, I somehow have been tasked to carry the torch for the Ad Proletariat.

It should also be noted that I've touched on the Work/Life balance many, many times in the past. And don't know if I have much to add on the subject. But, I'll try. Because so much of the sturm and drang of this situation, more specifically the late nights, the lost weekends and the non-existent holidays, fall under the following.

"Your mismanagement is not my emergency."

Allow me to elaborate.

The toughest part of being a Creative Director, and this applies to all the various creative director levels (too many to count), involves scheduling. Hell, deciding which work fits the bill or answers the strategy is easy.

The real art of creative directing involves syncing up all the schedules, the internal meetings, the tissues sessions, the pre-approval meetings with the client and the final presentation.

What I did, or insisted on doing, was giving copywriters and art directors, Time. Working all the schedules backwards, accounting for weekends, setbacks and strategic changes, so that my teams rarely had to punch the clock when they'd rather be punching the bar.

Sometimes it worked.

Sometimes it didn't.

My old Chiat/Day boss (let's just call him Steve) had the whole thing down to a science and really was master of his domain. This mostly stemmed from his willingness to use the most powerful word in the English language -- No.

ACCOUNT GUY: Steve, the meeting is tomorrow at 3. Is the the team ready?


ACCOUNT GUY: What do you mean, No?

STEVE: I mean, no. The work isn't good enough yet.

ACCOUNT GUY: But tomorrow is Thursday, what do I do about the meeting?

STEVE: Cancel it.

And scene.

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