Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Baseball been very very good to me.

I ran into a fellow freelancer a couple of weeks ago. Like me, he abandoned the staff model and put on his mercenary gear a little more than ten years ago. We knew each other by name but we'd never met.

As is always the case, we started trading war stories.

He told me his experience toiling in the hallways of __ & __________. I think it's best that I leave them unnamed. He said there was one week, on a particularly brutal assignment, where he was asked to remain on the premises until 5 AM.

Let me just stipulate that at this point in my life I could be at the most rocking, most debauched Hollywood A-list party and Scarlet Johansen could be hand feeding me crab cake appetizers from the Ivy while Charlize Theron was pouring $500 champagne down my gullet and I still wouldn't be sticking around until 5 AM.

At 5 AM, I'm tucked under my covers in deep sleep.

Or I'm being awakened by my neighbor's mangey dogs.

What I'm not doing is sitting opposite my partner at the Long Table of Mediocrity™ trying to crack a brief and pimping Bagel Bites or some newfangled brand of three ply toilet paper.

He went on to tell me how the Monday-into-Tuesday debacle was followed by 4 more late nights of the same nature.

5 AM.
5 AM.
5 AM.
5 AM.

One part of me wanted to admire him for his fortitude and persistence. The other part of me, the cranky, old, fuck-this-business part of me prevailed and said,

"Are you out of your mind? That's just batshit crazy and unacceptable."

What's most upsetting about this type of Bataan Death March approach to advertising is the idiocy of it all. You can't deprive top performing people of their sleep and then expect them to be at their best 5-6 hours later.

Not to be too presumptuous, but Clayton Kershaw didn't pitch all 6 games of the last World Series. Davey Roberts, and every other manager in the league, knows the value of rest.

Ad people, simply do not.

To make matters worse, I found out this fellow soldier on the front lines of copywriting did not bill for the many, many, many extra hours. A big no-no. Time is money. That's something I learned from the holding companies.

If clients get billed for extra agency time, agencies get billed for mine.

1 comment:

george tannenbaum said...

Things I learned as a freelancer.

1. Never say no to a job.
2. Set an exorbitant rate--the same as plumbers do.
3. No discounts.
4. Bill for every minute.
5. Press the 'down' button when it's time to go.