Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Missed the shot

We had our nephew Jack visit for the weekend. Naturally, a trip to the Los Angeles Zoo was in order. As we passed by the large game, gorillas, hippos, giraffes, the only animals a healthy
2- year old boy would be interested in, I was reminded of poor career choice I had made a long, long time ago.

Unlike the kids today who graduate from some hot shot ad school on Sunday and expect to be a Creative Director by Thursday, I came through the ranks with this odd notion of paying one's dues. That meant crappy jobs at crappy agencies working for crappy bosses who were all too happy to shovel the crappy assignments to crappy know-nothing kids.

One of those crappy jobs was at Bear Advertising. Or as one of the more jaded senior guys with one foot already out the door told me, "Welcome to Barely Advertising." And he was right. This was an agency that had a plethora of fishing and hunting equipment accounts. I didn't come from a fishing and hunting background but I was eager (read stupid) and willing to learn.

One of the first things I learned was that most the rifle advertising produced at Barely Advertising looked like the photo above. A hot chick holding a large calibre weapon standing over a recently dead animal. It was a formula that worked well for them and I was expected to follow that formula.

The account executive who was showing me the ropes also offered to show me something I hadn't expected. He brought me to the basement of Barely Advertising and invited me to pore through the files kept in ancient green steel file cases. There, he showed me the extra pictures from the photo shoots. The pictures that didn't make it into the ads. There was the hot model and the large rifle but the dead animal was missing. And so were the clothes on the model.

Following my first week at Barely Advertising I decided I'd better acquaint myself with the intricacies of the hunting and fishing world. So I booked myself a 4-hour fishing expedition on a party boat leaving Malibu that Saturday. It was actually fun. And informative. And altogether pleasant except for the communal gutting station at the back of the boat. That was quite nasty.

Eager to demonstrate my enthusiasm, that Monday morning I told the owners of the agency of my weekend adventure. They snickered and dismissed my outing in the most shocking manner, "A party boat in Malibu?" they said, "that's not fishing, that's n*gg*r fishing."

Really? I thought, stunned beyond belief.

I wondered how the bosses were going to react when I had to request that Friday off for Rosh Hoshanah. But I didn't have to wonder too long.

Because Tuesday I didn't show up for work.
Nor did I show up on Wednesday.
Or any other day after that.

Now in retropsect, I wish I had handled it differently. I would've handed the boss a letter. He would've opened it in my presence and said, "what's this?"

"That's my resignation and two weeks notice." I would've replied.

"But the paper is blank."

"That's right, "I would've said, "I didn't think white trash like yourself were worth the effort. That's how we cheap Jews roll."

Damn you retrospect, damn you.

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