Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My Perspective on Perspective

Last week I received 10 identical emails.

These were not spam; the latest advancements in penile enlargement, romantic inquiries from Nigerian princesses or Helpful Tips for Writing the Perfect Resume (no one wants to look at the resume of a 44 year old copywriter, no one.)

The identical email regarded an article written by the late Linds Redding, a former art director who worked at Saatchi and BBDO. The piece, entitled A Short Lesson in Perspective can be seen here.

"Have you seen this, Rich?"

It was written three years ago but has somehow resurfaced on the Interwebs.

And repeatedly, in my Inbox.

I guess, because of my constant ranting, I have become a poster child for a better life/work balance. Please note that I have purposefully placed life before work.

I wrote a response to Mr. Redding's article three year's ago and indeed it is one of the Top Ten posts on RoundSeventeen. It's entitled, "I'm Outtahere" and you can see it just to the right of this column.

In three years the situation has not improved. In fact, it has gotten worse. A few weeks ago, a colleague posted a screen grab of a Meeting Notice Invitation. The notification was sent out at 3 AM for a reconvening of late night working employees to gather around in the big conference room at 4 AM!!!

People, the line has been crossed.

Unless you're pulling home a 7 digit compensation or have a piece of agency equity, chances are you are standing on the wrong side of that line.

Mr. Redding and I are not alone in this opinion.

Head on over to and read some of the reviews on agency life, any agency, and you will see there is widespread concurrence on the issue. Just not by management, who seem to abide by the maxim…

"The floggings will continue until the morale improves."

But by the people who actually do the work.

It's out in the open. And it's being written about every day on the Internet.

Imagine if you ran a seafood restaurant. And night after night, diners were going home and logging on to Yelp to warn others about the rancid shrimp or the foul mussels. But you've chosen to ignore those loudmouths because your restaurant has an excellent view of the bay. Eventually, the heavy chains will be going up on the front door and beefy moving guys will be collecting the table linens and barstools and putting them up for auction.

In other words, agency C-Suiters and Holding Company officers:

It's time to do something because the clam chowder has gone bad.


Anonymous said...

I've heard for 15 years from ad execs that there is a "war for talent" in the ad business. Agencies need talent! There's not enough! They demand it! They deserve it!

Then I see what the same ad execs do to their talent once they get them. And they're surprised they can't hire or keep said talent they think they're entitled to.

But never mind. They'll never listen. Nothing will ever change. They know so much better then us, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

I've whined and written about the same thing, actually. The agency business is losing talent and permalancing is now a real thing because agencies do not respect human beings. The respect dollars. And if they can work you 80 and pay you for 40, you are a treasure indeed, especially if you're good.

The only way to have an agency respect your time and your talent is to freelance and charge them a fair price for every hour of work they get. It's the only way to get a fair shake.

-signed Someone Who Works 55 and Gets Paid for 40 and is Contemplating Many Evil Things

Anonymous said...

Occasional long hours are worth it if you get awesome work out of them, which you can then use to get better jobs. But that seems to have gone by the wayside after the last financial crash. Now I'm being expected to work overnights, weekends and holidays to do stuff like infographics and small space banner ads.