Advertising Or Prison?

Don't look at anyone in the eyes. Especially account reps or the traffic coordinator, they can smell fear and will feed upon your lack of knowledge in the process and folder structure on the file server.

Don't be a snitch. If someone yells at you in a concept meeting you need to take it to them one-on-one not on email. Email clicks grow fast and before you know it they'll have a list serve setup to talk about how much of a puss you are.

Do your own time. Everyone chose advertising for a reason. Don't talk about your dreams of being a Creative Director one day, no one cares. This talk will get you fired or worse you'll get a cube located across from the overweight Christian woman that has a parakeet name "Mr. Rojo" because he is red.

Don't make friends. Everyone that you talk to about the agency that you where at previously will hate you, and the Gold Pencil you got might be 'tea-bagged' before sun up, I'd advise not bringing it in for show and tell.

Don't ever be indebted to anyone. If someone offers you some extra time on a banner bar just refuse and tell them to cut down the frames. If someone tells you that they'll do a photo search for you, tell them you'll "work late" and take care if it yourself. If you become the guy that owe favors, get ready to be making trips with Sam Flax for presentation board because someone owns your ass now.

Don't ever get caught: stealing food, taking pens or becoming too close with a client. To be a client's bitch is to "be the client"; no one will trust you or tell you anything about the client's work because they think you'll rat them out. Later when the client drops you and you'll get laid off because of it.  There will be a guy adding your photo to a stack of Polaroids of people that were stupid, made it out alive, or simply could fill out the FedEx slips right.

Don't choose a clique without doing your research. If you get in a clique too soon...like with the developers in interactive, you'll have to learn first person shooters (like Call Of Duty) quickly so you can keep up with where you project sits during a headshot from "Mr. Giggles" or "HEXICON" to make sure your shit's not going to be late.

Stay in shape. Fatty's are just known to take to the freebies in the breakroom first. If you keep your head level and don't break down every time a vendor brings in Krispy Kremes and you can snake through the cigarette cloud that billows out from the Account Receivable picnic table, you might just start getting respect.

Don't get caught masturbating. This is just sound advice regardless of whether it's outlined in the employee manual or not.

Fight for your respect. You can count on someone "getting into" your concepts in the first few days. If some art director makes comments regarding your font usage or that you used a stock photo that he's seen a million times you have a choice to make. Become his bitch and be victimized or take matters into your own hands. Tell him that while papyrus is a lame 80's font that is only used in new age books and greek menus, if he had read the creative brief he would know it's in the brand standards manual and not to get into your grill again or he'll be looking for new space heater.

Know your escape routes. If you're in the break-room, position yourself close to the door that opens to the largest hallway. If your break-room only has one entrance or exit and one of the managing partners enters and gives you a look like, you better have a job bag in your hand or it will be your head...immediately open the fridge door and complain that you have been "throwing up at both ends" and that "everything in here smells like bad pork" then make a pukie face a walk out – fast.

Keep a clean record. Never take credit for any work that goes up. Claim it as a group effort that "a ton of great thinking going into it" and how proud you are to be a part of it. Then if it goes to shit in the pitch, you can say that you "live and die as a team" and go back to the drawing board with your dignity partially intact. If the second round fails, tell them that you haven't felt well since you ate some of Terry's birthday cake that was in the fridge that smelled like pork rinds.

Never trust anyone above the director level. If they have VP, Executive (even worse "Senior Executive" -- that's just an old guy that no one wants to make a partner but you can't fire because he knows where all the preverbal bodies are buried) or the dreaded "Partner" make no sudden movements or speak directly to them. This Demi-God class of employees are the tried and true battle warriors of the agency. They wield PowerPoint remotes with the precision of the Katana; given that they have to explain a line items in an RFP called "percentage based fee" can do so with the Devil's tongue leaving client so happy they wish they had their own cash to invest in the project.

Keep your mind and your spirit. Don't let anyone tell you that your work is less than clip art or tell you that you should have stayed an intern so you wouldn't take up a phone extension. Do your time, do great work and one day all your dreams will come true.  You'll soon get your own shop and swoop up the AOR for Nike and Coca-Cola in the same day.

Posted on December 24, 2010 and filed under Advertising, Anarchy, LOL, Soapbox.