I was up early this morning, prelude to an 8AM meeting with my client down on Wall Street. My wife is, once again, in LA on business, so it's just me attending to the needs of Whiskey, my eight-month-old golden retriever. On mornings such as this when the press of business and puppies coincide, things can get hectic, but, I think, I've handled things in stride.
Actually, I'm at my client half an hour early, partly because I'm neurotic about being late, partly because you can never anticipate the vagaries of New York City taxi service and partly because very little bad can be said for showing up places early.
Wall Street at this hour isn't sharpies in expensive suits. Instead it's burly men in heavy coats and hardhats going to work building the giant towers that are springing up everywhere down here. For all the woes of America, for all our political quagmires, for all our income disparities and millions living in poverty, down on Wall Street, buildings are rising ever shinier and ever higher.
It's been busy at work of late, extremely busy. Last month I "celebrated" three years at my agency (there was no note from anyone, no cheaply symbolic bottle of wine, no American Express gift card, no acknowledgement at all. In the low-bid economy of agencies today, such graces are long extinct.) After three years at my agency, I have finally been "discovered." People who have known me a long time say "I'm finally coming into my own at the agency." No, I reply. The agency has finally (and, I'm sure, temporarily) woken up and noticed what I can do and so few others can.
The prevailing ethos in agencies is that your meant to feel blessed that you have a job, especially someone like me, who is not only "old," (in fact about 20-years-older than most everyone else) but also in possession of an old-time advertising salary. A salary calculated on the ideas you have that build clients' businesses, not your proficiency with Flash. I'm meant to praise the lord that my job hasn't been outsourced to Belarus or Sao Paolo, or to some 26-year-old hipster who, frankly, has never done it before.
I've always cut against the grain. I remember a CEO cornering me once in the lunchroom at a venerable agency in which I was working. "If only you were easier," he said to me. "If only you weren't so gloomy or mean all the time." What you're saying, I told him, is "if only I weren't me." Well, sorry, this is what you get.
HR does this shit too. They're more concerned with your corporate compliance, your timesheet adherence than anything else. It's like judging a boxer based on how neat his locker is.
That's all for now. No point, I know.
But I'm allowed.
It's me and me is what you get.