Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#013 In which our hero reveals ad exec archtypes.

As previously mentioned, I work in an advertising agency. And, as previously ranted, I work with account executives which range from "helpful" to "embarrassingly dumb." Conveniently, they, as a group, typify just about every type of AE I've worked with in the past. So, in no specific order, our cast of characters:

The Guy's Guy. The halls of advertising agencies are filthy with these guys. These are the same mostly handsome fellows that shouted obscenities at me from frat house lounge chairs as I walked to the Violet Femmes concert. They smooze their clients over nine holes of golf and comment on the great rack of the drink girl. Some are really good guys; undeserving of my disdain - but most are not. Define themselves by the size of their car, house and bar tab. Built to go far in the business.

The Limited Mobility Matron. Next to The Guy's Guy, the most common type of AE I've encountered. Reasonably hard-working, upwardly-minded woman. Generally a little overweight and not that attractive. Personalities range from sweet to eye-gougingly annoying. This AE has reached the mid-way point in her career, and isn't going to advance much further for a variety of reasons. Chief among them, sadly, is the fact that she isn't cuter. Like it or not, the advertising industry is based on style and appearance, and this attitude trickles down to the human level as well. Men ( who make up the majority of our clients), if they can't deal with The Guy's Guy, want to deal with The Unqualified But Sexy Trollop.

The Ernest Stress Case. Generally an assistant under the control of a full-blown AE. Nice personality, friendly demeanor, hardworking - all of which instantly flies out the window when faced with any real decisions. Usually go mad with perceived power and make unreasonable demands on creative when handling an account for their AE. Are generally ignored or placated until the real AE returns. Will ultimately burn out and switch careers to something less stressful, like air traffic controller.

The Cognizant Short-Timer. This person is on their way out, because of looming budget cuts, relocation, or general dissatisfaction. Depending on their level of bridge-burning, they either strive to do a good job up until the end, or spend their days playing online mahjong as their accounts crumble around them.

The Sad Sack. The AE that's been kicked too many times while he's down. Unwilling to voluntarily contribute anything to the process in fear that he'll open himself up for more ridicule. Often an older man that's just trying to wait it out until retirement; but can also be a young guy that manifests the behavior early in their career. Sadly, they will have a lasting career in the industry, working almost exclusively on accounts that involve me.

The Unqualified But Sexy Trollop. Exclusively female AE's characterized by beautiful hair, big tits, and a complete lack of organizational or customer service skills. Their incompetence will be overlooked by their supervisors since clients will request that the Trollop work on their account personally... often requiring several meetings a month. Her career will proceed swimmingly until she drops the ball in a major fashion; resulting in her being fired by the agency and almost instantly hired by the client she previously served. Tragically, there are no Sexy Trollops at my current place of business. However, I did work with one at my last employer... her (wildly successful) client retention strategy involved low-cut shirts, short skirts and no bra.

The Asshole. Maybe he used to be the Sad Sack or the Guy's Guy, but now he's all Asshole. Abrasive, demanding, and never satisfied with the end result. Will make needless copy changes or art direction to "fix" a problem, often at the cost of the integrity of the work. Never likes anything, but rather finds the work "acceptable" or "good enough to present." Very successful in the business but goes home at night to an empty apartment, quietly drinking milk to soothe his ulcer.

The Buddy. Not content to be your co-worker, this AE also needs to be your close, personal friend. Initiates conversations about his weekend and asks how your kids are doing, almost pausing long enough for you to answer before he updates you on his latest fantasy football team results. Every request is a "favor," and begins every encounter with some bit of your personal minutia saved just for the occasion: "Hey, how's your grandmother doing? Good? Great! Hey, as a personal favor to me could you completely re-write this ..."


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