#129 In which our hero gets a new job.
The new job: simply stated, it’s incredible.
Now, I’ve been online long enough to know that it’s not exactly wise to write about your (current) job and co-workers… but I am absolutely bursting at the seams about this place. However, because I would really, really like to keep this job more than two years (the longest I’ve been able to keep a job since moving to Cleveland) I will keep certain details vague. Or I’ll try; I’m not always great at keeping my mouth shut about things that get me excited.
I go through a series of interviews at this place, meeting with new people each time. As previous mentioned, I am the King of Interviews, so these, like most every interview, go really well. I like what they have to say, they appear to like what I have to say. But I try really hard not to get my hopes up, because I’ve been burned before. But it’s really starting to look like the light at the end of the tunnel. And when I say “tunnel,” I mean the soul-crushing cesspit I’ve been stuck in for more than a year.
A word about my employment history in Cleveland.
I moved up here after securing a job with what was at the time the largest advertising agency in Ohio. I guess I can tell you it was Wyse Advertising (I have nothing bad to say about them, so no-one there should care if I spill the name). I loved Wyse. It was an impressive-looking agency, full of open brickwork, hardwood floors, glass-walled conference rooms and extremely expensive old advertising posters from the president’s private collection. It was also on the top three floors of a skyscraper in downtown Cleveland. It even had a deck with an amazing view of the city and lake.
And in addition to the snazzy digs, I really liked the people. Not all the people of course, (who am I, Mother Teresa?) but everyone I worked with directly. And the creative director, my boss, was the best boss I’ve ever had. I had my own office with a decent view. People seemed to appreciate my work. I was working on accounts that people had actually heard of. All in all, it seemed like my dreams of moving to Cleveland and hitting the big time had finally came true.
Then I got fired.
Well, laid off. My boss told me at the time that if business turned around, I would be the first one they called. Four years later, still no call.
Getting fired from Wyse started an alarming downward spiral. At first, I couldn’t even find a job. No one in advertising was hiring at all -- this was just as the economy was tanking in 2002-03. It was cold comfort to know that I was one of many laid-off ad people. As weeks turned into months I started to broaden my job search to anything that including a writing element. Finally, after eight months or so of being without work, I was applying for everything: warehouse worker, administrative assistant, anything. But, employers who needed my talents weren’t hiring, and everyone else probably looked at my resume and realized that I was just slumming and would quit their job the second I got an offer from an agency. I could find nothing!
Finally, a year later, just as my unemployment compensation was ending, I got a job at Progressive Insurance. Telephone customer service. I don’t have anything bad to say about Progressive, I just didn’t want to work there. Six months later, I got a call out of the blue from a small agency (Wyse had about 150 employees at the time, this place had 25). I interviewed (brilliantly, of course) and got the job.
My experiences there are featured in the archives, but in particular I would direct you to this one and this one and this one. This job lasted two years before I got laid off again.
The job was no great shakes, but it was a real agency and I did some good work there. But I never liked my boss nor, pretty much, any of my co-workers.
Then I got another job at a tiny agency (I was employee #9), but that didn’t turn out well.
This, most recently, I got that junk mail job (just me and the boss).
So you can see the agencies got smaller, the work got shittier and I started to become more and more depressed. At one point I declared to The Scientist that “Cleveland is fucking poison to me!” A little dramatic, perhaps, but Jesus, when was I going to catch a break?
Well, it appears my break has arrived.
Going in, I didn’t know a great deal about the agency I now work at. They had some big name clients, but that’s not so unusual. Their website showed some nice work, but that’s to be expected. All I really knew was that they weren’t a shit-hole two-man operation doing junk mail, and frankly, that’s all I really needed to know.
As it turns out, this agency is the fucking promised land. I feel like I’ve been called up to the majors. Day one, I come in for orientation and my new boss (the creative director, and a former copywriter herself) meets me and shows me my office. Now, I assumed that I was getting a cubbie, because when I was here before space was at a premium. When I said as much to my boss, she says, “Well, we like to put the writers in offices because we know we’re… special.” And she says “special” like she means “retarded,” but I know what she’s really saying: copywriters are driving the bus at this agency.
And then the sky parted a shaft of pure white light illuminated my sight, accompanied by the dulcet strumming of golden harps.
See, in a lot of agencies the account staff drives the agency. The account executives are the ones who make client contact and negotiate deals and the like, after all. And I don’t mean to take anything away from them, because their role is a very important one. However… what an advertising agency is really selling is creativity. And this creativity starts in the creative department and, most often, with the copywriters. So to be at a place that puts the emphasis on the writers was a revelation.
So yeah, I’m happy as hell here. It’s only been three months, and in that time I’ve identified some weird quirks, as in any agency. But this place has two big, big things going for it:
- Everyone seems to really be dedicated to doing good work for the client
- Everyone is busy as hell.
"Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them."
~ John Updike