This post is dedicated to one of my favorite art directors, Meagan Tosch. She alone (out of many) graduated with me, and she too has just begun her career. The following is an email I intended to write to her, but soon realized was too long. Enjoy!
Poop! Two days down. Your career has officially begun. I'm actually jealous because my job is still temporary. Though it has been amazing here, there are starting to be things about it that have reduced my level of extreme elation. Don't get me wrong, I am supremely fortunate to have landed this gig. I am getting a crash course in agency life, which include the perks, and the pitfalls.
I worked 21 hours this weekend editing video. Sure I spent some time playing Xbox, and I did drink a bunch of whiskey, but the fact of the matter is that I was away from my family all weekend. (Except for the two hours where they visited me. Kirk played lego Batman and Ronnie loved jumping into the giant bean bags) But I was mostly away. This is time I won't get paid for. Which is fine. A deadline is a deadline, and you do what you have to. That is true agency experience.
When we finally showed our work on Monday morning people seemed to like it. It was great. We at least met and possibly exceeded expectations. Still we were continually hassled to get it into a presentable form for the client. We did that. Then the client came back with suggestions. Ha! You know what's coming next. They want more of the boring bullshit that sucks and a little less of the awesome creative stuff that is well, awesome. But its not that bad, the fixes are pretty easy and shouldn't take too long, and at least they didn't piss all over our entire concept. Right?
Still the quick fixes are fine if we have time to work on them, but we keep getting new junk to do on other things, and people are wondering what is taking so long on some of the previous projects we had been working on. The CD laughed when I talked to him about it over a beer. He laughed because he loves the fact that we as interns are truly getting the feel of agency life because that was the goal all along.
I did voice over work today. I sat in a room with the other copywriters and read lines to be put on a flash animation presentation to the client's vendors. It was cool. But while I was in the edit room with them they started to bitch about things. Three weeks ago these were the two people I interviewed with. These are the two people who I was frightened of, and now I am just one of the boys who gets to be in on the gossip. I loved it. I loved it because it was real life experience the type you can't get in school.
This email is too long. It should be a blog post. Sorry. I just need a sounding board to get this stuff out. I absolutely love this job. It's amazing, but I'm starting to see how working in advertising is a job, and not just the fantasy I had while in school. I knew it would be like this, but I now know how it really feels. There are times when I have no work to do and I'm looking for an assignment so I don't seem like a lazy douche intern, and then the next second I will be inundated with work which will make me have to miss my bus and have no chance to have supper with my family. And it's way worse for the designer. Everyone wants to drop work on his lap so he can do flash animation, make a powerpoint look good, or just photoshop products in different colors. Production slave. At least he's useful. I don't know how to use most programs, so I feel like I don't have as much to offer.
Anyway. This career in my experience is totally fun, awesome, and worth all the time we put into getting here. But it is still a job. I would love to stay where I am because I don't have the energy to go looking for another gig, and I think this agency has a lot going for it. Looking for work sucks. Still I have to keep on top of my game. I have to keep networking and showing my portfolio anywhere I can.
I'm sure we will have lots and lots and lots of these experiences to share in the ensuing decades as we build our careers. Lets stay in touch. Who knows, maybe we will work together again sometime. Lets do it somewhere fun though. My family would love to spend time in England.