Thursday, August 5, 2010
Advertising My Mind
I'm definitely way too young to consider mid-life crisis as an option to help untangle the muddled labyrinth of my mind.
But I have to admit that it's got me feeling sad. Sad because I feel lost. I'm trying my best to understand people around me but I've never ever given myself a good reason to trust my instincts.
I like people and I trust them. And that is indubitably my curse.
The world of advertising is full of people who are exciting, new, passionate, intelligent, creative, abusive, predatory, misleading, critical, helpful, admirable and calculative. It's hard to balance the beam and they are suddenly vicious and instantly affectionate within the same conversation. But they are easy to relate to because they are so close to reality that at the end of the day, I end up giving excuses for the nasty man who was rude to me at work while rationalizing the help from a complete stranger.
It has people who feed on humiliating me to get back at me for making a comment that established them as brainless and gutless pieces of office furniture.
It also has people who are celebrities and are yet humble enough to grant me 2 hour long meetings just to get to know what a newcomer in the industry goes through.
I like this world. There are no "Sir"s and "Ma'am"s, save a few who still require their egos to be stoked every now and then. The client servicing people abuse each other and a few minutes later share a plate of Maggi noodles. The planners argue over the best strategy over endless cups of coffee and then trash it after a meeting with the client. The copywriters and art directors fight over layouts and then play chess and step out for a smoke only to come back and resume the fight from scratch again. The studio professionals make faces and roll their eyes when they see the client servicing guys approaching but then sit with them through the night to get artworks released on time.
Like I said, I like this world.
And I know I belong here. I just don't know where I fit in.
My interviewers said they saw great "potential" in me and a spark that was burning bright and they took me on the Client Servicing team.
A gentleman of great repute on the Creative side saw through me and said I'm not cut out for servicing and should consider copywriting instead.
Planners with years of experience to their name said I have a keen analytical mind and should shape my career in a way that would land me in the Planning division.
What I WANT to do is write. But I don't believe I'm good enough. There are a lot more talented people out there.
What I DON'T want to do is stay stuck doing meaningless errands like fetching printouts and scans and making a repository of historical advertisements and stand over people's shoulders chasing deadlines. That's not who I am.
I can sense my brain rotting away. I can feel that "spark" in me fizzling out. I'm fighting to keep it burning. But I'm burning my hands in the process.