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Not a gloom and doom thread
Old 07-29-2008, 02:08 PM   #1
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Not a gloom and doom thread

Taking a break from doom and gloom, this a reminder just why I left the corporate world.

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Old 07-29-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
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Those corporate types should just defer to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices that already governs what a stop sign is.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:36 PM   #3
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Boy did that ever bring back memories of working as a contractor for the DOD, NRO, and other gov't agencies <shudder>. That's not a fantasy, folks - that's real life. In fact, I've experienced worse <shudder>.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:44 PM   #4
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Yeah, this reminds me of working on Federal agency contracts. Except the end design in the video clip would have been an octagonal shaped sign with red background and white lettering saying "STOP". However it would have been a few million dollars over budget and would have gone through 10 iterations just to get back to where we started.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:09 PM   #5
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Hysterical.
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:40 PM   #6
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MichaelB, you said this wasn't "doom and gloom", but THIS WAS MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE.. AAAGGGHHH.

I loved my job when there were normal people, but the normal people were the minority. THIS, instead, is why I ER'd.

One reason I kept it together for so long was in minor part "wise" words from a piggish professor who said to my group: "You're gonna be prostitutes. You just have to decide if you're gonna be a $5 hooker on the corner or a $500 escort."

Yes, there is worse (almost). I had one client who insisted he wanted to use yellow for toothpaste packaging. Not negotiable. Strangely, his company failed w/in months. We were stiffed on the (non-yellow) work we had done, but thankfully it was not to a fatal extent.

Oh! and this was because "no one else used yellow".. a marketing genius, he!
He was uncaring of any suggestion that maybe there was a REASON for that (yellow connotes garlic/onion, chicken, cheese, unsound teeth and tartar, etc., if you really need detailed explanation).
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Old 07-29-2008, 05:47 PM   #7
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I don't know how anyone could work in such a "creative" environment without ending up with a bullet through the brain. What a nightmare!
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:17 PM   #8
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I loved it .
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:05 PM   #9
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Hey. It's not just a picture of our (former for some) workplace, it's also our congress at work. Ugh!

Maybe this is a gloom and doom thread after all.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:41 PM   #10
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Oldbabe.. it was EXACTLY like this.. including the pseudo-upbeat jargon.
I know that blonde. I know her with my DNA and I want to rip her throat out..

(.. errh, ahem. I would "rather not encounter her again professionally")

The only thing missing are:
- the shifting deadlines
"oh!? Did we say September? We meant tomorrow! Is that okaaay!?"...

"yes, we DO need this trade show booth with eighteen panels and 47 datasheets plus 6-color product brochure in two weeks even though we did sign an expensive contract to go to this show eleven months ago.. sorreeeee!! Oh and can you come up with a completely unique tschotschke-giveaway/sales game that no one has ever seen before? By Friday? Ciaoo!"

-and more recently the price undercutting and petty power games:

"well Sanjay can do the logo for 37 cents (only a new variation on "the boss' wife/nephew who did it for free) so what we want you to do is just clean it up"

"yes we know your printer did all the proofs and corrections and pre-press on this job, but we'd rather you send all the files now in mid-process to XYZPrint corp. because they cost less and we'll blame you if this affects the schedule."

XYZPrint corp. "we can't read these [PDF/Photoshop/Quark/Pagemaker/Indesign] files... can you send us something in Microsoft Publisher?"
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:30 PM   #11
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Oldbabe.. it was EXACTLY like this.. including the pseudo-upbeat jargon.
I know that blonde. I know her with my DNA and I want to rip her throat out..
Sure, I understand- but would you please send the rest of her to me?
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:00 PM   #12
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I loved that video.

Ladelfina, I guess you were on the Ad agency side. I was on the client side, which had it is own set of problems. But I distinctly remember feeling sorry for the creative folks when the VP of marketing changed his mind.

Hi guys, "Dennis had some strong input, and we will need to make a few tweaks, but unfortunately he insisted that we keep to our schedule, so yes will need everything by Monday, Bummer about the 2 foot of fresh powder and the weekend ski trip."
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:32 PM   #13
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I didn't give a crap about fresh powder; make me work overtime? pay me. Few would ever admit that all their creative last-minute brainstorms "changed the scope of the project", even if we showed them reams of detailed timesheets and change requests.
Mid-level corporate marketeers in the '80s and '90s had a marked Sun King attitude: they were the State Deified and Incarnate, and you were to attend to them in their boudoirs marvelling close-hand at every f*rt and sh*t.

I just got tired of arguing over every idiot blond/blonde marketing debacle. It's not an exaggeration to say they hired a bunch of rank illiterates right out of high school and into faux "VP" positions. I slaved, conscientiously, while they partied in Nevis and, when pressed to w*rk, introduced typos that were, most charitably, hangover-induced.

Oh, did I mention that if you were blonde you could get a good marketing gig?
Extra points also if you were a zombie drone of "The Forum" cult.

----
wow.. this sounds so harsh. Ten+ years ago when I was in the midst of this I would not have gone so far. I never will have to deal with those people again. I'm not sure if this reaction is more true than my much milder reaction at the time. (But The Forum is still a cult.)
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:57 PM   #14
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That "pay me for overtime" stuff didnt work too well at our old company. You did it or you got washed out in the next review session as a lousy team player or someone who wasnt working on their development areas to a satisfactory level.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:37 AM   #15
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Damn I missed all the cute blonde in corporate marketing, CFB were they all hiding in Folsom? Well there were a few blondes more than in engineering, but most marketing types at my company were fellow nerds, with engineering degrees and MBAs and often egos to match.

Still I have a great deal of sympathy for the minority of folks at an ad agency who were actually creative. Having to cater your clients every wish must
soul be sucking experience. Clients for the most part were either extremely demanding, or extremely cheap. I am sure at times our ad agency wanted to fire us of course, being more than 1/2 their business they didn't have that option.

What is the The Forum?
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:31 AM   #16
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I know that blonde. I know her with my DNA and I want to rip her throat out..
Funny, the blonde didn't bother me at all. Another perfect example of my bad habit of letting pretty women get away with practically anything...
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:14 AM   #17
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CFB, I didn't have a boss. (Well, the clients were my boss..). Most of the work we did was project based for an agreed-upon fee. Strangely, though, the 10 changes/hour client was paying by the hour. I just kept racking up in my head their cost plus mine for an infinity of niggling changes.. that must have been the $10,000 datasheet.

Since I worked in this industry before computers became prevalent I really got to see a vast change in how marketing managers managed then and now. I don't know how much to chalk up to computers versus just a generational sea change. Before, people knew how to delegate, prioritize, and budget both time and money. They dealt with tasks in a linear and orderly fashion. It was pleasant. More recently, things just devolved: the managers were less-experienced but thought more highly of themselves; they thrashed from crisis to crisis and would often change things repeatedly just to look busy.. like they were doing something and were thus valuable; turnover was also crazy and there was little long-term planning. I'm not saying "in the old days" there were never bad managers or bad clients.. just that it was easier to deal with the badness because with time, skill, and respect you could work through it.

I started to lose it when we'd be getting changes to a single document from five different marketeers almost simultaneously..with changes made by one conflicting with changes made by another. This over 10 time zones, from CA to Europe. And every request was "urgent". When I nicely asked the marketeer I was closest to whether there wasn't a way for them to internally co-ordinate and agree upon the collective changes before passing them to us.. I got a bit of that "you're not a team player". So when the marketeers fought amongst themselves we always had to be in the middle of it and it was a huge waste of our time and their money. This situation would have been inconceivable without the "enormous productivity gains" provided by the computer.
Clients completely lost sight even of the physical nature of the end product and refused to understand that paper and other goods needed to physically arrive somewhere and be actually handled by people, and that this might take more than half-an-hour.

FedEx made a LOT of money off these people because they lost the ability to plan. I don't want to think how much it cost them to FedEx materials around the globe because in their frenzied, frantic brains they couldn't imagine leaving a week for shipping.

Oh and we weren't the only ones with grossly increased suffering. All our suppliers and colleagues (professional photographers, illustrators, and writers) got their work micro-managed to an ever greater degree over time. I felt worst for the writers because the marketeers wouldn't leave anything left of their contributions any more.. after all they had computers too, and sorta knew the alphabet. The same writers we had worked with for 20 years were going from having a few red pencil marks on their copy, to having it essentially gutted for the worse. The climate went from one of professional respect to one of humiliation and abasement.

Maybe it's to be chalked up to a kind of marketing-species survival. They more they run around messing with your stuff, the more a business appears to "need" lots of marketing managers.

The Forum was a '90s pyramid scheme/cult of 'self-improvement' that seemed to have sucked in a lot of marketeers and sales reps. It was a Brooks Brothers de-granola-ized re-tread of est.
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:35 AM   #18
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Damn I missed all the cute blonde in corporate marketing, CFB were they all hiding in Folsom?
Eh, there were some. The cuties were up in oregon.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:29 AM   #19
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Here's a kinda funny site: Photoshop Disasters..
PhotoshopDisasters



I hope commenter Jeff Z doesn't mind my quoting his take on how this went. It echoes some of my points pretty nicely:
Quote:
What happened here is that nobody in Gap middle management wanted to make a decision on what clothes all the women would be wearing *before* the photo shoot.

Therefore, during the shoot, the ad agency couldn't pose them all together in one shot. So they photographed each girl separately under the same lighting in probably 10 different sets of clothes each.

Then they got some junior artist to quickly comp about 500 combos together (probably overnight, if I know my ad agency/corporate procedure) so some the Gap's in-house Executive AD could choose which ones should appear together in the final shot and in what arrangement.

Now of course, the AD couldn't choose just one without seeing a "final" version, so said junior artist was then told (at 10pm the night before the print deadline, after waiting around since 2:30pm for the feedback from above) to make 3 or 4 final versions by 7am for the AD could make the final choice, and the agency could get the art to the printer by 8:30am to get it on press.

So the artist stayed up until 4am at the office assembling final-resolution images on a computer with not-just-quite enough RAM to handle it, resulting in a few file-killing crashes, and we see here what happens when your artist is sleep-deprived and in a very very bad mood.

Of course the art wasn't approved 'til almost 4:30pm the next day, resulting in a 100% rush fee applied to the print job which the agency had to eat, but which they'll get back from the Gap by inflating fees on future jobs.

(this is all guesswork, i have no idea what really happened. i'm so not in that part of the biz anymore.)

If they could have just made a decision before the shoot, the photog would have shot a beautiful picture and the Gap would have paid maybe 1/4 what they actually wound up spending.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:51 PM   #20
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One reason I kept it together for so long was in minor part "wise" words from a piggish professor who said to my group: "You're gonna be prostitutes. You just have to decide if you're gonna be a $5 hooker on the corner or a $500 escort."

And what was piggish about this honest man? Should he have told you about how wonderfully beneficent the w*rking world is. Should he have presented the situation in some Napoleon Hill-like fantasy about how you wold be helping customers to achieve their goals while you all were being the best you could be? Should he have handed out the big foam fingers to the class and lead you in a ritual of degradation of the human condition, worshiping the glories of the business world where you'd soon be separating the sheep from their money.

Did you prefer the profs that promulgated the vile lie that you all would be helping people by lightening their wallets? Did the academics that acted as apologists for business give his/her student warm fuzzy feelings about the economic rape they were headed out to perpetrate on the suckers?
Here,at last, was an honest man and his reward is denigration here in 2008. You should all him and both apologize and thank him for his candor.

It is to be hoped more of these academic pigs could be found to the point where there students could no longer look at their own faces in the mirror each morning when they got ready for work.
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