Monday, October 13, 2008

Late Late Show

Ah, working late. The long hours, the bloodshot eyes, the crappy pizza. Your boss would like you to believe that it’s a normal part of the ad biz. It’s like the tradeoff for not having to wear ties. Well I am sick of hearing this bullshit. So I am going to speak the truth:

If your boss regularly makes you work late, he or she is a shitty manager.

Think about it this way. Let’s say you own 10 factories that make brake pads or something. Three or four times a month, one of your factories has to stay open all night to meet their production numbers. Now, do you think the manager of that factory is genius? Is he kicking ass? Or do you think he’s an idiot who doesn’t know how to schedule his people? Right.

Now your boss does not want you to figure out that they suck at their job, so he or she will try to confuse you with a number of alternative reasons for the late nights.

It’s the staff’s fault.
Uh, you mean the staff you hired? Wow, you really suck at judging people.

You guys weren’t giving me what I was looking for.
Unless I am confused, giving clear, concise instructions to the staff is the manager’s job.

You guys went in the wrong direction.
You sent us that direction! And you didn’t decide on the “right” direction until the night before the presentation.

It’s the client’s fault
It’s your responsibility to create a good working relationship with the client. That’s why you get the free lunches, first-class travel and six-figure salary.

You people didn’t manage your time properly.
How could I with your endless status meetings?

And finally:

Hey, that’s advertising.

So the next time you’re at the office until 1am, remember why you’re there. Your boss (the guy who makes three or four times as much as you do) fucked up, and you are covering his ass. And to thank you, your boos is going to yell at you and tell you it’s your fault.



Stefan said...

Damn. Dude. Time to, at minimum, change agencies and maybe even change jobs. You're gonna get an ulcer and have a massive coronary while at your desk. And that's not a good way to go.

I hope things pick up for you.

Mark Kenny said...

Woah, go easy on the managers. I take my turn on late nights, but when you're in Studio and the work comes in at 7.30pm, that the other departments fault, not the manager.

It does suck, and I'm not condoning it, I work hard to make my guys lives easier, but it's not my fault creatives work isn't in on time or traffic haven't given the work to legal in time to check and they spot the competitors tagline being used, or creative director decides the work is rubbish and we're going to redo it.

adhack said...

@mark I'm sorry if It sounded like I was talking about all managers.

I was just trying to make the point, that in a well-run group, late nights should be a rare occurrence,not a regular thing.

Joker said...

I always try to hand my work by the due date if not earlier. If someone needs something I get it to them in under 10 minutes or give them a call if there's a problem. I give AE's more followup than they do me. I try to manage my time as effectively as possible yet I still work late.

The reasons I've had to stay late?

1. Some fuckwad AE forgot to send a job, remembered with a PM phone call and ask for something rush. Nice.

2. I did all my work, finished all my copies and even helped the Art Director in photo searches because it's the least I can do to help the guy. Unfortunately my CD likes to look and ponder over a layout for 4-6 hours. Then again, he's single and doesn't have a family waiting.

3. New businesses combine with daily work and I'm told everything has to get done or we might lose the account. Right... try another lie.

Joker said...

I almost forgot last minute strategy changes from the CD, the client, an AE or the CEO. Be consistent and you'll get your job done in a timely manner. Be a fuckup and guess what will happen.