Spend a few years in advertising, and you’ll rack up quite a few late nights. Nights when the evil boss/client/AE dumps a big project on your desk and needs it in the morning. Then comes the pizza, and the coffee, and the booze. And finally at 1am you and your coworkers spill out into the night and climb into your cars (one of which won’t start).
Now, rack up a few MORE years. And suddenly you’re the one telling them they have to work late. Staring into their tired little eyes and saying those dreaded words, “you gotta stay.”
Ouch. Now you’re the bad guy. You’re not one of us, you’re one of THEM.
But you’re not ready. In your heart, these people are your friends. You see them every day. You eat with them. Get drunk with them. Get really, really drunk with them. And so you start feeling guilty.
But it has to end sometime. I mean the bosses don’t walk out weeping. I figure it gets a little bit easier every time you do it. The guilt lasts a day, then a few hours, until you find yourself telling a room full of people on Dec 24 that you need to see 5 new campaigns in 3 days (right when you get back from your trip to Aspen).
But I’m not there yet. I still feel bad when I make people work late. Real bad. But I figure I’ll get there eventually. I mean it happens to everyone, right?