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Famous Last Words – Volume 10 – “Why I’ll Never Work In An Agency Again”

Anyone who is anyone watches Mad Men on AMC. And if you watch that show you’ll instantly want to teleport back to 1960, drink lots of booze AT WORK, and be the uber creative type at a creative agency. Today I seriously doubt that many of these agency’s exist on their own, they are more part of a interactive agency now. They will almost always have some kind of web team. I mean, who really designs for print anymore amirite?  Now, I’m not saying magazines are gone and print media is totally dead – it’s not – I’m saying that we’re in the great decline of it.  In 10 years we will have children who will never have had to read a newspaper for the sunday funnies. They can just have gone to Penny Arcade.com. Scarey right? Not really. Anyways, I’m here to leave my hate on “why I would never work in an agency ever fucking again” not talk about the decline of print media.

1.  You are a slave to not one but two bosses. You literally will always have two people you answer to no matter how high up you are. They will be:  Your boss/owner, and the Client.  I wont even get into the ball punching pain of being entry level where you get the 5 bosses PLUS the Client bosses all telling you different things and expecting you to know exactly what they mean.

2.  Interoffice communication is not coordination – it’s drama and petty powerplays. I’m looking square at Project Managers. That saying “shit rolls down hill” has never been more appropriate than inside of an agency.  If there is any reason for a project manager to shirk blame they will. “It was the designer’s fault.” No matter if you have 10,000 emails saying “here it is” and video proof of the PM getting bj’s in the owners office while holding a sign saying “fuck this place I’m not doing any work ever”, that pm will tell the client and you will always be at fault.  My favorite part is the push over project manager who says that you have to encode a tape in less than a hour (with the tape being an hour long and not in your possession), or provide a mock up for a site in less than an hour. Who then says something like….the below example to force you to frantically do it.

3. Get used to always being in fear of losing your job “due to the client leaving”. This could either because you did/didn’t fuck up (see above), or because the client is pulling the project.  And since there is never a time where we’re having ticker tape parade’s saying ‘we are in a economic boom time’, get used to years and years of this. It’s a bleak reality.

4.  You have to be ok with fleecing a company out of millions of dollars more than it should ever be spending. This might be my weakest example as I never really worked on the $$ side of projects until the very end, but I worked on a million dollar project where we spent an intial 50k investment, my time…and…uh….Email Rescourses? Yet we charged this client 7 figures.  I couldn’t take it and this is a open for you to leave your agency go to THAT company with the solution.  Be sure to drop subtle hints at your new company about how they are being fleeced in your interview “by saying strategic improvements by cutting costs from vendors”, or something to that effect.

5. Get used to Company Parties being the worst shit ever. True Story time!  This is where the owners son will suddenly hit on anything that is vaguely resembling a woman in front of everyone. Or, better yet, that tool that you always see brooding in the corner will suddenly lash out at whatever he blames his pathetic existence on after having 10 drinks, and punch people in the face sending them to hospitals. Which leads me to

6. People get fired for the dumbest shit/Are allowed to stay on despite doing the dumbest shit. This is easily the most mind boggling of situations. I saw one guy get fired because a project manager  didn’t like a programmer. In the same breath you’ll have another developer who will spend his entire day on a message board, I mean, fuck me, this guy has posted over 37,000 posts over the past 5 years. That turns out roughly to an average of 20 posts a day for the past >5< years. What the fuck? Who spends that much time on a message board? I by comparison average less than 1 a day. This is also the same programmer that would consistently have shit break on him, yell at you that you broke it, then upon realizing it was his shitty ass programming, shirk blame (see 2) and say “something broke”.  Additionally That tool I mentioned in the above paragraph? HE STILL WORKS THERE AFTER PUNCHING OUT PEOPLE 2 YEARS IN A ROW. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

7.  Get used to working insane hours and being vastly underpaid – I came in at a fucking measly 16.00$ an hour and 4 years later I was making 40k. 40k is entry level pay for any normal company and it took me 4 years to get there.  Their 401k is so fucking amazingly awful that nevermind you are vested at 5 years but at 5 years you get 1/2 of 3%. That means you have to put in 3% for them to give an additional 1.5%.   Dont even think about “time off”. You cant take sick days because they are counted as vacation time.  WHAT THE FUCK. Comp time is conveniently erased.

8. Get used to being Vastly Underappreciated – I once brought in some Dunkin Donuts because I would stop there are get a jelly donut fix. Getting 6 donuts is 3$. That’s not exactly breaking the bank. So I would bring it in for the floor. I had the head project manager come up to me in private and tell me to “stop bringing in the donuts”. Now…I’m not the guy who needs accolades, but I’m not the same guy who likes being shit on because something was one pixel off or because I’m bringing in donuts. But seriously get used to never getting a ‘good job’.  That is all done client/pm/owner side. I could put in this as 9 but I wont. You’ll never get invited to those client parties where the pm’s take all the credit and get fucking wasted. My theory is that you are not invited because you’ll turn into the guy in #5.

9. Be prepared for some 21 year old college kid to come in, work undernearth you, and take a fucking awful salary. The great side part of this is that we have such a moronic log jam of kids with no skill sets coming into the workplace that they’ll accept anything to “get started”. I once spent 3 months cleaning up a fresh out of college kid’s work. He spent half his time in the bathroom (probably the person in example #10).  I gave him a reference because I felt so bad for him see:  stupid decision. Anyhow, this has now in turn let the company think you are now too expensive (at 40k lol). True Story time again. Well..fuck..if you cant tell that this is all a true story then..yeah. Anyhow. They hired 2 people in a few months prior to me leaving at, get this,  10.00$ an hour.  I made that working at a call center.  My job is a highly specialized job requiring a vast amount of business know how in order to continuously succeed how the hell can you ever expect to, hiring schmucks off the streets. It’s the worst learning curve.

10.  Your office will never be clean. Ever. Deal with it. Either the business spends it all on your furniture and brand new macs to show off to the client so, you then dont have money left over to clean. The other side is they are so cheap that they wont clean it and request that you(!!!!) clean it. In my final weeks someone had a problem and decided to face every direction while bent over in the bathroom. They crapped all over the seat, handles and the wall.  I called up the guy running the show and appraised him of the situation. He told me there are cleaning supplies in the bathroom and to clean it.  And my last and most favorite story of the cleanliness of that place was on day one I went into the bathroom. In the ceiling lights was a dead roach. On my final day I went into the bathroom and pieces of that roach was still there.

Want to know how long it takes a roach to disintergrate? 4 years.

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August 21, 2010 - Posted by | Normal Stuffs | , ,

1 Comment

  1. I can’ t but agree.I always wanted to write in my site something like that but I guess you’ r faster.

    Comment by best book | September 19, 2010


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