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Complaints? What Complaints?
By: Brian Keller
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Overheard in the hallways of our mighty agencies are the complaints of many ad folks throughout this great land of ours and even in foreign countries, like Texas.
One: “Dude, it’s all about the work. This is so bogus. The client’s crazy. What’s up at your place?”
Two: “I got no budget. The Group Head is a jerk. I got someone looking around for me.”
One: "Me too. We should start our own shop. Make some money and dictate what’s happening and not take on jerky clients."
Two: "Dude, really? That’s my plan. Three years."          

One: "Dude!"

Two: "Dude!"
Most who engage in these conversations are dressed casually and stylishly. Some people who are writing this would need to take a few steps up in fashion sense to get to “train wreck.” But in most agencies this type of dress is just fine. This type of b*tching is usual. It’s part of the mentality.
Folks should remember that in an agency you:
  1. Get to use your brain.
  2. Get to be amongst interesting people.
  3. Get to express yourself with a limitless array of new technology.
  4. Get to decorate your office, cube, beanbag chair, or stool any way you want to.
  5. Get to be surrounded by youth and experience.
  6. Get wake up in the morning and be able to something kind of different every day.
  7. Get to b*tch about your job and not get fired for b*tching.
  8. Get to be pretty flamboyant and not get fired for flamboyantness.
  9. Get to go places in the name of advertising.
    1. The person who wrote this has been to:
      1. Athens: Ran 10 miles
      2. Istanbul: Went to Asia and Europe the same day
      3. Rhodes: Went swimming
      4. Tel Aviv: Hung out in some cool places while pretending to work
      5. Jerusalem: Spent 4 hours looking for the Hard Rock Café so his partner could add to his collection
      6. Italy: Got to see all of it
      7. Mexico: Lived through it
      8. Canada: Can’t talk about Hamilton. He was young then.
      9. 30 states: Had adventures in all and a bar brawl in Houston
    2. The person who wrote has gone other places too, but you probably get the drift.
  10. Get to shoot commercials, spend time in editing rooms, meet directors, editors, composers, photographers, etc.
  11. Get to stretch budgets when there is not enough money. Yes, we know there is never enough money.
  12. Get to be paid very well.
  13. Get to have the guts ripped out of you after great idea after great idea is trashed and sent to burn in “spec” world.
  14. Get to not have to go to a job where there are no ideas and guts just churn for no reason other than ennui.
  15. Get to work with some interesting people:
    1. The person who wrote this has worked with:
      1. Arnold Schwarzenegger
      2. Vince Vaughn
      3. Milton Berle
      4. Cal Ripken Jr.
      5. Nils Lofgren
      6. Ted Danson
      7. A President
      8. A Mayor
      9. A Congressman
      10. A Senator
      11. Joe Theisman
      12. Kim Alexis
      13. Mary Lou Retton
      14. Leah Remini
      15. Mike Tyson
      16. Sugar Ray Leonard
      17. Charles Barkley
      18. Dwight Howard
      19. And other folks, too, plus some other interesting non-humans
  16. Get to work in interesting places.
    1. The person who wrote this has worked in:
      1. The desert
      2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
      3. Yankee Stadium
      4. The streets of Washington D.C closed down just for him
      5. The beaches of Florida
      6. The beaches of California
      7. The mountains everywhere
      8. Bowling Alleys
      9. Pimlico Race Track
      10. The trunk of a Honda Civic
      11. Watkins Glen
      12. Universal Orlando which was turned into Chicago
      13. MOMA
      14. And other more interesting places
  17. Get to be jealous of all the people who get to meet people cooler than you have met and go to more interesting places than you get to go.
  18. Make great and wonderful friends and partners who may have been at the birth of a child.
  19. Get to be not-so-stable and still have jobs.
In any event, complaining is part of our culture. Most of us complain about our jobs sometimes. Even the person writing this column complains, too.
Sometimes people remember that they’re not cleaning septic tanks, roofing in the summer, working for minimum wage, or sitting in an office watching the clock not move.
When you’re busy complaining about clients, just stop and say thank-you in mid-complaint. Then, please continue on. Without complaints, it ain’t advertising.

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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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