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March 9, 2012
Ad-Verse Reactions: Ditch the Guilt
 
As someone privileged enough to work indoors in a comfy chair under fluorescent lights, then go home to a non-foreclosed-on home to my beautiful wife and incredible kids, there’s plenty of reasons to feel that I’m undeservedly well-to-do. (Not that I haven’t studied and worked hard and overcome obstacles to get where I am. Just sayin’.)
 
But I’ve decided to eliminate the guilt from my life. Here are four things that I’ve always felt guilty about, but won’t anymore:
 
1. Getting “creative” with my timesheets. Completely forgot about these during my year in Corporate World. Of course, I understand they’re necessary for...you know...getting paid and proving you’re worth a laptop and all. But they are a huge pain in the tush, and it’s sometimes hard to be 100% billable unless you’re assigned to a whole lot of stuff.
 
I’ve always maintained that a good idea or well-crafted paragraph can take five minutes...or five hours. Usually, it’s closer to the former than the latter, but I’m done with feeling bad about saying it took me a half-hour when it really took ten minutes. Clients are paying for my expertise, and I always strive to give them my best.
 
2. Lunching and chatting. I’m kind of outgoing. (Despite my anonymity on Talent Zoo.) I like to chat, and co-workers are a nice captive audience. So naturally, I’m a big fan of “hanging out” at work and organizing off-site lunches.
 
Sue me; I like to develop relationships with my peers. And if it takes standing by their cubicle for a 15-minute chat or heading out to a 90-minute lunch doesn’t fit your idea of an “ideal employee,” that’s on you. I’m a team-builder, and I’m good at it.
 
3. Emailing, Facebooking, and Twittering. It’s one thing if you’re spending hours and hours at the office commenting on the cutest doggie videos or clicking “Like” on baby photos posted by your friend.   
 
But it’s quite another when you work in advertising. You need to be aware of pop culture and the latest vernacular. You need to be part of “the conversation.” That may sound like an excuse, but it’s also a great place to stay up-to-date on the latest in marketing, writing, design and such. And if you’re at an all-digital agency like me, you’re actually doing research — since I get to write Facebook ads and more.
 
4. Freelancing. As long as it doesn’t conflict with your at-work clients and you don’t do it on “company time,” I don’t see any problem with it. In fact, it can be pretty beneficial.
 
You get to work on different things and “shake it up.” You expand your intellectual and creative horizons. And oh yeah, you make money.
 
If you do any of these things (or all of them), I hope you appreciate what I’ve just given you: the gift of a guiltless existence. Guilt be gone!

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After a year of creative incarceration in Corporate World, your beloved Corporate Hack finally distracted the guards, outran the bloodhounds and scaled the wall to make his escape. Now that he’s back where he belongs in Ad World, he’s re-branded himself as The Inside Man...but he’s still having Ad-Verse Reactions. 
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