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April 30, 2011
Gone Corporate: On the Outside Looking In
In my last column, I said that this week’s topic would be “working in an area of the city that’s full of agencies that wouldn’t hire me.”

Of course, I know that sounds petulant and whiny and bitter.

And as I read the comments about that column, an anonymous person named “Bo” called me “immature, thankless and a little *too* bitter.”

So instead of our regularly scheduled programming, I’ll address your comments directly, Bo. The funny thing is that you’re not completely wrong.

“Immature.” Maybe, sure. After all, I’m a copywriter and an ad guy by trade. That usually means a pop culture freak who’s an arrested adolescent -- watching sitcom reruns and cartoons and the same movies over and over again. VERDICT: GUILTY.

“Thankless.” This one’s just plain wrong. It’s right there in my bio how grateful I am to be employed in this crapfest of an economy and able to put food on the table for my wife and kids. So I thank whatever Higher Power you choose to believe in, I thank my supervisor for hiring me, and I thank my family and friends for their support. I also thank the people who have ReTweeted the link to my column and been complimentary.

I do NOT thank the dozens of ad agencies and other companies who never responded to my job applications and resumes. I do NOT thank the few people who deigned to interview me, only to crush my hopes as if they were a wounded fly on the ground. VERDICT: NOT GUILTY.

“A little *too* bitter.” You’d be bitter too, Bo, if you were laid off twice in four years. If you had, during your career, dealt with all the arrogant CDs who couldn’t let go of the work. The account execs who cave in to clients every time. The clients who pay for your help then disregard your best advice. VERDICT: GUILTY.

So, sorry Bo—this biz isn’t all Addys and TV shoots and drunken orgies at Cannes. It’s not all cushy corner offices and write-ups in the trade publications and creative and financial rewards.

What is it? It’s a business where people with egos get their souls crushed. It’s an industry that praises the few bastions of creativity with awards, even though it’s equally important to be strategically sound and get something they call “results.”

Heck, it’s a business that you can fall in and out of, based on geography and economic climate and your own skill set.

So Bo, I hope you keep reading. Next time, I can’t promise I won’t be immature or bitter.

But I’m thankful that you read my stuff.

NEXT TIME: Pushing the creative bar where creativity isn’t always a priority.

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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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