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I'll be waiting

Occasionally, people will peer into the horizon, sigh heavily and say something along the lines of life being easier in their past.

It wasn't though it used to make more sense, I'll grant them that. Take for instance, the act of falling ill. When younger and unwell, I wouldn't go to school. If it was a mild ailment, home remedies would save the day and I'd be off to the alleged temple of learning the next day. Occasionally, the situation was more serious and called for a doctor's visit, medicines and a period of convalescence. Rarely was surgery involved. And, always, recovery was the key. As long as I ate properly, stayed in bed (and with books, who'd want to get out of it, pray) and behaved, all was well.

Things have changed and how! I doubt what I'm about to describe is particular to advertising but it does seem that my industry takes this cake and masticates rather horridly.

Today, I felt under the weather. Enough to actually call in sick.

Why are those words in italics?

Because I have worked in enough agencies to realise that we come into work and are expected to do so unless actually at the point of death. And, if there's cellphone coverage, then one can actually be on call till we bite the bullet. Maybe a couple of artworks can be sent to the client even after the last rites. After all, the work must never halt, no?

It certainly feels that way. I hadn't been snoozing half an hour before the calls began. Why wasn't I at work? Was I coming to work? Was I unwell? A pause. Who was to do my work? Would the work that had to be delivered today get done? How? Could I take a look at one tiny piece of modification? Oh, and try writing a couple of radio scripts? Flesh out those 4 TV scripts that we'd discussed? Give another round of names for some client property? Tch, almost forgot, there were some minor changes in 1 newspaper insert; I would give a few more headline options, surely? And lo, an unexpected and unsurprising disaster - client wants a fresh insert option.

Before I knew it, 10:30 am had become 8:30 pm. I felt/feel more weary than this morning. Thought about how ridiculous the expectations are in this stupid industry. And it is a stupid industry. Particularly because everyone outside thinks it's the world's coolest, continuous party and senior fuckers inside wonder why juniors are so glum and disheartened.

I'll bet you're thinking this is all a load of whiny crap. Some of you may have read a recently published book by the supposed 'godfather' of Indian advertising. That book is horseshit. Sure, there are a few genuinely good parts in it. Most of it though is the kind of hogwash the author is using to grease his future. After all, there's tons of money to be made as a consultant and it never hurts to perform literary fellatio on senior client-side individuals in advance.

Anyway, this is the kind of industry I work in. It doesn't respect us as individuals or our personal lives. It is engineered to keep us on a short stress lease, constantly wondering where the next shitstorm is going to appear. Anyway, I took one day off and it led to this. I don't have the mental bandwidth to imagine what would happen if I didn't show up tomorrow either.

Especially since my boss has already passive-aggressively hinted that it'd be better if I did make it into work.

Next post - Why being on the creative side is a lot like trying to date.  

Song for the moment: The Red Mist - The Man from U.N.C.L.E OST


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