A colleague of mine asked me when I came at this company: do you have a life? When I politely answered that I do, he said: forget it, from now on you won’t.
The truth is that I don’t have a life since I entered the advertising world, around 6 years ago. I breathe internet from to moment I wake up at 8 AM and end up falling asleep on the sound of the notifications bar of the Facebook tab around 2 PM.
My life has become the advertising industry, as it lures you, tempts you, provokes you and leaves with the permanent desire to become better and satisfy her more, until your love for her is written in the black circles around your eyes and bread crumbs you left over the computer. I won’t speak in the name of other accounts, I don’t actually know that many. What I know is that you need this obsession in order to live a happy life in my shoes.
So, how does my day look like?
I usually wake up at 8.12. I check my Gmail, Facebook and some news sites while I drink my first two coffees for the day. I pet the cat and then leave on the sound of Marylin Manson an hour later. 45 minutes of reading or playing Plants vs Zombies on the way to the office and I’m there. I turn on my computer while hurrying up to drink my third coffee and smoke a cigarette. Check for emergencies and then leave to socialize with other advertising freaks aka my colleagues.
After this, chaos begins. This means that from the moment I enter the premises, I don’t actually remember most of my day, as mails are pouring in my inbox and my Iphone is ringing with tasks and checkups on projects. The only way to remember almost everything I do is THE LIST. I’m lost without the list, that I rewrite almost every day, which, despite the fact that I am online obsessed, is an ugly written piece of paper. I think this is my way of remembering how to actually write, not only click. It has daily almost 30 items and my satisfaction comes from the fact that from time to time I get to cut projects from the list. Oh, that sweet moment when I get projects done! We call it small joys, as the big ones are probably dedicated to people with meaningful purposes in life (ok, fine, I admit we all want them).
I talk to designers, I give tasks to copywriters and check on the ideas I receive. I present them to clients over the phone or mail, I spy on the Facebook pages that I am responsible for, together with the social media manager, and give some research tasks to my intern. I go together with my client service unit to meet the client and then around 3 I get to eat. And I do eat! I eat like is the last meal I ever get, because it usually is for that day.
The holy deadline
Otherwise known as Yesterday, Now, ASAP, Urgent, EOD, EOB. In an account life and in advertising in general, the deadline becomes the purpose of your life. You are capable of anything just to meet the deadline. It’s like everybody working: client, agenc, listens to the same tape during their sleep: deadline…deadline…deadline…This basically means that there are moments when I will jump in front of the train if that will make me meet the deadline. So, I start again with the vicious circle of designers, copywriters, developers and social media guys in order to make the impossible deadline, possible.
The vacuum cleaner
I only realize the time when the vacuum cleaner lady arrives. It’s 8.30, the moment when people start leaving and I can hear my own thoughts. I check the list again; send out some more emails and leave around 9.30.
Don’t think for a moment that I can stand the separation from the online world for too long. When I get home, I spend an hour or two seeing which were the topics of the day, which digital campaigns are hot right now and I fall asleep on How I met your mother.
I speak for myself, but I am sure that they are others like me, that love their job, fight for campaigns, succumb in ideas, make them come to life and believe that what they do has a greater importance than everything else. Because, as I said in the beginning, this type of job and love for what you do transforms you and will probably lead to your whole life dedication.
In the end, I don’t consider myself guilty, because as Tyler says: „We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
Valentina Florea, Account Manager, Kaleidoscope Proximity (BBDO Group Romania) – Digital addict, coffee lover, heavy smoker, music driven and opinion leader at www.tinaflorea.ro. Working in the communication industry since 2008: online and PR.