Thursday, May 7, 2015

My new blog

Behold! A tumblr I made recently, called Freelancers on Phones.

I thought it would be helpful, for those considering a switch to freelance, to provide a window – a literal snapshot, if you will – of that lifestyle.

As we all know, that life is essentially chatting on your phone, invoicing then leaving early. 

I’ve tried to capture this life in a series of portraits (there's also a bit of blurb to give some context but I can't be bothered to include that here, just go there okay?)

Please be part of this project. Submit your snaps of freelancers on phones, along with any additional information you want (time of day, location, who they’re on the phone to, who you imagine they might be on the phone to, what they were thinking about the moment you took the picture, what they like to get up to at the weekend – anything you fancy really).


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The terrible sadness of planners

I have this theory, which I’m pretty sure is an actual fact, which is that all planners are wasting their lives.

Planners are the ones your teacher loved. They sat in the front of class. They spent lunchtime reading Robert Frost while the rest of us were pressing body parts against the classroom window and competing to see who could make the loudest fart noise by sticking their hand in their armpit (it was me – I was totally awesome at that).

Planners are the ones about whom your mum said “I wonder what she’ll be when she grows up.”

But then they became planners.

They could have been doctors, scientists, business leaders. They could have made medical breakthroughs, fought injustice, brokered peace deals.

Instead, they chose to channel their intellect into selling dog food and car insurance.

One of the saddest things is that, often, they’re not even aware something has gone wrong.

They talk with enthusiasm about the latest exciting revolution in hair care or toothpaste. But beneath it all, you just know they don't belong in an agency.

It's in the way they reference some obscure 1930s French film in a brainstorm and are met with blank stares.

It's in the way they quote Chomsky in their feedback and have to watch while we google him.

And it's in the way they spend lunchtimes reading about behavioural economics while the rest of us press body parts against the studio window and compete to see who can make the loudest fart noise by sticking their hand in their armpit (still me, I'm so awesome).

I know I shouldn’t really care. It’s just that, sometimes I look at them and feel a bit sad. Nothing remains now of that bright-eyed boy or girl who once dreamt of taking the world by storm.

Of course, you might wonder why I'm going on about planners so much. What about all the other agency folk? Couldn’t they be doing something better with their lives too?

Not really, no.

Most client services people would be equally happy as estate agents or working in Carphone Warehouse.

And most creative are still dumbstruck that they’re even allowed into the building, let alone paid.

But planners really have no excuse. And that is so terribly, terribly sad.

Friday, January 30, 2015

I’ve been promoted!

Yes I know it’s been 3 years since I’ve posted anything and no one’s going to read this but still I just had to share the news!

For some time now I’ve been telling The Man that I want more responsibility. Possibly even a title of some kind.

Well, it gives me enormous pleasure to announce that I’ve been handed a role with authority, responsibility AND kudos.

That’s right, I’m the new Fire Warden.

I know what you’re thinking, I used to think that too.

Yes, this role is traditionally handed to the kind of pedantic jobsworth who’s desperate for even the smallest sense of authority. But ask yourself this: if that were still the case, why did they ask me?

Plus, I can tell you this job certainly has its perks.

You know how chicks love firemen? Well, it's almost the same for Fire Wardens.

Not only that, when a fire alarm goes off and you march about in a high visibility vest barking orders, everyone has to notice you (why did no one tell me this sooner?!)

My lifesaving role doesn’t end there. Once the alarm has been triggered, I have to sweep the floor (this is ‘sweep’ in the figurative sense, no actual brush is used) for stragglers.

Occasionally some bigshot might decide he's too busy for a fire drill. Maybe he’s on a client call. Or he needs to get ready for a big presentation.

Well, I’ve got news for you, punk.

I will not hesitate to bring the full weight of workplace Health & Safety directives crashing down on your stupid, ignorant head.

First, I warn him. Then I warn him a second time. Then I leave him – if there’s any justice, he'll die a slow, painful death, his flesh being licked by flames over the course of several pain-racked days.

But if he does survive, I will give him a written warning that he must take part next time.

That’s right, not looking quite so ‘busy’ now, are we?

Spiderman was right. With great responsibility comes great power.

And I’m loving it.