Inspired by today’s -20 windchill commute to work, I made the following:
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This blog was never abandoned; just prioritized to the point of not being a priority.
In the course of time since my last post one might imagine much has taken place. One would be right.
First, I was working full-time freelance, copywriting for the boutique NYC ad agency, Fly Communications. While there, I handled web work for books under the Scholastic brand, dabbled in some new business pitches for Israel Tourism and the Harry Potter Book Series, and wrote some direct marketing pieces for American Express OPEN.
Commuting between New Jersey and New York, the basic gist of my life at that time was: eat, train, work, eat, work, train, eat, sleep, repeat. I used my weekends to enter a short story contest (I didn’t win) and act as a contributing writer to a Gen-Y blog project known as The Next Great Generation, or TNGG. This lifestyle carried on for around four months when a copywriter position opened up at Mullen Boston. “We’d like you to interview.” And so I did.
Now I’ve been in Boston since the beginning of February, working as a junior copywriter in Mullen’s digital creative department. It’s a great office filled with great folks and great thinking. I talk just as freely to people with a C in their title as I do with the interns. And don’t let the moniker “digital creative department” fool you, my position has me work equally on both digital and traditional media.
Once at Mullen, I first faced the matter of settling in and getting into the groove of all the separate brands I would work on. Then it became a matter of our new business pitch for the airline jetBlue. Being involved on that–working through four weekends in a row–it was a challenge that affirmed why I love what I do. The fact that we won their business didn’t hurt, either.
Now I’m all settled in, working hard and have my weekends back (sort of). That brings us back to this blog. Admittedly, I could have rebooted it sooner, but paralysis set in when I saw the date of my last post. I was a bit embarrassed. It was the internet equivalent of a bookshelf covered in dust and cobwebs.
So what was I to do? How would I overcome this anxious feeling? Where to begin? I thought today, and this post, would be a good start.
“You just could feel it coming down, you just could feel everyone’s asshole’s just tightening up.”
Sounds unsettling? It should. These words speak to the anticipation of being laid off. Sadly, a relatable feeling for more than 70,000 advertising professionals. But there’s a story that lies beyond the anxious moment preserved in those words, a story featured in the upcoming documentary, Lemonade.
Conceived by PFTA founder, Erik Proulx, Lemonade intends to explore “what happens when people who were once paid to be creative in advertising are forced to be creative with their own lives.”
What happens is proof of the human spirit. The trailer which I’ve posted below is filled with vignettes rich in triumph. The people featured are members of those 70,000 drifting souls; connected not only by their loss, but in their ability to move forward with their lives.
Some might point out that this film is glorifying lay-offs. I would point out that those people are confusing lay-offs with humanity. I suspect the film will show the darker side of lay-offs, but it will not linger on them. And it shouldn’t. In one way or another we all have come to know how difficult this time is, that is a story of which we already know. I care to hear about what I don’t know, namely the stories of these people who have moved on from darkness into something better. The sign that while being laid off isn’t necessarily a gift, it is a pass to something within us, something we had long since closed off from ourselves.
Support your local animals:
Below is likely the first commercial I ever wrote (read to the end and you’ll see why). It’s from an assignment I vaguely remember us having in 3rd grade. The teacher wanted us to pick an item we really enjoyed and write a commercial about it. It’s an interesting look at my writing style then.