How true indeed! Well, that’s the line from Hallmark channel. It’s one of my favourite apart from Travel and Living, NGC and Discovery. I know, being known for tuning into those channels is definitely doing my reputation as a fabulous whore not any good but ever since I was a kid, I love watching and learning nature, history and art and knowing about everything under the sun that isn’t taught in classes or have anything to do with figures. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when Travel and Living actually broadcast Project Runway – a gay staple.
When it comes to Hallmark, there’s a couple of show which I normally tune into like Midsommer’s Murder and Doc Martin, apart from the occasional reruns of Judging Amy, The Nanny and Bewitched. I have to say, looking at the TV schedule and all, also what’s playing on the Chinese channels, I couldn’t help but wondered what’s up with audiences that they can watch one medical show after another (ER, Chicago Hope, Doogie Howser MD, House, Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, General Hospital) or nonstop courtroom drama (Ally McBeal, Law & Order, The Practise, LA Law) in every format and version conceivable.
For the sake of entertainment, I guess there’s nothing too wrong with those shows but surely there are other exciting careers out there to be chosen for a story as well? Those were the stories that we all grew up on and let’s face it, at one stage or another we all have been through the stage of I-want-to-be-just-like-this-and-that when I grow up. It’s all about glamour and club memberships, the drinking, the partying, the social bit, the shopping, holiday, and dining and whole locks. It seems that little was said about work and more on the after work hours. I do admit the lure and the attractive with those high profile (and high earning as well) jobs are enough to send everyone packing to Kemayan ATC and IMU. (It’s certainly not easy to study to be a lawyer and doctor at the first place, they sure don’t show that, do they?) And what happened to growing up and wanting to be erm…anthropologist, pilot or sex therapist?
Funny thing, I never quite remember asking and questioning where is the time allocated for work, research for a court case when they are all so busy with things outside work and yet they all managed to be on top of what they do. After awhile, I realised that some of the offices isn’t as fabulous as the one from Ally McBeal or not everyone can able to afford dressing up fabulously. Well, I lived through many years of dingy offices and am glad and proud to be in an ubber fabulous one now. As for dressing, I am still struggling on the afford bit but since I have the freedom of wearing just t-shirt and jeans, why not right? Really stand out among the seas of accountants, lawyers and all those stuffy professionals in the lift lobby. Apart from the glamour factor I guess other attractive comes from the fact that those profession isn’t your stay behind the cubical kind. What more with being doctor, you can actually save life, talk about making a difference in the world.
But I think the most exciting job at the end of the day has to be advertising. It might not save life but without it, our livelihood will be affected. Advertising is one of the oldest profession and industry in the world (well, whoring is number one but me being on the bottom of the foodchain is just as good as whoring) and is an art of its own. The art of people and business management and learning to survive. We live day in and day out with the fact that our deadline could be yesterday or last week and everything that can wrong will go wrong. Talk about learning to be pessimist. We also know that if anything or everything go wrong, we will be blamed and no credit will be due if sales hit the roof this year. We were being taught to see things 3 steps ahead of everyone and learn to cover our asses from any possible angle before we get fucked from behind. We know that if Client doesn’t have any need or work for us, we have to create that need for them. We are their eyes and see things and potentials in doing things that they themselves can’t even see. We are doomed to begin with as they (Client) come to us because they have a problem. They have a problem of selling and we have to help them sell things. It’s a thankless job. It’s fast paced. They won’t seek us when things are dandy. We will be salesman when needed, speakers to present our ideas, PR specialist when it comes to ass kissing and making that connection with clients, we have to be strategist, economist, accountant, humanist, psychologist and still have an eye for creative. If you have a finance client account, you will learn to be a banker. If you have oral care products under your portfolio – words like gingivitis, plaque will become part of your vocabulary. We have to be jack-of-all-trades.
Above all, we have to love our babies – which is our brand and still make time to make money for the agency. So don’t fucking call us a salesman. Your local salesman don’t even fucking know or do half, correction less than a quarter as much as we do. I think the only time advertisers were portrayed on TV was that Darren character in Bewitched. For those who doesn’t watch that show, Darren is of course the husband character married to the witch, Samantha. But even that role was rather dubious as most of the time, they lean on impressing their clients by stunts and dinners. Not to say that doesn’t work or not being practiced, but seriously it will not get you far. I would like to see someone try dinner-ing his or her way with a client like HSBC or something.
But despite all the hardship, it can be a very rewarding job. Those who love it swear by it. There’s just something that not many can understand (for eg: my family) and cannot be explained and summarised in a paragraph or two. There’s a never a typical day at work. Now, that’s what I call real life drama and I am the drama queen.
David Ogilvy - one of the father of advertising and my personal idol. His life was certainly colorful. Did you know he started out selling oven door to door?