Business as usual in the ad agency.

The toner ran out today. So copies of my brief came out faded in some portions but I’d already printed 4 sets of those and I really don’t see the sense in wasting good paper to reprint them. You really could read them if you tried.

So I took those to traffic and tried to give her a summary of the revisions that needed to be done. I tried because before I could even complete one sentence, she said,

“Please don’t put that in.

What’s this? Have some pride in your work!”

“But I’ve already printed 4 sets of these and it’s not like I made them like that!” (And what has this got to do with pride in my work?! I didn’t know the toner was out.)

“Go shake the toner and print again.”

“It’s such a waste of paper!”

“I don’t care.”

There you go. Corporate wastage.

I’m nowhere near an environmental activist and I don’t even believe in the theory of pollution causing global warming but come on, there’s no need to squander resources like that. You’re only gonna read that brief once anyway and I can email you if you’re that impaired. Those hard copies are really just protocol.

And “I don’t care”? Ugh, the unabashed ignorance.

I really can’t work here anymore. It’s just, I have standards. And they’re not exemplary or sometimes even coherent but they’re there and I’m always in the process of refining those standards. My view is that as long as I have these standards and keep improving them, I know I’m growing and going somewhere. It’s how I negotiate my identity. And I think that without those standards, I’m basically nothing.

I don’t want to be at a place where I lose sight of this and just pass each day blindly, writing briefs, printing briefs, throwing away good paper, arguing about the size of the logo, fighting about how many times the “branding” appears in the copy. I don’t give a fuck about your stupid spark at the head of the cyclist and I don’t think anyone looking at the bus zoom pass will see anything other than a blur of green. And I hate that even though I don’t give a fuck, I’m thrown into a damn frenzy when things like that go wrong because it’s my job. Those are standards, yes, but I think there are bigger things to fight for. And maybe this is life and death for some people, but not for me. And saying all these, KNOWING all these, it just makes every day a lie for me. It makes me a hypocrite and I despise myself for that.

I know there’s a great deal of genius in this industry and sometimes, this genius takes my breath away. But most days—sadly, the bulk of the sum total—it’s mediocre stuff I see and the mediocrity and sheer frivolity in the industry just disgusts me.


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