I first posted on this topic over a year ago. That is why I call this, Creative Class Secrets Part 2. (For Part 1, see Blog.reliableinsights.com, 2/22/13.)
Every occupation has its own dark humor. Folks who work in hospitals sometimes have a rough gallows humor to them. It is not that they are intentionally trying to be disrespectful to anyone. Rather, the incredible life-and-death stress they often face cultivates its unique brand of humor. It serves as a kind of safety-relief valve for all the horrible things bottling up inside them that they cannot always discuss with just anyone.
Folks in advertising and marketing are no different. The pressures and pitfalls of the industry—while rarely life-and-death level—still take their toll. If you are among the creative class and you occasionally yearn for an anonymous place to commiserate and confess your workplace sins and struggles, the Web site of choice is The Creative Confessional.
Aside from the site’s therapeutic and semispiritual utility, perusing it reveals the wide range of human emotions and difficulties in the creative-class workplace. Additionally, it captures many of the frustrations common throughout corporate America.
I warn you, some of what you will read there is dark and disheartening. Many entries are poignant and gripping. Some divulge heart-wrenching depths of despair. Some reveal incredible frustration at the persistent “Dilbert spirit” we have all faced. From that, my takeaway is never to forget how important it is to be a true professional with 100% integrity and caring every single moment of your day. You never know what demons your colleagues and clients may be facing, and when you can be of genuine help.
Some entries are on the lighter side and even downright hilarious. Here is a sampling of the confessions, and I have tried to include several of the lighter and more humorous entries too:
I used Arial today.
Just because I wrote an idea in an email that’s sent to your inbox doesn’t make it “our” idea.
Caught the [executive creative director] at a bar cheating on his wife. I’ll either get fired or promoted soon.
I just started a new job and they gave me admin rights to my laptop. I’ve never had a better first day.
I’ve been sat at my desk for 14 hours. I’ll be back here in 6. It takes me 2 hours to commute. This industry is dreadful.
If I hear someone say millennial one more time I might throw my computer at them.
I’m going to start a business selling hashtags to clueless marketing VPs.
The more you bug me about a project, the longer it will take.
I can’t today.
Oh, your chief medical officer has some thoughts on creative? Cool, I have some thoughts on ocular surgery.
Art school has killed my creativity.
Today, for the first time in months, I walked into work feeling good, not having any panic attacks, and nothing to complain about. Something is seriously wrong with me.
I’ve spent all day writing one tweet.
I’m working on making my out-of-office emails to include an audio file to reply to people sending me work to do while I’m away saying “I’m sorry (name) I’m afraid I can’t do that.” in the voice of HAL 9000.
I’m still waiting for the “perfect time” to write my novel. I know it will never come.
I can’t tell if some of the people I work with eat powdered donuts for breakfast or do lines of blow in the morning.
Time Sheets: The most creative I get all week.
I practice 4 hours a day how to fake laugh with colleagues and clients, I have to say, I’m getting better at something.
I put fake meetings on my calendar to seem like I am not available until at least next week.
I wish PowerPoint would just shrivel up and die.
I submitted the same copy to my boss whenever he wanted it revised and every time he would say “well, this is obviously better than the first one you sent me”.
I love sniffing Sharpie markers.
A lot of these confessions could be avoided if people in this industry were able to communicate with each other.