Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Faster! Cheaper! Faster! Cheaper!
As we sink deeper and deeper into our economic come-uppance we will endure more and more assaults on workers--how they're over-paid, lazy and laden with benefits (like healthcare) that only the Lords of the manor deserve. (It was ever thus, by the way. I recently read a book called "The Black Death: A Personal History" by John Hatcher. After the plague wiped out 30%-70% of the population, demand for manure-shovellers and the like outstripped supply, driving wages up. Of course, the Lords petitioned the King and their fellow Lords and won the right to limit wages. But I digress, as usual.)
My experience is that the workers are not revolting--they're productive, or at least they're somewhat productive. Unfortunately the systems of most agencies--the second-guessing, the approval by committee, the endless meetings about the work, are what really inhibit productivity.
I do a goodly amount of freelance with similarly-tenured art directors, you know, Old Guys. Almost invariably, no, invariably, we sit together for eight hours or so and create 18 ads. Then we go home. They finesse layouts and I write a dozen or so pieces of copy. All of this is done in 24 hours and at an admirable qualitative level.
It's easy to blame others for inefficiency. It's easy to demonize the workers. It's what the oligarchs always do, always have done, Ijust I don't buy it.
I gotta go.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:33 AM