"Man, my swine flu is killing me," I said to my art director.
The phone crackled "huh, we must have a bad connection I can hardly hear you."
Naturally, my art director wasn't in my office with me. He was working out of our Bangalore office--cheaper that way. We could pay him in potato skins and grapefruit rinds.
"I said, my swine flu is killing me" still trying to make conversation but thinking I'd be better off washing my hands for the fourth time since I arrived at work two hours earlier.
"You'll have to speak up," he responded. "The ice-cap has melted and the office is under four-feet of water."
"Forget it. Enough dilly-dallying. We have to concept on a brand spot for a Fortune 50 client. But our budget is only $30K because they are getting TARP funding and don't want to look profligate."
"Why don't we use stock photos," he parried. "Kind of a Ken Burns' thing."
"Great idea," I conceded.
At that moment, an account guy darkened my doorway and I gracefully got off the phone promising to continue our brainstorming later.
"Forget about that spot," the suit intoned. "The client just went into chapter 11. Their market cap is less than the cost of a Bud at the Tip Top Tap."
"Dead," he answered.
"Does that mean there's no job number to bill my time against?" I inquired.
"Can't help you with that one, big guy. You're on your own with finance." Account people. They're not worth the ice in a dry martini.
As if on cue, finance was on the line. It seems I had had twelve minutes of downtime the previous week and they wanted to know what was up.
"Mexican food," I explained.
"We've already warned you about that. The optimum diet for maximum billability is white bread, yogurt with inactive cultures and unripe bananas."
"Got it," I said. Making a mental note of it. "I won't let it happen again."
My assistant then poked her head in, "You're two minutes late for your 'Respect in the Workplace Training.'
As Sartre wrote: "Everything began to spin and I found myself sitting on the ground: I laughed so hard I cried"