After all, we make what agencies sell. So the pressure is on us. We have to come through.
We make the product.
Accordingly, as creatives we find ourselves busting our asses. I know some people who seem to work more weekends than they get off. I know others who routinely work 12 hour days.
Late last year, I had hand surgery and a major client meeting scheduled on the same day. I couldn't "get out of" either one. So I came to the meeting in pain, and slightly loopy, but I was there. Because I needed to be. And I contributed. Because that's what I do.
We go above and beyond. It's really the only way to do the job. And going above and beyond is more or less expected of us. You can't opt out of working hard. You can't work out of giving of yourself.
The business doesn't work that way.
Or it doesn't for some of us.
When the Holding Company or Agency Chieftains decide to part ways with some of the types of creatives I mentioned above, the rules change.
It doesn't matter how many vacations you've cancelled. Or recitals you've missed, or weekends, or hand-surgeries you've suffered through, when you're dismissed, you're likely to hear some statements like these:
"We're going by the book. These are the standards of the agency/holding company. This is how we do things."
All at once of the details I mentioned above are forgotten.
Going above and beyond. That's been your job for as long as you've had a job.
Giving you the barest minimum without consideration for all you've done. That's their job.
That's the way of the West.