Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The vision thing.

This might be complicated, so if you haven't had your coffee yet, go grab a cup. If you have, maybe pour another. You might need it.

Some years ago, before the time when most people in Mark Read's wet-dream of a low-wage agency were even born, I had Lasik surgery. I had been an athlete through my 40s. First baseball, then long-distance running and I never much cared for wearing glasses. They fogged up.

So I went under the knife. 

Or the laser.

I chose, or more accurately my wife did, one of the most highly-regarded eye-doctors in New York. I had no problem putting my baby blues into his able hands.

But soon after the operation, there was a small complication. My doctor was nervous telling me about it. 

"I'm going to call in Oleg Alexevich Chernyshevsky," he said. "He's one of those $99 Lasik doctors who advertise on the subway."

"You're regarded as the finest eye doctor in New York. He runs a chop shop," I said. "Why him?"

"He's a very good doctor. But more important, I've done a lot of Lasik--maybe 1000 operations. But Chernyshevsky's done 50,000. He see things I don't."

OK. I'm rounding into my point.

About 15 years ago, a headhunter reached out to me. I didn't know her. In fact, since she wasn't one of the New York power-headhunters, I had never even heard of her.

But she got me on the phone and berated me. 

"George, you're going about things all wrong. These days, sure it's about your portfolio. But people shop on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile isn't as good as you are."

I thought back to my eye doctor.

When I was working for an agency, I might have looked at 100 books a year. This headhunter, I figured, might see 100 books a week. Fifty-times the number of books I do.

Not too many months ago, I was seldom if ever on Twitter. To be clear, I didn't understand it. And I had additional disdain for the platform because of how the imposter in chief uses it. I regarded it as a wasteland. Apologies to TS Eliot.

At the time, I had 96 followers.

This lovely headhunter called again and was indignant again. And she let me have it.

"George," she was fairly screaming at me. "George, Twitter is your movie trailer. It's where people go to see what's playing, who's who in advertising."

"I'm not interested," I said.

"George: LISTEN TO ME." I've been smacked across the face by dozens of people in my days. This was a Grade-A whipsaw.

"Twitter is where people shop. Your job is now to tweet. To get a following." 

Kindly, she sent me some Twitter tips. Most of which I followed.

It's six months later now. 

I've gone from 96 Twitter followers to 2,717. 

I ain't exactly Yeezy. Or even Weezy. More likely Sneezy. But that's a big increase.

Can I attribute any revenue to that growth? No.

Is it paying for my new ramshackle cottage on the Long Island Sound? No.

Is it making me better at my job? No.

Do I like it? No.

But somehow I'm getting about 30 calls a month. Sure most of them are duds.

But some of them aren't.

And that's my point today.

Go get your eyes checked.


BTW, this same headhunter sent me a note yesterday. Naturally on Twitter. 

I had mentioned her in a tweet and she's been deluged with calls. 500 or more.

For now, I'm keeping her identity secret.

I am not in the mood for another slapping.

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