Early in my career I had a very funny and very talented boss named Ed Butler. I worked for him while I was at Ally & Gargano.
I spent some time thinking of Ed today because back then he used two phrases quite a lot. They're phrases that aren't used often enough today.
If you and your partner showed Ed an ad that sucked, he would say, "That's flat as a plate of piss." It was neither kind nor gentle. I suppose today people would call HR if a boss used words like that. But we were more liberal back then. We accepted the criticism and people like Ed who cared passionately about good work.
The other phrase Ed used was "the work was pecked to death by geese." You know, when the gaggle of clients start in on an ad, or a photo, or a piece of copy. Pick pick pick. Peck peck peck.
Happens every day.
Ed taught me to fight for good work. To let something die before permitting compromise and to at least attempt to keep my humor up while being pecked.
It was never about him. It was always about the work.
I miss him.