Or Google did.
I discovered that since I started my first agency job back on December 9, 1984 till today, not counting a couple of short stints where I was trying my hand at unemployment, I’ve worked in agencies for 12,568 days--that is just under 34.5 years.
I think I could say that throughout those 12,568 days, the current ones I am writing my way through might be the toughest and most tumultuous.
Maybe there’s a bit of hyperbole there. Because no one lasts all that time without being put through the ringer ten times or 14. It’s likely you’ve worked on accounts that have fired your agency. Agencies that couldn’t pay their bills. Agencies that have merged, or gone belly up, or been bought or sold to a holding company.
You’ve probably survived 100 new bosses, 200 new partners, 300 new chief marketing officers. 5,000 bad lunches, 20 cancelled vacations, 1,000 missed weekends, 3,000 late nights, 4,000 crash-and-burn assignments, countless nine-page briefs and more.
You’ve lasted through 15 typewriters, 25 computers, 2,000 days of ‘the wireless is not working.’ You endured indecision, misdirection, bad direction, no direction and directile disfunction. You’ve been ignored, dumped on, ignored while being dumped on, and given the silent treatment. You’ve been screamed at, demoted, promoted, motivated and demotivated. You’ve worked on thousands of commercials, thousands of print ads, hundreds of radio commercials, and what seems like billions of banners.
Still, these days might be the toughest and most tumultuous.
No use going into the reasons why.
Years ago, I read something somewhere about how fish survive through winter in those frozen ponds, from back when things used to actually freeze. It may or may not be true, but I heard that they can actually lower their piscine heart-beat-rate to something like three or four beats a minute. That’s how they endure adversity.
None of us have that control, of course, over our internal pump. And work, friendships, commitment and personal integrity demand that we show up every day and bust our asses. So that’s what I’ll continue to do. As long as they let me.
I’ll do what I do. And keep envying those fish.