Thursday, February 16, 2006


So in my eternal quest to keep "The Man" happy (a.k.a. remain gainfully employed), I'm sometimes (regularly) asked to do things I don't really like. What kinds of things, you may ask? (Or more likely not, but you've read this far, don't stop now!) Well, I work in marketing, so my job is to find ways to invade your life and convince you it would be better if you picked XYZ. In my case, XYZ is a financial related product.

Who likes thinking about this kind of financial stuff?

No one.

I'm not into the sexy financial stuff like stocks, I'm into the stuff where people cringe and back away slowly when you mention it.

So my job is to sell you something that you probably need but don't want to think about.

In a recent planning meeting where suggestions for future campaigns were becoming increasingly sleazy, I finally said, "I'm all for creative new ideas, but can we please keep in mind that I have to go home at night and live with myself?"

(Obviously I'm not very good with The Man as I have this bad habit of saying what I actually think. So far it's worked for me, but who know how long that'll hold out.)

Also, my job means I that regularly deal with pushy sales people who call and try to convince me they've discovered the next television or something.

"Advertise with us! We'll take stickers with your logo on them and put them on dollar bills, which we'll then distribute through strip clubs."

What genius decided this was a good marketing scheme?

"I know, we'll advertise on money in strip joints. Then when drunk, horny guys are stuffing bills into the strippers' g-strings, maybe they'll see the stickers and remember us."
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for strip clubs. And the idea is just strange enough that it might work. But it's definitely more appropriate for a Jose Cuervo or Axe.

So maybe the better question is: What genius decided to try to sell this scheme to a financial institution?

And why do they have to call me once a week to see if I've changed my mind about the idea? Maybe they're hoping I've recently fallen and taken a hit to the head which has erased my memory and seriously addled my wits. It's always possible, I suppose.

It's not all bad though. I get to work with all kinds of people including celebrities, major sports figures and bikini models. (Don't ask why bikini models are more appropriate than strip clubs. We put the models in not-so-revealing clothing, which in my opinion defies the entire purpose of their being bikini models, but there it is.) I get to test the newest video games before they hit the market and I get insight into new Hollywood projects before the actors have even been cast. I'm required to watch TV and attend sporting events. I get to travel. Most importantly, no two days are the same - a major criteria on my list for not getting bored.

Plus, I get interesting projects, like "Start a blog." Yup, I started this for work and am wasting company time on this crap. Ultimately the idea is to understand what all the buzz is about. I think I get it, but I should probably do further research to be sure... ;)

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