For lent, this lapsed catholic is giving up mortal combat, being nice to stupid people and any pretense of saving the Mets bullpen. I don’t take the lenten season like gospel (pun intended), but it does sort of feel like a nice karmic rewind, kind of like new year’s resolutions with some actual gravitas. My own contribution was to go to Wegman’s on Fat Tuesday morning and load up on enough Paczkis for everybody in the office. For $10.00 I think I improved my office karma. There is a drop dead gorgeous woman who works in the accounting office, who never seems to be having the best of days, who appeared in my office doorway with as close to a delighted look on her face as I’ve ever seen her. (I know what you are thinking but remember the axiom of “Fishing off the company pier.”)
Had a tough time keeping a straight face through a couple of meetings yesterday. I love the show Entourage on HBO and last season Martin Landau was on, playing an aging out of touch producer. His reoccuring phrase was always something along the lines of “If___________, would that be something you would be interested in?” One of our new ads reps is that guy. He spent the first 30 minutes of a meeting pontificating about wines and what scotches are best, eventually moving on to direct mail. As he is talking, I had already mentally cast in him Martin Landau’s role. It was uncanny. The other person in the meeting is an Entourage fan and thinking the same thing. It was like watching a doppleganger in action. She handed me a note and I could feel my face forming a tell-tale stupid smirk. He was a very nice man, but then he said it: “if I can get that price, would that be something you would be interested in?” My colleague had to excuse herself. It was too on the money, and I took the deal. Moral of the story is that Mr. Landau does his homework. And that I kept it together as my silly grin went no further until he left. The guy brought me a bottle of wine, so I got to work with some respect.
After that moment of high comedy, I got dragged into a presentation from an ad agency who is trolling for business and offered to do something for free. Never mind that we have an agency for media stuff and for creative things we have well, me. Good soldier that I am, I went along with the uberboss and my boss to listen to the high shenanigans. The agency creative director was already in my dog house. It is our second meeting and both times he has crapped all over concepts whose biggest sins were that he didn’t think of them. They worked so there. The uberboss brings her dog to the office which is cool because the dog is a border collie and say hello to everybody, but spends her time behind a gate in the boss’s office. That’s where we met with these guys. Woman’s best friend wanders the table during the meeting. I’m doing my best to be polite as the bosses ask some questions of the presentation. The creative director says something unkind toward our campaign from last fall (which worked). I hear something sounding like growling. It was coming from the dog. Turned out she was playing with a toy and trying to free it from the table, but she was snarling right under the director type, which scared the pompous right out of him. I couldn’t help it, I laughed. Seeing a guy taller than me jump rather,well girlishly, from a dog that was paying him no mind at all, was comedy.
Finally, one last little vignette for you. In the aftermath of cleaning up the convention center from last week’s benefit, one of the restaurants was headed out with one of the signs we printed up for them. To keep costs down, we recycle. The benefit in theory is put on by this board. The board men complain about the board women (who work) and none would do anything without the actual staff leading the way. Anyway this board member comes running up to me saying this restaurant was taking their sign. Keep in mind, this same dithering soul was stuffing his face all night long. I simply told him, ask for it back. Their staff wasn’t anything to be afraid of. That didn’t stop him from sounding alarmingly like Barney Fife at the prospect of actually talking to people. Annoyed, I went over and recovered the sign. Flash to last night and the review of the event. I earned more laughs, but probably his anger when talking about vendors, I took out the two stainless steel balls that a friend bought for me two christmases ago and told the nebbish “You might need these more than I do for talking to vendors.”
Reactions in the room were the perfect cherry on the cake that was my day.