We Start Out Hopeful Then Everything Turns To Sh*t. Or The Endurance Of The Human Spirit.

It never ceases to amaze me how people endure the most difficult, nebulous or desperate situations – and just go on. They get up. Go to work. Eat a meal. Do laundry.


My neighbor moved out yesterday. Just a guy, a small U-Haul and a day of schlepping back-and-forth. Out of a 2600-square-foot house with a pool, dying yard and eerie quiet.

When he moved there, about four years ago, it was him, his wife, his teenage sons every-other week, and eventually – his new baby. Then grandma was there every day to take care of the baby while everyone was a work and school.

Then the guy lost his job. He was out of work for more than a year. This is Las Vegas.

He quit paying the mortgage because the house was now worth less than he owed. He and his wife split – she moved out months ago. Then the house was sold on a short-sale.

Glad he was able to sell. A small victory when banks still work to make the process impossible.

That’s all behind him and he can move on.

That’s reality.

Working in an ad agency is just working in an ad agency. We act – and feel – like it’s our life. And actually, it is for most of us who love advertising. The agency becomes our family. We spend a lot of time with them, and they’re the ones who are there with you when you turn 30, 50 or 65; or when you get the call from school that your kid was spotted leaving with the red-headed-kid at 10am and you have to leave to track him down only to find they’re smoking pot in the basement; or when you find out you dad died.

Then we go on.

It’s the camaraderie, or perhaps the simple need to survive, that we stick together and show up for work every day.

We show up even when the boss does insanely stupid shit and requires endless re-works because he’s just not seeing it, only to revert back to original the work. Or doesn’t show up for days, weeks or months on end – only to finally make an appearance to tell you that now Everything is gonna change. Or despite everything you know to be true, tells you to do things in his new and improved way – because he’s just come from either an inspirational Management Summit full of gurus who bloviate on the merits of Failure, or he just got ripped a new-one because he’s just-not-doing-his-job-and-he-better-get-with-the-program-or-he-is . . . gone.

We show up and do our jobs, turn out great work – or as great as we can given the circumstances – and eventually, we short-sell, get the hell out, and start a new life.

The ability of individuals to endure, work like dogs, and still find enjoyment in a few things here and there, is truly remarkable.

You have each-other. And trust me on this: nothing lasts forever, so just carve-out what you can now and move on as soon as a good opportunity presents itself.

You are the ones making the business run. Think about it. You are remarkable.