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Book of Jobs Part 3


by Chris Auman

Remember my four-day stint on that river boat (RW#23)? I like to refer to that gig as the Second Worst Job I’ve Ever Had. My five weeks at an advertising agency trumped it due only to the duration of the ordeal. In 2006, I left the scruffy classified crew behind in an attempt to move up the ladder, or “sell out”, as it were. I got a tip from a relative who had a friend who had a daughter who worked at the downtown ad agency I like to refer to as Suck Co. Through that connection, I was hired on as an editor, although I was basically a glorified proofreader with only one person under me; the actual proofreader.

Along with four production people, our team was tasked with creating a never ending stream of newspaper ad inserts for a big box retailer. The client, who shall remain nameless, had recently gone through a management "shake up". They continually changed their style rules as well as the products they featured, as well as the price.

My average work day was from 8:30 am to one or two the following morning. Mondays and Fridays I could expect to be out of there as early as 9:30 or 10pm. The amount of actual productive time in that day was probably less than half of those 13 to 16 hour days. The rest of the time I spent in a semi-comatose state staring at my computer screen drinking several quarts of coffee per day in between horrible meals sourced by Suck Co. from some of the South Loop’s worst restaurants.

Suck Co. seemed to be a horribly managed company. One incident that I remember with particular amusement (but at the time, disgust) was a request from the Vice President of Who the Fuck Knows. One morning this VP sent an email to everyone on the very tired and overworked team asking that we list all the office supplies and equipment we used in the course of a day. The point of this I guess was… who the fuck knows? Having neither the time nor inclination to take inventory of staplers and paperclips on this particular day, I ignored the email. Later an intern-type person hand-delivered to me a copy of the email printed on very nice paper inserted in a very fancy envelope. Why it was so important for this VP to know that I used a stapler, a computer, pens, pencils and a calculator—and needed to know right now!—was beyond my comprehension. Three weeks in and I couldn’t take the lack of sleep, the bad restaurant food and the total and complete absurdity of it all. I put in my two week notice. I had no clue where I would work next.

Lollapaloozer >>

Originally published in RW#24, 2014

RW #24

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