I figured that if I’m going to have a conversation – as regularly as I can manage -- with folks in the Blogosphere it would be rude not to introduce myself.
Hi. I’m Polly Pearson – I came into this world 41 years ago. When in school I never thought I had any signature talent. I liked to do a little of everything. I was more drawn to subjects like art and writing than to math and science. The day I took a media class and sat in front of a camera was the first time I got that tickle in the back of my brain that felt good. It was kind of like the first time I did the zip wire at Outward Bound Camp. It was scary and great all at the same time.
In college I majored in communication. I thought I wanted to go into Advertising until I took my last core course, Public Relations. Bingo. That brain tickle happened again. When I graduated I started looking for jobs in either Advertising or PR. The economy was crappy and no one back then liked to hire new college grads. There was a real popular show on TV called “Thirty-something” about people who worked in advertising – so suddenly everyone wanted to be in advertising. It was totally unfair because in my mind I called it first.
Anyway I got my first job in the communication business in what was then the lowest possible type of job in advertising … recruitment advertising. We made those ugly little help wanted ads for the Sunday Help Wanted section of newspapers. (Do those still exist?!) Only our (insert arrogant, fancy-sounding voice here) “agency-produced” ads were much less ugly. We even called them campaigns. We had copywriters, typesetters (!), paste up artists (!), proof readers, account executives and people like me, Account Coordinators. All of my clients would call me on deadline day – Thursday – to have their help wanted ad make it into the Sunday paper.
I wrote the ads, worked with the paste up artists on the design, hovered over the typesetters’ shoulders as they set the type, ran it to the proof reading group to make sure all the comas were in the right spots, took photos of the “artwork” in a black room, faxed the ad to client to get their approval and popped it in a FedEx envelope or gave it to our driver who would drive it to the airport to get it on the last flight to whatever city the ad was going to.
I did about 75 of these ads every Thursday. We worked until 2am usually, sometimes until 3. It was fun hell. It was burn out city. We got paid dirt, too. But most of the artists and account coordinators were all right out of college so we had fun doing it together. I’m still great friends with many of the folks I worked along-side of at this “agency.”
One day I went home and cried. I was tired and burnt and it wasn’t fun anymore. My husband took one look at me and said, “Quit!” Quit? I’d never quit anything before in my life. There was nothing I couldn’t do. I don’t quit.
I quit. To be continued ….