Tuesday, September 22, 2015

That went well

This is how my boss wishes he looked
I met with my boss, one-on-one, last week about Christine the Mole. I was shocked by how little heknew about the situation, and how badly my agency is handling it. I must own part of that, for I assumed the Powers that Be were on top of it. Consequently, I let it go on too long.

I won't go into too much detail, but here's the deal: I get what's going on with my client, Sheila. The Big Project is very important in the short-term for her career, but for her company -- a Fortune 500 behemoth -- it's a blip. I know this because of we recently kicked off the annual January Initiative and it's the same as it was for January 2015. The Big Project will kick off to consumers in November and by January it's already old news?

So I've capitulated a lot to Christine on The Big Project, feeling that it's not worth the agita to fight with her. And fight we would! She wants to change every damn word I write to make it consistent with the 16 pages of legal. Yes, she believes consistency, thou art a jewel, and I should speak to consumers in the big type the way the lawyers have in the small print. I've argued with her when she's been at her most egregious, but often I've given in to get along.

I don't believe this damaged Sheila -- she's interested in hitting her dates, not in quality, and not fighting with Christine helps grease the skids. Besides, despite all the meetings and hours and words and pictures we've all sunk into The Big Project, it will really only be in the spotlight for a matter of weeks. Over the holidays, when consumers won't even be paying attention. The initial print runs are respectable, but there's no second printing scheduled. And, as I say, it's already virtually invisible by The January Initiative.

But when Christine started fucking around with The January Initiative, I had to act. Yes, I owe it to my agency to get along with my coworkers, to be efficient, to contribute to a copacetic workplace. But I also owe it to my client to serve them as well as possible. The January Initiative, though! My client's company counts on this for nearly 25% of the division's revenue! No, she cannot make that advertising copy read like page 11 of the Terms and Conditions. No, no, no!

I outlined everything to my boss and he completely got it. He did. He said Christine has to respect what I know, to stop reworking my copy, to concentrate on catching typos (which I admit I make and need help to correct) and marketing detail but to stay out of the creative lane.

I also hope he got something important -- Christine isn't too bright. If I can understand the role The Big Project really plays, just by reading the project brief for The January Initiative, why can't she? When I pointed out all the January indicators, he got it immediately. She has to be told?

I hope he remembers this next time they discuss making her a permanent employee. She's not only political and scheming, she's dull as dishwater. And we need someone sharp in that position.

Monday I didn't see Christine at all. She stayed on her side of the floor, communicating with me only by email, so I know he conveyed his concerns to her. Is this good or bad? Will the remaining three months of her tenure be tense? Oh well, it can't be helped. I can't let her do anything that will damage the client's business.