Archive for November 2007

Six Months In

November 15, 2007

I’m now six months into my account planning career. And as you can see, I haven’t had time to post anything here in… well.. six months. Need I say more?

But in all honesty, being busy is great. The longer I’m here, the more I get to come into work every morning feeling important and like I’m contributing to really good work being done. Also, the days fly by much faster. I don’t miss those long intern days staring at reports and the same computer screen for hours on end whatsoever.

I’ve been fortunate to meet and work with lots of teams here at the agency so far, and I’ve learned and taken something from, I feel, everyone I’ve met here. Whether that’s learning to talk slower, think longer, take risks, or just have more fun. Everybody has helped me grow and get more from my job, even indirectly.

I wore a jacket for the first time in Dallas today. Coats and Texas go together like oil and water in my mind, so it’s a bizarre concept to me. I’m adjusting.

So glad I made the decision to pull myself out of the interview loop at other agencies and come straight here after graduating. I’m getting to do the work of a real planner right off the bat, and I still have time (most days) to enjoy life and explore Dallas.

It’s amazing what you find and can take from even the most simple of situations. For example, a few weeks ago a man was broken down on the road outside of work, and asked for some gas money. A lifelong believer in karma, I gave him five dollars. The next day, I learned that this guy does this every week, and it’s practically how he makes a living. I guess I just trust and have too much faith in people… and I’ve learned this in my job too, even through little things like over-estimating people and their ability to tell the truth in getting through a focus group screener. What can I say? I’m learning.

There have been great little moments of learning too. I took a weekend trip to New Orleans with a friend a few months ago, and on the plane, was reminded of this beautiful concept of diversity- something I’ve kind of missed since the college days. We hit massive turbulence on the plane… there was a very, very bad storm. We ultimately ended up turning around and flying back to Dallas because we couldn’t decend in the storm. But by that time we were in the eye of it, the plane was crashing against pockets of air and the the effect was like a slow jackhammer coming down on us… we were probably dropping a hundred feet at a time over and over. It was bad… people were holding onto the ceiling and their armrests like a roller coaster bar. Anyway, a girl two rows in front of us just completely lost it- crying hysterically saying we were going to die and how she knew she shouldn’t have got on this plane. Well, in her row was (and I’m not making this up) a nun, a punk teenager, a large black woman, a gay guy, and a cowboy. Every one of them was consoling her in their own way. It was fascinating to see the mechanisms each person chose to try and rectify the situation. Ultimately though, I was less interested in each person’s effectiveness in calming the hysterical girl as I was in how a person in distress created a dynamic in which the diverse indentities worked together to form a family for this girl- they were all she had, and it was like the differences didn’t matter becuase they couldn’t. Nobody could leave or do anything about the situation, and they were stuck next to each other anyway. I wish those of us on the ground viewed human diversity in a more similar fashion.

That’s all for now.