By and large, the advertising business is filled with good people. They’re smart and creative and funny and generally agreeable. Yes, there are prima donnas, as you would expect in a business that requires confidence and a healthy ego to survive. And yes, there are jerks, as there are everywhere in this wide world. But overall, since it’s a creative field, the people it attracts are generally people who just want to have fun.
What sparked today’s thought, though, is I saw someone I used to work with the other day. He was one of the rare scumbags on the agency side I’ve had the displeasure to work with. An agency I worked for hired him to be its New Business Director. It was his responsibility to find leads, get us into pitches, and help us win the business.
After he was fired for non-performance, we found out he was farming leads like he was supposed to, but then he was telling prospective clients he could personally do the work cheaper than the agency could. Wow. Still infuriates me just to write this. I don’t know if he was successful in any of his underhanded overtures, but there aren’t many people in my life I’ve run across that I thought were lower. And yeah, yeah, I know, it’s not the lowest thing in the world, but come on, join me in my contextual outrage here.
I knew he lived in a town close to me, so I prepared myself for what I would say if I ever saw him again. But when I finally did, the situation didn’t lend itself to my saying anything at all. My wife and I were driving through the parking lot of our neighborhood grocery store, and I saw this guy walking out of the store right towards us. I didn’t place him right off since it’s been a few years, but I knew I knew him. Then when I realized who it was, I looked away. I was wearing shades, but I think he recognized me too and did the exact same thing.
I guess he moved into my neighborhood, which means I’ll probably run into him again, but this time, I’ll be ready. He was into new age thinking. You know, worshipping the universe as a sentient being instead of God.
So when the day finally comes that I run into him amongst the Fuji apples and butter lettuce, I’ll inform him, casually yet firmly, “Your faith may be in the Universe, but your ethics are in Uranus.”