WTH, I actually tried to be an ad man

So I’m continuing to stay positive, to try to get my charges to rise from their intellectual slumber, and it involves raising my energy levels, so I can raise theirs. And it’s a slow process, like cold starting a warp core of a starship that’s 30 years in the icy deep and just found. Okay, so maybe not that extreme and pardon the Trek reference, but I have faith they will thaw bit by bit. Maybe the more cynical ones will take a longer time but they’re my critics who will make me try harder and be better. Like Pausch says about brick walls – they’re there so you know what you really want to get at and therefore will do things to get over.

And what’s this about trying to be an ad man? Well I had a talk with a grp that’s having problems with their project and I had to chew them out as gently as I could in the beginning just to give them a sense of how serious the sit was. You could tell they were scrambling all over the place and they were just not in the state of mind to move forward. So I suggested they think about it this way – what if you were a bunch of Bizad undergrads interning at a major ad agency and you’ve just been thrown together for a final year project and your ‘jaded mentor’ – me – has just thrown you a socially downtrodden client who’s desperately in need of a branding revolution and you’re the guys who will either make junior execs or break this chance-in-a-lifetime? Then I left them to attend a sharing. And guess what? 40 minutes later they were still there talking, and they ran a couple of ideas off of me. Ok, they were rough round the edges but it’s a start right? I could see the optimism in their faces – that for once there’s light at the end of the tunnel, that if they keep at it they’ll be ok. Together.

I’m proud of them. For staying. For trying. They made my day. Just one pure moment when their faces shone. I played a small part in doing that. I never thought I could do that ever again. Especially not after the emotional tsunami of this week. But it happened.

When Sze expressed how right she was for The Job on Facebook about a week ago, it got me thinking how I envied her, how I’d never feel the way she feels. It also made me feel really bad cos I was SO far from feeling what she was feeling. But I think today I’m feeling a little of that now. I don’t need all 49 of my charges exploding ideas and opinions everywhere after just 1 Twittamentary teaser screening. But just 1 shining face, 1 effort touched by inspiration, and it could fuel me to continue doing this – for me and them. Because I may not be here long, and I don’t want to look back at my time here and say I didn’t do the things I always wanted to do, or I didn’t do them enough. So I’m doing them now, or trying to, and I know they’ll make me so proud.

I even Whatsapped her to say thanks for sharing the Twittamentary experience with me, cos I would not have been able to show it to the kiddos to inspire them if she hadn’t. This was after we exchanged quiet ‘hi’s as I walked by the GO, so I thought I’d risk it. No reply so far, but it’s ok. It was just a little gesture on my part to say things can be ok, if we want them to. If not, that’s fine too.

I’m mtg another grp tmr. Should I still be the jaded mentor of an ad man? Or try something different? I don’t know yet. They seem to be more ‘with it’ so maybe it’ll have to be a nuanced performance. We’ll see.


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