Friday, September 26, 2008

A Copywriter, Two Dogs And Me ...

Before I proceed with my post, which by the way is going to be another rant (hey, I love complaining, so sue me!), let me tell you that my toothache is subsiding. The swell is almost gone, the pain is just a little irritable itch (for want of a better word) and I can eat without wincing :D And all that just means that I can go and pig out for the weekend ... LOL!

Ok, now let me get straight to my rant. I don't have much time cos I have some work to complete but needed to get this off my chest. I work in an advertising agency. Most of you know that already. We're not one of the big boys out there. And we don't even try to pretend to be. We're a nice small setup with a small workforce. But we do have pretty big time clients which I cannot name for obvious reasons.

We do work for developers, banks, caterers, embassies and also unfortunately for some our 'intelligent and prestigious' government agencies. Hey, don't look at me like that, they pay well okay. And we're pretty happy with the clients we have and the work we do for them so we have no need to compete with the big boys out there. There's lots of money to be made from below the line advertising.

We keep our staff at a very manageable level so as not to pass on the excessive cost of hiring too many irrelevant people to the clients which is what most agencies do anyway when they hire people to just sit there and shake legs (hey, that sounds like me ... LOL!).

And when the need arises, we engage freelancers like copywriters, photographers, illustrators and the like to do work for us. Saves us a lot more money than hiring them full time. It's not always that a particular work would require the services of a copywriter or a photographer, so why employ them full time, ya? And most of these freelancers are sourced by my boss and me.

Now, we're in the midst of doing a company profile for a particular government link company. They're a big name in the industry and the company profile would need to be pretty extensive and would require some deep copy writing skills. The job has been going on for quite a while and we've gone through 3 copywriters already cos the client basically rejected their copy.

Now, since we engage people to do work for us, that makes us the client instead right? And being the client I would expect the copywriter to come over to our place and discuss things with us. But no, this copywriter insist that we go over to her place and discuss the project there. And on top of that, she dictates the time that we can come over. And since I'm the one who deals with stuff like this, I'm stuck with having to face this person.

Imagine, there I am, on the way to see her and send some literature of the clients over for her, she calls me and tells me, to meet her outside cos she has another appointment! Hello, I thought you have an appointment with me and I even called you to confirm it before heading out. And now you tell me to meet you somewhere else cos someone else needs to see you. What are we? Dog food? We're paying you to do this you know. We're not asking for charity.

This has been going on for as long as I have been dealing with her and when I complain to my boss, she just says,

'Aiyaa Nick, you know how egotistical copywriters are la (no offense to you Marzie) just do what she wants la ...'

Huh? What the heck kind of answer is that? Geez, I don't tell my client to come and see me so I don't expect to be dictated by a supplier at her whims and fancies.

But then, I only work here. So I put up with it. The numerous cancellations, the numerous postponements and all this while I'm halfway there already. But today was the final straw. Today, after nearly 3 months, yes 3 whole months and people in the advertising industry would know that 3 months is a ridiculous time frame to write copy, the first draft is finally ready. So, she calls me and says,

'Nick, the copy is ready. Please come over and pick it up and don't forget to bring the cheque'

Well, okay, it took you 3 months and you want payment right away even. Can we post date the cheque to 3 months from now? Never mind, I confirm the appointment for later and schedule another earlier appointment. But on the way to my earlier appointment, I get a call from her and she says I have to come over now or she can't see me till next week cos she's going to be busy with another project.

I told her I thought the appointment was confirmed for later but she insist that I have to come now. Siggghhh ... I just feel like telling her to go to hell and rot there but I keep my peace. I call my other client and make up some excuse about Jupiter not being in alignment with Venus and that I'll be late because of that and head straight to see this pain in the rear! Good thing this client is a nice person and agrees for a late meeting.

Then I reach her place to pick up the draft and while waiting for it, she lets loose her two huge dogs which thought I was their lunch and proceeds to try and jump on me. Now, I like dogs, in fact I've been wanting to get one but when a dog tries to jump all over me when I'm in my work clothes and start shedding hair all over me, I'm not too happy about it. And I'm dressed in black today, so you know how glaringly visible dog hair is going to look all over me!

I was pissed at her that I just took the draft, threw the cheque at her and stomped out. That was the final straw. I don't care whether she calls and tells my boss about it but I've just about had it with her. From now on, she's going to have to bow to my whims and fancies cos I'm not going to drive to her place anymore just to pick up stuff. She works for us so she should come to us, not the other way round.

And 3 months just to do a draft? I could have done it in half the time it took her! I think I need a vacation after all this. Maybe somewhere overseas but the air travel can be pretty expensive and if you're a frequent flyer, well it just might cost you quite a bit. I suppose this is where those rewards credit cards come in handy. You know the type. The kind of cards that enable you to get rewards when you use them with certain airlines or the kind that accumulates bonus points and you can redeem them for airmiles. The more money you spend, the more miles you can fly.

Well, enough of my rants. I had to let that out of my system or my weekend would have been ruined. Now that it's off my chest, I can smile again :D Besides I've got some dating plans with wifey tomorrow and I don't want to be in a foul mood. Have a great weekend folks ...


  1. I would've made a post-dated cheque bro...and then give her the water pistol treatment!

  2. hahahaa!! did you really throw the cheque to her???
    Well Nick, you know there are many egoistic bombastic kind of people out there..she is definitely one of them la.. have a great weekend with ur family ya..

  3. Lol! I'm amazed how much you put up with her. I would've blacklisted her & look for another copywriter.

  4. Geez...the nerve of some people.

    Why not find another copywriter? She can't be the only copywriter that your company deals with, right?

    Yes, as gallivanter said - give her the water pistol treatment!

    Enjoy your special rendezvous with your wife. Don't forget to give your wife a hug and peck on the cheek at the end of it!

  5. she thinks she's the boss cos your company 'needed' her to make the work done. Perghhh....

    enjoy your weekend Nick!

  6. wah, diva ah?! Times are bad and if she continues to behave this way, no one will hire her!

  7. yeah, forget abt her and her two dogs.. Enjoy your weekend with your wifey! ;-)

  8. She sounds like a real piece of work!

  9. Oh boy!!!!! What a sad day for copywriters kena hentam from Nick ha ha ha!!! :D

    Well, not all of us are like this doggie copywriter u're talking abt here LOL! But seriously la, she should've kept her dogs chained or something.

    Nick for me...last time I used to go visit my clients, but I've stopped making opis calls for 3 years oredi actually. But I have a good reason (my clients totally understand), which I cannot disclose here la he he! BUT I do have my home-office and my clients don mind visiting me u see. Plus, I'm very speedy in meeting deadlines and u know la ad agencies punya deadlines can be very ridic kan? If I cannot take a job cause my plate is already full, I'll surely let my client know beforehand, but most of the time, they still want me for the job and will give me an extension so YAY! Anyway, I am officially on my Raya leave oredi, for one whole week woo hoo! :):):)

  10. Btw, did ur boss like her copy? ;)

  11. well, thats the thing with freelancers. They do operate on their own terms. Im sorry you have to be the one to deal with miss high maintenance.

    At least your toothache is getting better!

  12. Gallivanter - If I was the one preparing the cheques, I would have post dated it for one year! Minimum!

  13. Kadus Mama - No la, I didn't really throw the cheque. I just gave it to her rather harshly ... hehehe ...

    Hope you had a great weekend too.

  14. Perky - Like I said, if it was up to me, I'd have given her hell, but it's the decision of my boss to use her ... siggghhh ...

  15. Perry - No she's not the only one but the decision wasn't mine and my boss doesn't really have face to face encounters with her so she doesn't know the crap I go through.

    Yeah, the water pistol treatment sounds good! LOL!

    The weekend was thoroughly enjoyable but totally exhausting :D

  16. Carol - Yeah, I suppose she does. Seeing as how we need her to get our things done.

    A great weekend to you too.

  17. BT - Diva, that's a good word to describe her :D That might just happen the way I'm going to spread the word about her.

  18. Monica - Now that I've got it off my chest, I'm okay already :D

  19. Marzie - I knew you'd definitely comment for this post ... hehehe ...

    Not all copywriters la, but the ones I've dealt with always give me headaches. I have no issues going over to see them but don't la always cancel the appointments just when I'm about to arrive. I do have other important things to do, like blog ... LOL!

    And just in case I'm too busy or anything, Selamat Hari Raya to you and B! :D

  20. Marzie - my boss hasn't seen the copy yet. As for me, well let's just say I'm not all that happy with it.

  21. Meleah - Not all freelancers are like that. I've known quite a few that are extremely nice and accommodating people. Just the few bad apple that spoils the bunch.

    Ya, I'm glad my toothache is completely gone :D

  22. I used to work with free-lance designers and copy writer too...and have had experienced my share of 'attitude' ones too!

    Take forever to complete first draft, and when client ask to change anything, their unwillingness to co-operate will make me want to slap them to wake them up! You need money, you free-lance, so when there's money, why aren't you doing your job well???

    Great that i no longer has to deal with these people...

    Of course, there are good ones too, with great working attitude even though they are free-lance. On time delivery, their professionalism shows when they accept comments from my client...these, i remember them and would recommend clients to them every now and then.

  23. KM - Oh, you were in advertising before? At least you know how cocky some of them can be.

    I agree that there are some pretty nice and decent ones and these cocky freelancers give the rest of them a bad name! I do the same, which is to recommend them to clients as well, the good ones I mean :D

  24. Empty Streets - Thank you :D Happy weekend to you ...

  25. Wow scary la ur agency Nick! Oh for me, I'll never cancel an appt if someone is coming over. I'm actually quite disciplined, but then again I'm oso a perfectionist, so always try to do my best for my clients. But sometimes my clients oso don appreciate me like the one that scolded me when I asked for payment remember??? But still, I give them face, so maybe it's time for ME to put my foot down he he! :)

  26. Marzie - It's a scary place over here ... hehehe ... There are one or two that give you guys a bad name and you're right, clients can be a pain too ... hehehe ... I'm sure I make a pretty nasty client myself ... LOL!

    But yeah, when it comes to payment, put your foot down, in fact, stomp your foot even :D

  27. Pardon me for saying but that copy writer sounds like an arrogant bitch. She should have come to you ALWAYS and should never have dictated anything to you or your company.

    I'm glad your toothache is a lot better :)

  28. Gypsy - She is an arrogant bitch as far as I'm concerned! I normally don't put up with too much crap like this but sometimes I just have to follow orders ... siggghhh ...


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