Since we lost an account to an international, sad to say, the business has never recover. The account itself worth a handsome six, seven figure yearly. For a small sized agency, this is a lot. A few of such are enough to keep the business running. If... I said if we have more accounts like this.
For the lost, we squeezed from a 2000+ square feet office premise into a 700+ square feet shop lot. We don't even have our own floor; we were at the mezzanine. The place is so small, the back was just a spit away. When the phone rings, intercoms are deemed pointless. Hence, the receptionist was asked to leave. Some staffs are forced to work a 4-day week, deducted salary, voluntarily. Creatives are spared, deductions on incapable ones. Buddy's replacement, came in as a freelancer. A servicing who left earlier, was replaced by a new senior. Contract-based. Which ended recently. The creatives had taken over the servicing.
I started brushing up my folios. Bombarding resumes. Mass apply to jobs online. Who said the time is bad? It may be at internationals, not at small shops. I got a few calls. I know, I know, they are merely a "job", not something you would look too far ahead for. But if you were in my shoes, will you take it? For the time being?
I tendered. They countered. I stayed. They matched with what the other side offered. Most importantly, that place, isn't what I wanted.
But this is only half of the story.
After staying back for a couple of months, I've been hearing rumours flying around. We might close down. By mid year. Twenty years in business to end up this way, is really bad. Even if the business did sustain, it won't be "advertising" anymore. An advertising agency not doing advertising? What are we then? Boss' personal designers? Of her own side businesses? It's hard for me to be in love with what I'm doing, and now, all these shit? I'm very worried. I'm very depressed.
For as long as I still have the fire, I'm not going down.
For years I've been reading "underground" news of the industry. Accounts movement. Agencies movement. People movement. In just 3 years, I've been going in and out at internationals. Met with all the creative directors. Well, almost all of them. Hoping to land my feet in. Some chats that sounded promising, will just got lost in the way. With their forever famous line, "We just lost an account. Hiring on hold.". And apparently, copywriters are more sought after. To a point I think, am I leaning towards the wrong side? Should I try? But writing, isn't my strength.
I almost give up.
Time is running out. I don't want to waste few more sad years in a small shop doing the same old shit again. This is not what I wanted. I have a dream. A big dream of working in internationals, ever since I endured in the advertising life. I'm seriously not young anymore. And I haven't fulfill them.
I get hold of creative directors I met before again. And some new ones. After a few in-and-outs, I got accepted in one. Finally. After years of envy. To creatives already working in one. Producing award-winning works.
The hotshot who gave me the big break, was the one who knew me better than rest. Knew my style. Knew my works. And was the one I turned down an offer some years back. Some other time on this irony, perhaps.
Apa lagi? Of course take it lah! Still wanna think meh? And off I go.
The rumours, are in fact a real news. My boss was telling me after she received the letter.
It just seems like yesterday. The serving notice part was quick. After deducting available leaves, which left me with only twelve days. Inclusive of weekends. Inclusive of extra days I was requested to stay back. Time really passes. Guess I was too busy with the handovers, and there's so much backing ups to do. I actually missed the countdown.
The farewell lunch was simple. My speech, was concise.
Yesterday, was my last day. As much as I disapprove the working style and the creativity standards here, people are really nice. The last couple of hours was really, really hard for me. My heart sink. I burst in tears. And here's the thing at places with nicer-than-average people. I wouldn't give a damn if the people were fuck-ups.
Zoky's birthday falls on the 1st. Yes, on April Fools.
Just the right timing for a double celebration. Went to Pyramid after my last farewell goodbye. I brought her a bouquet of orchids. And two slices of cheese cake. One candle included. There's a hint of shine in her. Seeing the red glow on her cheeks. The sweet smile on her lips. The shimmers in her eyes. No, you should see mine.
We had Bali's. After we were done, we went for a short walk. I helped to carry the bouquet. She reluctantly let me at first. Saying she couldn't imagine me (guy) carrying it all around. But what's wrong with that leh? I was carrying it earlier for a good half an hour looking for the restaurant before I met her. I then relate to her I wouldn't even mind to carry her handbag as well. That's one new thing, and one I forgot to add to this list.
Went to see her new cute car before we leave. Ah, at least it suits her better than driving her father's. We briefly parted. And went home. Can't wait to scale Phuket with her, and a couple of her friends. Off reality before I commence in May.
As I was writing these, the creative director texted me. My letter is ready for signing and pick up.
A new challenge awaits.