The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Bye & Ta …
January 6, 2009, 7:40 am
Filed under: Comment

Yes I know I said I wasn’t going to be back till Feb, but when my blood boils, I need to let the pressure out or I’ll explode.

Photo: Zen Traveller

So one of my wonderful creative colleagues, Simon, brought up an interesting point …

We all know there is a recession on … however there’s this mentality that a recession represents a defined period of time and once that has past, everything will go back to what it was before.

And I think he’s right … people talk about the recession as if it will all be over in 12, 24, 36 months however that doesn’t mean things will be exactly as they were prior to this event – I don’t think the people who lost their homes, jobs and savings will wake up one morning and suddenly find everything is better again.

This is not a recession, this is life … and to get out of it will require more than just billions being shoved into the economy, it’ll require a fundamental shift in companies and communities attitudes.

However this isn’t the purpose behind this post …

As I wrote previously, some companies are using this period of financial uncertainty to demonstrate all the care and consideration of Pol Pot … however one organisation has come to my attention that is demonstrating such a ‘them and us’ attitude that even England’s class system would regard it as bad taste.

Photo: Ray

A certain ad agency in Singapore has DICTATED that there can be no holiday time for the first 6 months of the year.

Yep, despite this being something you get as part of your overall remuneration package … and something legally binding … this company doesn’t want a single person having any holidays till at least June.

Given most bosses get the shits when more than 2 people book any time off that crosses over, I daren’t imagine the shit attack that will go on when 200 odd people all ask for time off in the final 6 months of the year.

“But won’t they pay out for holiday’s unused given they’ve influenced when people can take time off?” I hear you cry.

Not a chance …

This bunch of skinflints think it is OK to refuse all holidays and then refuse to recompense you, even though it’s because of them you’ve not been able to go anywhere in the first place.

But that ladies and gentleman is nothing …

Oh no …

You see on top of the ‘no holidays’ rule, they’ve also said – I kid you not – that EVERYONE has to be in the office from 8:30am to 8:30pm, even if they have finished all their work and have none left to do.

Of course this ‘rule’ doesn’t count for the senior management who can go off and get pissed under the guise of ‘business planning’ every night, but for everyone else, they have to be sat at their desks waiting to be allowed home.

“But surely they’ll get overtime given they’re being asked to work 3 hours longer than they are paid for?” I hear you ask again.


Not a dime.

And it’s not because of the current financial crisis though that is the very convenient excuse they’re using to justify their outrageous behaviour.

Photo: Flint Knits

Holiday is not a gift. it’s a right … and if companies want their people working happily and effectively, they need to ensure they can get their fair share of rest/invigoration because working them to the bone – or simply scaring them into doing whatever menial task you want – is going to lead to the sort of loyalty you get in the English Premier League.

As far as I am concerned, this is bullying pure and simple – but then the guy behind this stupid idea is one of the most delusional, selfish, arrogant, chip-on-the-shoulder wankers I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting and I just hope he gets what he deserves because he’s got away with being a tyrant for too long.

What’s worse is that in a bid to kiss the arse of the idiot behind all this nonsense, a load of the middle tier managers are trying to impress him with their feats of staff misery which is why there’s now a load of people who not only have to work a minimum of 12 hours every day, but on weekends as well.

I once was in a meeting where I believed this guy when he said his staff were the most important thing to him.

Within days I knew he was a liar and when I called him on it, he went apoplectic with rage. What was better was I brought this up infront of the Worldwide CEO. It was one of my better days.

To be fair to him, he probably doesn’t realise he treats his staff like slaves, he’s such an ego maniac he probably believes his staff love being shouted at, given no respect, encouragement or consideration … but he’s wrong, and you just have to look at his agency staff turnover figures to realise that.

Despite all their systems, processes, proprietary tools and research, adland is more reliant on ‘people power’ than almost any other industry and if all multinationals approach these challenging times in the same manner as this Singaporean agency, then the final nail will be firmly hammered into the communication industry coffin.

If you work at the agency in question … don’t believe their brainwashing lies … you can get a better job elsewhere and you deserve it because without you, they are literally nothing.

Good luck.

31 Comments so far
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2008 was a fucking shit year but forget all the claims of doom by the worlds fucking economists and “trend experts”, campbell is back to his fucking vicious justice seeking best and that can only mean positive times ahead. well for everyone but the fuckers he rips the piss out of.

fucking good post campbell. too many in adland think theyre donald fucking trump despite the only thing theyve achieved is make a fucking weak cup of tea, shagging around and having shit hair.

you dont say who the agency is but i am guessing the title of this post is a pretty shit code for them. dont give up your day job but i hope the fuckers behind those fucked up decisions do or better still have the decision made for them.

if they come out with “our staff are our greatest asset” i hope theres a fucking revolution. im going to trawl their website and look for more fucking hypocrisy. what a bunch of wankers

Comment by andy@cynic

I take the 5th … 🙂

Comment by Rob

you can claim to take the 6th 7th 8, 9 and fucking 10th for all i care campbell, youre not a yank so you are fucking ordered to tell me whether my deduction powers are up there with inspector fucking morse. or paul, lol

Comment by andy@cynic

I claim diplomatic immunity then …

Comment by Rob

diplomatic immunity? from where, campbelldom? thats on the axis of wankers isnt it?

Comment by andy@cynic

You don’t take the 5th Campbell, you plead it. Like down on your knees begging pleading. It’s not communion.

Tell us. Because I want to ensure I never work there in the future.

Comment by Angus

campbell hasnt confirmed it but my bet is the title of this post is a big fucking clue. could be wrong so dont fucking sue but i know how campbell thinks (its not hard) so id put some money on it being a clue even stevie fucking wonder could see.

Comment by andy@cynic

“And it’s not because of the current financial crisis though that is the very convenient excuse they’re using to justify their outrageous behaviour.”

So what is the real reason? Is it the bullying that you mention? Or do they really believe that these actions will benefit their company/their career/their shit haircuts?

Comment by Ben

You said it: Pol Pot.

Comment by fredrik sarnblad

I think Andrew’s favourite phrase of “children playing at adults” is rather apt here. Ridiculous actions by a company obviously in crisis.

Comment by Lee Hill

Just wanted to say – nice post and your right-on-the-money here with what you are saying…..

Only thing is, we’re all going to feel the hard times regardless and like you said mate its going to take another 7year cycle before the market is slamming again and everyone is winning pitches and going to the pub from 3pm!

I’d like to add – the companies who will be able to navigate their way through the wall of shite thats here will be 100% better off and stronger.

I was told once by my mentor whos runs a every well know global comms agency, “if your going to go out Bart you may as well go out fucking kicking and screaming……dont give up buddy!”

Later and see you all on the otherside of this brown wall.

Comment by Bart Jawien

Thought you’d like the Pol-Pot link Mr Fred …

Hi Bart, nice to have you pop by, hope you come again.

Absolutely times are going to be tough for companies – but treating your staff like worthless slaves isn’t going to get you out of it, because good leaders know great ideas can come from everyone and if you nurture, challenge, inspire and educate your people so they are actually better than you are in many areas, they will ultimately pay you back with loyalty, effort and contributions that can make even the darkest times brighter.

Sadly the company in question has a leader who thinks he is Einstein but as a very clever person once said to me, if you think you’re the most intelligent you’re actually showing how wrong you can be.

Comment by Rob

Got it Andy, thanks.

Comment by Angus

mate – i work with agencies across Asia Pacific and speak to very high profile managers/director whatever you want to call them and your so right….

The word on the street from a talent perspective is that if you dont pull your weight we might fire you…. which agencies have the power nowdays given the global economy.. All hiring budgets are frozen until god knows when and agencies are culling-out their weak staff and only keep their client relationships people to survive the times ahead… On that note – we’ve developed the TTP (Talent Transition Program) for manager who are looking to outplace their talent…

So in reply to your post… this manager seems that he needs to be thrown through a 360 appraisal process where everyone around him and themselves are appraised. Believe me the results are amazing and companies in weeks change given the true anonymous feedback they receive.

I’ve done tones of these and people actually work out at the end that everyone hates them and if they dont change they’ll be shafted regardless of there position or status in the company – unless the run the show… and If they do and they’re shite – how the hell did they every hire the team around them…


Comment by Bart Jawien

A great way to evaluate management is to ask past employees if they would work for them again if given the right opportunity. I suspect the boss you talk about would feel like a leper.

You’ll be amazed to know I’d jump at the chance to work with you again though it’s more to do with George than you. 🙂

Comment by Bazza

Because the people of Asia don’t believe in speaking out of turn I don’t know if this 360 degree appraisal that Bart talks about would show this boss in the negative light he deserves. What do you think Rob?

Comment by Bazza

Good on you buddy.

Comment by Jonathan Rosenberg

I think you have a very valid point Baz … even if promised total annonimity, people in Asia [especially Singapore – a country whose cultural progression is dictated to by fear] would be very suspicious of truly expressing their personal opinion. Of course this is a massive generalisation, but this certainly would be the case in relation to a high proportion of people.

Comment by Rob

hang on a minute – this is the same agency that has been caught nicking the w&k lurpak food-porn for the purpose of some asian airline or hotel chain? ooh choice.

maybe they should pitch for nike and/or converse – given that they have the same sweatshop production mode (save the big difference in pay rates, of course). maybe that’s the reason behind it – method strategy for the sneaker companies.

BTW – i love it when you post stuff like this rob. welcome back. it’s like you never went! 🙂

Comment by lauren

The agency turnover rocket will be sweet justice there. That is shocking behaviour, absolutely shocking; someone should form a choir just for those bastards.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

“maybe they should pitch for nike and/or converse given they have the same sweatshop production mode. maybe that’s the reason behind it – method strategy for the sneaker companies.”


Comment by Bazza

Missed that comment, brilliant Lauren.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Following on from Lauren’s idea, maybe I should tell this agency that Apple is up for pitch because maybe then they’ll treat their staff with respect, encouragement and grade A food. 😉

Comment by Bazza

i fucking love you lauren. fucking great comment

Comment by andy@cynic

Remember the report you had Amnesty do for you Robert? I think it’s time you released it because this sort of behaviour deserves the broadest and mosy brutal publicity possible.
I am angry and disgusted.

Comment by George

Was that worldwide ceo Mr Text message?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

This is ridiculous. I hope that agency burn in hell.

Comment by Anjali




Comment by scott

I don’t suppose they will be banning redundancies for the same period.

Comment by John

what the fuck? campbell is keeping to his word and not writing another post despite writing lots of the boring shit in his supposed “off period”?


if theres any post to leave the odd visitor to see while hes packing i guess this is a good one.

fuck you bye&ta singapore

Comment by andy@cynic

who are you calling odd?

Comment by John

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