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

Choose Life, Not Lifestyle …
January 11, 2010, 6:43 am
Filed under: Comment

Without wishing to sound like Mr Miserable, I do think it is worth remembering that just because it’s 2010, many of the issues that made the previous year so tough for so many still remain.

The economy is still in a fragile state … companies are still laying off staff … money is still in short supply … which is why I love this documentary called ‘Lemonade’ which follows some recently retrenched adfolk in their quest to continue and fulfil life.

There’s this belief that companies get rid of the people they don’t regard as valuable … but that’s bollocks … if anything, many get rid of the very people that generate the work and the cash leaving the high-income, high-management folk alone. Not always, but adland is particularly guilty of this attitude.

I remember I once thought I’d manage to get through my entire career without losing my job.

I think my rationale was that if I hadn’t been fired after some of the stunts I’d pulled in the past, the chances of it ever happening were zero.

Well, I was wrong.

I had just come back from the UK where I had celebrated my Mum’s 70th birthday to be told I was being let go.

To make it worse, I was on a working visa [I was in Australia at the time] which meant that without a job, I had to leave within 20 working days … and the fuckers, knowing this, said I had a choice of either being paid a redundancy or having them NOT tell the immigration department about my situation for 3 months.

I will never forgive those fuckers for putting me in that highly stressful situation … but by the same token, had it not happened, maybe I would never of started cynic – which despite the odd bump along the way – has been one of the most interesting, educational and exciting periods of my career. At least so far, ha!

Adland has many good people in it – but in my experience the most interesting, talented and intelligent guys are the ones who live life rather than reside in their little industry bubble, evaluating their worth by the title they have, the qualifications they’ve earnt or the possessions they own … so whilst I don’t know anyone in the documentary personally, I hope the enforced re-think of their needs and wants has resulted in a life of excitement and fulfilment because at the end of the day, advertising is just a job and certainly not something you should measure your life or worth by – even if you started the place.

You can buy the DVD of ‘Lemonade’ here.

17 Comments so far
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It appears I am first to comment on this post and I must admit to a feeling of great achievement.

Wham picture aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I agree many people define themselves by their job title rather than the things they do which is why when life trips them up, as has happened to countless unlucky souls in the last 12 months, the impact on their confidence is even more damaging.

I have purchased “Lemonade” and look forward to watching 90 minutes of people choosing life over lifestyle.

Well written and well said Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

Sadly adland is too often guilty of treating hard working employees like shit when it comes down to the tough decisions.

I have heard of people treated like shit by agencies that should know better. People marched out the building despite working late every day of the week to meet an impossible workload.

There are some truly brilliant people around in adland, and if you screw them around, don’t go whining like a little baby when they start up their own agency; look after their staff; and win all your clients.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Minus points for use of Wham though.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

And there I was thinking Lee and Mr M were one of the few people who had a life …

What the hell are you both doing writing on here at this time of the day? Has the snow freezed your brains and definition of time?

Eitherway, I’m glad you like the post … it’s an issue that’s always been pretty close to my heart because I’ve seen too many good people get treated like shit when they’ve worked for a company/industry that happily spouted ‘their staff were their greatest asset’.

Sometimes companies have to make some very hard decisions but at the very time they should be being the most sensitive, helpful and generous – they act like bitter divorcees – so it’s little surprise they create a marketplace of hurt, angry and disgruntled ex-employees and … even more stupidly for companies … hurt, angry and disgruntled ex-customers.

Hell, with the way banks have been shedding their people in the last year, I’m amazed Citibank still has any customers at all!

Anyway, Lemonade rocks – but then as everyone knows, I’m a sucker for triumph over adversity. 🙂

Comment by Rob

“advertising is just a job and certainly not something you should measure your life or worth by”

That might be kryptonite to big agency network bosses but it’s a way of life for me. Good work Robert.

Comment by George

Mary and the kids away are they George? 🙂

Comment by Rob

sad to see Malaysia is not on the shipping list, suprised that serbia-montenegro is..

Comment by Jacob

I have to choose life, I don’t get paid enough for a lifestyle.

Comment by DH

I disagree Dave, you have a fantastic lifestyle … it’s called sewer chic.

Comment by Rob

George – If they want your life to be advertising they should treat it with that level of respect.

Moral here: Agencies should act like Andy, not like Andy’s exes.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

the connections to adland are obvious…life is more than money or work (well according to Rob) u just gotta choose it to be…thank me all later for the wisdom..

Comment by niko

Are you Dr Phil in disguise?

Comment by Rob

If u are thinking of our love for rich women with dependencies and cash to burn on fortune cookie wisdom…than call me Dr Phil: account planner for the soul.

Comment by Niko


You found Youtube’s business model I see..

Selling hope against better judgement… 🙂

Youtube: carnival fortuneteller 2.0

Again..thank me later, but be quick..I got some Nigerian businessmen interested in this proposition as well

Comment by niko

great post and surely an ineresting movie. now the only thing i d like to know is who those lovable people are that were so supportive.

ps: thanks niko 😛

Comment by peggy

is it called lemonade because they cant afford a fucking beer anymore?

i know i look a shit but ive been away and coming back and seeing a bunch of saints makes me vomit inside my mouth. especially when auntie george makes an appearance, which is rarer than hayleys fucking comet.

and i bought the doc and its fucking cool and i agree with everything campbell says so dont get your frilly panties in a twist.

Comment by andy@cynic

I just wanted to tell you I have just watched “Lemonade” and it was wonderful. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and I am also very happy to say Virgin America played a small part in making it happen by providing some of the travel for the crew.
A testimony to the talent that sits within the advertising industry that also (now) lives amongst us mere mortals.

Comment by Lee Hill

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