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December 23, 2014#

All I want for Christmas

Dear Santa,

I’ve been, on average, more good than bad this year. I even got a small pay raise. So I’m not expecting much else in the way of remuneration. I’m pretty well compensated for what I do at work. Everything at the top of my list you can skip over including but not limited to: peace on earth, an end to hunger and education for all. Even though you are a saint these are beyond your pay grade. Don’t feel bad, we can’t all be Bill Gates.

Skip down the list to my work requests. Trivial in comparison to those above, I know, but these small wishes would make my workdays a little brighter. Every work week this past year I’ve bitten my tongue and worn a forced smile as I’ve watched the sentences I give birth to get hacked mercilessly by barbaric, clueless clients. Just show me a sign that you’ve been watching and I’ll remain your devoted follower for another year.

First, stop the music. I work in an open plan office where anyone can play songs from their playlist over a sound system with four speakers mounted on an eight-foot wall. Since Thanksgiving it’s played Christmas music almost non-stop. In between we get the usual noise my senses are subjected to every work day – Journey, Rush, The Eagles, Queen, Aerosmith, Johnny Cash… I don’t mind coworkers reliving their glory days but please, do it privately. I’m begging you to use your earbuds. Right now, it’s like trying to write in Santa’s grotto at the fucking mall.

A new client. I’ve spent an entire year working for one client, albeit our biggest, most important account. It pays the agency’s bills (and mine) and I’m grateful for the employment. But that’s as far as it goes. No potential awards show winners. No portfolio quality work. No satisfaction other than doing the best I can with what I’m given. For the first ten years of my advertising life I felt enormously lucky, privileged and excited to walk through my agency’s doors and be allowed to work there with a group of talented, funny people who were all on the same page. Everyone was there to produce some of the best advertising in the country. Maybe I’m in the wrong place or just need a pro bono project but a little variety would be appreciated.

Good coffee. Since we moved into a temporary space in our building we’ve been kitchenless in our office. We make do with a Keurig but I’m not a fan. Instead I treat myself to an Americano at a coffee shop nearby but it’s an expensive habit. Tell you what, why don’t you leave a thermos under the tree and I’ll brew my own. I could give what I pay the baristas to charity.

Merry Christmas