September 2008



Job hunting is not for the timid.

Job hunting is not for the timid.

 

     (Why spend a fortune going to some university, beauty college or ad school? Here’s everything you need to know about getting a great job in advertising. Kindly make your tuition checks payable to Patrick Scullin.)

     Next to dying a slow, painful, miserable death while “MacArthur Park” is playing on the radio, hunting for a job has to be one of the most traumatic events we humans ever face.

      Because changing jobs is always frightening, let’s discuss the stages of job hunting in as intellectual a fashion as we can muster on short notice.

      Stage one: “I’ve got to get out of this hellhole.”

      How can you tell you’re in a go-nowhere job? Be on the lookout for little signals, like a boss who continually tells you, “You’re in a go-nowhere job, pal, and as long as I’m in charge, I’ll see to it your genius is squashed like a fat mosquito hitting a ‘67 Buick going 120 mph!”

      Or, a representative from local Lumberjack’s Union who pleads with you to stop generating ideas. “For God’s sake, man,” he says with tears welling-up in his eyes, “how many more Foamcore trees must we senselessly slaughter before you’ll quit this madness? Can’t you see, you numbskull, you’re in a go-nowhere job?”

      Whatever drives you to the conclusion it’s time to go, it’s time to get on to stage two of the job hunt: “Getting the ol’ book out and about.”

      When it’s all said and done, it doesn’t matter if you’re Lee Clow or Joe Blow, we all live and die by our work. Of course, Clow’s got the better reel, but he can’t touch Blow’s print or flash banners work, no sir.

Yours? Mine? Ours.

Yours? Mine? Ours.

 The best way to put together a terrific portfolio is to collect samples of the very best work. Conservative people believe the work should be restricted only to those pieces that you yourself actually created, while the more liberal approach embraces the idea that anything created by one of your own species is fair game for inclusion into your book. Whatever. The main thing is to put together items that can fit into a portfolio case (which generally restricts the inclusion of actual-size billboard samples).

      Many job hunters wonder if they should have headhunters working on their behalf? Yes, by all means! How else can you find out about those incredible opportunities with “the next Fallon” (which happens to be in Texarkana of all places) or “the great creative revolution happening over at Lackluster, Mediocrity & Snores.”

      Do whatever it takes to get your book seen by whomever, whenever in wherever. As they say in the penguin exhibit at Hank’s Appliance Repair Shop, ‘You can’t win the lottery if you don’t have a ticket–– preferably the winning ticket.’

     Once the potential agency has seen your book, they’ll want to see the person who owns it. Which brings us to stage three of snagging the big job: “The Meet & Greet.”

     Most creative people despise interviewing because it generally involves answering tough questions like: “Where do you see yourself in 10 years, and if you are a time traveller, please also give me the name of the winning horse in the Kentucky Derby and the Super Bowl and World Series Champs.” 

Who was known as ‘The Perky President’, and what was the name of his Secretary of Defense?”

“If two trains leave Chicago, one going 45 miles per hour and the other getting 2.45 miles per gallon of diesel fuel, which one will have the higher trade-in value?”

“What is your creative philosophy, and how does it mesh with the notion of existentialism?”

“You want coffee, a Coke, or something? Remember, there is only one right answer.”

      The secret to successful interviewing is to interview right back at them. When they ask a question, it’s no time to play defense–– fire one back. Here’s a sample from an interview I had back in ‘95:

     HE: So, Patrick, tell me about yourself.

     ME: Hey, where you’d get the cool picture of the ugly lady with the dorky kids? That’s hilarious, man!

     HE: This picture? That’s, uh, that’s a picture of my family.

     ME: Oh, uh, really? Well, aren’t they the handsome bunch! I don’t suppose you work many late nights, no, sirree––not with a great gaggle of good lookers like that to get home to…

      For some reason, I didn’t get that particular job. They were looking for someone with more package goods experience or something.

      Another interviewing secret is not to tell them about those voices that only you can hear. Because in a funny way, many people find it hard to believe pets and inanimate objects have chosen you as their primary communication vehicle. These people may be jealous and may not want to hear about the upcoming swift sword of justice you will soon be delivering at their command. Evil doers must pay!

      Providing they love you and your work, you’re on to stage four of scoring your dream ad job: “Negotiating the Package.”

     Me, I’m old fashioned, so I generally think paychecks are a nice perk. With a little clever negotiating on your part, maybe you can swing one of these “my time for your money” arrangements, meaning you’ll get paychecks on a fairly regular basis. Pretty sweet, eh?

     Some other niceties to negotiate are free electricity, Christmas day off, four tons of gold bouillon and an 18 pack of Knox Beef Bullion (it’s like drinking a steer). Usually you’ll get three out of the four; most employers are sticklers about working on Christmas day. Go ahead and take the job because even if it does turn out to be another hellhole, soon enough a headhunter will call telling you about nirvana in Texarkana.

      Happy hunting, and remember pets and inanimate objects are watching so be good.

 

 

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Newman liked him some eggs.

Newman liked him some eggs.

     It’s a crappy day. The earth no longer has Paul Newman. Damn shame, that. 

     Newman had the looks, talent, humor, compassion, empathy, faithfulness, fearlessness and boundless energy we all crave. He was also generous and caring, helping unfortunate kids by donating millions in profits from the sales of his various food products.

     As an artist, he owned every scene he appeared in, not by chewing scenery but by being in the moment, enveloping his character in the story and occupying the human condition completely. Maybe that’s why everyone was able to relate to Paul Newman. He may have been better looking than us, but he was one of us. 

     Newman led a rich life. He fought in WW II, studied ‘the method’ with Lee Strasberg, did Broadway, burnished himself into pop culture through a series of unforgettable roles in classic films like “Hud”, “Cool Hand Luke”, “The Hustler”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “The Verdict” and many more. He fathered six children from two marriages (staying married to Joanne Woodward for over 50 years), lost his only son to a drug overdose, raced cars and was good enough to win, was politically active enough to make Richard Nixon’s enemy’s list (in some very good company), directed plays and movies, led workshops and throughout it all was generous and philanthropic.

     The man is gone but fortunately he left us pieces of himself to enjoy and explore. He also left us a spirit and joy to emulate. 

Thanks.

 

With a little help, I now see the light. All hail chimps!

With a little help, I now see the light. All hail chimps!

     Upon further review of my last few entries where I unfairly said completely asinine and unfounded things about chimpanzees, I wish to apologize to all of humanity and especially the cherished primate community.

     Chimps are great and noble and deserve praise for everything they do. They are our friends and should never EVER be questioned.

     They are also quite persuasive.

     In short, chimps are champs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Guess who wants your money?

Guess who wants your money?

     Doing a little investigative journalistic work, I think I’ve blown the lid off this whole Wall Street meltdown… and it ain’t pretty.

     Think about it: Wall Street lobbyists grease the palms of politicians who pass laws deregulating the banking industry so they can sell sub-prime loans to any jamoke with a pulse then take those risky loans and re-sell them to investors building a shaky house of cards that comes tumbling down so now they’re asking the government for a blank check to give the same hucksters who created the problem a nice payday so that they can skip off into the sunset with pockets stuffed leaving taxpayers with two fistfuls of diddly squat.

    So who’s at fault? Hmmm, they see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil…

 

Hey, what the heck! What the freakin’ heck!

Hey, what the heck! What the freakin’ heck!

     I don’t know about you, but I’m worried sick. This financial market meltdown is giving me the willies, and now I think I see the devious greedy paws of chimps on the taxpayer’s checkbook.

     Get a load of this: while Bernanke and Paulson are begging politicians for a big fat Wall Street payday, chimps dressed to the nines have been spotted in the crowd, hungrily licking their chops.

     Now I’m not usually an alarmist, but what if these chimps are behind the entire brouhaha? What if it was their clever plot to deregulate the financial markets, slash rates and make money easy to get, take on a ton of bad debt, fail miserably and then stick it to taxpayers to bail the banks out? Are chimps running Wall Street? Are we patsies, being played like a glockenspiel?

     Now some may think I’m out of line here, but I’m going to Brooks Brothers to see if chimps and monkeys are snatching up fancy duds.  Something stinks here, stinks to high heaven.

 

Is it a real cop, or an imposter? (Look closely)

Is it a real cop, or an impostor? (Look closely)

     They think they’re so smart, and maybe they are, but monkeys are often discovered posing as authority figures endangering life as we know it here on this planet many of us call “home.”

     Imagine being wheeled into the operating room and your last vision before drifting off to slumberville is a monkey behind a surgical mask, his clumsy fingers fumbling about the razor sharp scalpels on the surgical tray.

     Or picture yourself taking your favorite suit into the tailor shop for alterations, and the guy measuring your inseam suddenly begins throwing angry hairy-armed haymakers into your unsuspecting crotch.

     What if you were in church and the collection basket came your way and you noticed it was filled with banana peels–– then you see your pew consists of monkeys in their Sunday best! Holy is the moly!

     We must all be ever vigilant in unmasking these impostors and bringing them to public attention. If we do not, I fear our very fabric of life will unravel like some sort of unraveling thingy.

 

You're in for a verrrry long night!

BIG mistake–– you're in for a verrry long night, people!

1.  Monkeys smell like monkeys.

2   Monkeys rarely put napkins in their laps and never know the proper fork to use.

3.  Monkeys are picky eaters (especially when it comes to noodle casseroles).

4.  Ask a monkey to pass you something, nine times out of ten he’ll fling it at your head.

5.  Monkeys usually leave “markings” on the tablecloth, and you can’t ‘Shout’ them out.

6.  Monkey see, monkey do. C’mon monkeys, how about a little originality?!!!

7.  They’re poor conversationalists. If you mention evolution, monkeys shut down quickly.

8.  Monkeys are dessert hogs. Never try to get a bite of their banana cream pie.

9.  Monkeys won’t excuse themselves to go to the bathroom. They just go, go, go. Disgusting.

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