I quite like my job.

It’s one of the very few places that basically pays me to have verbal diarrhoea all over my colleagues about anything from plush toys to cancer insurance to book sales. We call it ‘brainstorming’ in these parts, because repackaging shit is our shit and we’re the shit at it.

It’s also one of the even fewer places that’s completely a-OK with me turning up to work looking three bucks short of homeless, which is my default aesthetic. I call it the Fifty-Three Manuscripts and a Divorce look, for no other reason than repackaging shit is our shit.

These are all great.

But where there are peaks, there are troughs. And every so often, when the planets misalign, I find myself graced by the presence of the Devil himself at work, during a very special time known fondly as Satan Week.

So what you’re about to read, like every horror piece worth its salt, is loosely based on true events (also ‘loosely’ because your girl here would like to hold on tightly to her job, thanks).

Except the bit about the gay dog. That’s all real. Because I could never make that up even if I tried, I shit you not.

MONDAY

Recharged from the weekend I didn’t actually have, I plonk down on my seat and take a gander at my task list for the coming week. At a glance, I can already see that it’s a charming mix of:

  • The Usual Suspects – approximately 666 new tasks, all due within the week or early the next.
  • The Convenient – some account that isn’t my problem, but is now. Yay!
  • The Comeback ­– “Wait, wasn’t this approved months ago?”
  • The Comeback’s Almost-cousin with the Almost-facelift – random project dredged up from The Limbo™ feat. client’s ‘enhancements’.
  • The Euphemism – “Client changed the brief. Not a lot, just about everything.”
  • The Son of a Pitch – because no list is complete without the quintessential crowd-pleaser.

I close my eyes. I open them about 8 seconds later, to my disappointment.

First question: can I get a drink? Second question: glass, bottle, or floor cleaner?

TUESDAY

They were out of floor cleaner.

The good news is, I grew three extra pairs of arms overnight. Perfect. This is actual progress. Now I’ll be able to survive the week. Or strangle myself thrice as fast. Win-win.

I get cracking at The Usual Suspects with my newfound limbs (only 500-odd tasks to go!), flitting between that and a generous side of The Convenient, while intermittently entertaining intrusive thoughts of switching careers to sheep-shearing in Mongolia.

WEDNESDAY

(You actually got this far. Congrats! What a psychopath.)

“The GIF post wasn’t approved.”

“What, why? Isn’t it adapted from their global asset?”

“Client thinks the dog looks gay.”

Two words I never thought I’d have the sheer misfortune of hearing together in a sentence. But here we are.

I stood rooted to the spot, trying to process the mess that realistically only floor cleaner can fix. Something explodes in the corner of the office, probably from the heat of the surrounding hellfire. But I barely hear it. My mind keeps going back to the visual we sent in.

An animated, illustrated pink dog. Wagging its tail, not unlike a metronome. That somehow alludes to homosexuality. And that’s somehow a bad thing. And we’re somehow not in the 1800s. The only other time I was this desperate to unsee something was when a friend shared a meme about how Goofy being a dad would only logically mean that he has had sex.

My last modicum of faith in humanity was laid to rest that very day, finding its place beside my father, my will to live, and virgin Goofy.

THURSDAY

Since it’s #throwbackthursday, can I throw myself back into my mother’s uterus? For science.

FRIDAY

It’s the end of the week. For now. I’m alive. For now. The line that separates triumph and tragedy remains deceptively paper-thin.

It’s late in the day when another incarnation of The Comeback finds its way onto my plate; a series of digital activation ideas the team and I were actually quite happy about but that didn’t quite meet the arbitrary standards set in place by the powers that be.

In other words, a regular day in advertising.

And so, the feedback, in sum:

  • “The ideas are too complex.”
  • “Remember, there’s no budget.” (Never mind that the ideas cost close to nothing to execute.)
  • “Keep it simple. Like a photo contest.”
  • “But it needs to be interesting. And viral.”

The only viral thing we need right now is a new plague. But okay.

I see my boss approaching. I suddenly have glaucoma. I stop seeing my boss approaching.

“Can we have some new activation ideas on Sunday? Plus ideas for the pitch.”

I pack up for the day, looking forward to the weekend I won’t actually have. Can’t wait. Speaking of which, anyone know how much a one-way ticket to Mongolia costs? Asking for a friend.

 

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…or the author.