July 8, 2004 21:59 | Confession

Another step

I just took the first step in terminating a business relationship with a client who's been paying my rent for over 3 years. It isn't a question of money (I'll have to replace the income somehow) and it certainly isn't personal; the client is a group of very old friends. I just don't want to do it anymore. So many ideas never implemented, so many avenues never explored... at one point you just realize "this isn't going to happen, and it isn't fun anymore either."

One less needless source of anxiety, guilt and frustration off my shoulders. Well, almost anyways.

I want to work with people who "get it". I mean, who actually have a clue and really "get it"...


I feel you on this one Bo,

As Dr. Evil once said "Why am I surrounded by frickin' idiots!?"

I just had kind of the opposite happen to your situation. After about 3 years of suggesting the same solution to one of my clients for an ongoing problem, someone new was hired in their organization and they finally got what I was saying, and now a massive new media project is under way.

It's a perennial generation problem. People from the Boomer generation (in general) have no idea, nor less the mindset of how to use or capitalize on newer technologies because they lack the basic understanding of how they work.

Convincing them that there are advantages to doing things in new ways is definitely an uphill battle.

There is a great ad for a photo store that runs in Toronto saying "I don't know anything about digital photography, but all I need to know is that Black's does"

Eventually people have to resign themselves to the fact that newer solutions should be used and even if they don't understand how they work. But I tell you, it's been 3 years of misunderstanding, memos, browbeating and blind alleys until I finally broke through.

Now they "get it"



That's part of the reason why I left my old job as in-house creative. Not that being in an agency isn't necessarily frustrating - there will always be clients that need hand-holding, etc - but now we're building to the point where we are selling people on our vision, not just our production capability. And we too want to work with people that get it, because if they have a grasp on newer technologies, then that means they have a competitive edge...

Excuse me while I put on my "devil's advocate" hat. ( ... ) There we go...

(Ahem.) I don't know the specifics of the cases you're all talking about, but perhaps those old geezers are reluctant to change because they simply don't trust unproven "new" solutions.

Just because a thing is new doesn't mean it's better. And just because a thing is cool or hip doesn't mean it's better.

Case in point: we've just implemented IM at my company (Offices in US, Canada, and UK). It's a great way to cheaply communicate between offices, right? Perhaps, but most people leave it permanently disabled. Why? Because it's a frickin' pain in the ass!

I can read and reply to email when I'm good and ready, and I can ignore the phone if I want to (or deal with a phone call in under a minute.) But with IM, you get the annoying persistence of the telephone (except it's harder to ignore) but without the speed of speaking.

E.g., last week a guy IMed me about something or other. It went like this...

(switching to a new comment...)

(IM thing blinks.)

[guy] Hey blork. blah blah blah.
[me] Blah blah blah.
[guy] blah blah blah
[me] blah blah blah

On and on. I'm sitting there, pissed off because my concentration was broken, thinking "I have better things to do that sit here waiting for this guy to type." The IM session lasted about three minutes, for what could have been dealt with in 40 seconds over the phone.

So yeah, sometimes people are sceptical when young whippersnappers come in proposing the next hip thing as the big solution (when often enough there isn't even a problem.)

So there. That's my cranky old fart response. At the same time, I feel your pain because I also feel like I'm surrounded by idiots, and I've also felt that constrained resistence to change thing.

Hey Boris, what gives? Two hours, and no rebuttal? I've spent half the morning here envisioning you and AJ gnashing your teeth over that one, and I get nothing? What a bunch of slackers!

Iiiinteresting preconceived notion here...

The "client" is a group of friends of mine. I.e.: we all graduated around the same time, ergo, they are my age...

Also, y'all latched on to the last sentence of the post, one I tacked on as an afterthought... this happens frequently. I should stop doing that because you people with your short attention spans latch on to the last 6-10 words totally forgetting what was written above... and then derail my point entirely ... ;)

Anyways, ok...
K.C.: hehe. Cool! Is that that thing you were telling me about?? :D

A.J.: Yup.

Blork: patience man! I just woke up! Evolve or die. Point a-finale. ;) If the "geezers" don't trust the young whippersnapper, then they shouldn't hire him and try to suck his soul out of him. But again, this is in no way my situation whatsoever so it is moot.


And just to be clear:

The "contract" I am about to drop is a negligible amount of work for just enough to almost cover my monthly rent. Like, I mean ridiculously small amount of work. I just don't want to do it anymore. No other reasons.

Thank you that is all. ;)