I work as a creative at an advertising agency.
(Many people—including my family members, who have no fucking clue what I do on a day-to-day basis—think immediately of Mad Men, and ask me to describe my job by telling them what character I’m “most like.” I’m not like Don Draper or Peggy Olson. At this juncture in my career, I’m most closely comparable to Ginsberg, the young writer who lost his shit and cut off his nipple and tried to give it to Peggy.)
In my profession (and in many others), one of the people I work with is called a Project Manager. This person is mostly in charge of ensuring that we deliver what we’re contracted to deliver by the date and time we said in the contract we would deliver the deliverables by.
A big part of their job is keeping the entire team, and creatives especially, on track. This is a tough job, because coming up with something creative is challenging, it takes a lot of time, and it seems like “creative professionals” spend a good chunk of their day looking at girls they wanna bang on Instagram and/or eating snacks.
I respect a project manager’s position in the agency ecosystem, which makes me wonder what it would be like to have a project manager for my life outside of work.
Here are some things I imagine he would say to me.
“Hey. Scott. Hey. Wake up. It’s 2pm. Yeah. No. I know. You should probably stop fucking with ZZZquil, man. It’s causing some problems. Anyway, let’s get down to brass tacks. We set up the project timeline last week immediately after you met Tanya and somehow got her phone number. Anyway, you were supposed to text her by noon today, but you slept through that, and now you’re two hours late on texting her to ask for a date! Get it together, man! Jackie is gone, you hear me? GONE. And she’s not coming back! OKAY? You’ve got to move on!!”
“Alright, Scott, before I start in here, I want to reiterate that I’m kind of your friend and I have your best interests in mind. OK. Good. Remember a year ago when I told you you were ‘starting to get a gut?’ Yeah, you didn’t talk to me for weeks. But since then you have kind of cultivated more of a gut. I’m sorry, this has to be said, and I think you should try out a Paleo diet for a couple of weeks. Just see what happens. Remember what we talked about: that Dad Bod thing is bullshit. The people over in strategy have the data. I can send it along to you.”
“Just so you know, the gym is open 24 hours a day. Why am I telling you this? Because you still haven’t gotten a workout in—yet this month. Oh, and also, you need to quit sending me updates from your ‘FitBit.’ I know it’s just a bracelet made of Pez which means it does not work as a pedometer or heart rate monitor.”
“Hey. Call your mother. Today. Seriously. She probably thinks you’re dead, man.”
“It’s time to do your laundry, Scott. No, you can’t just buy a few new packages of boxer briefs. That isn’t in your budget for the month unless you want to give up a couple bottles of Yellowtail. Yeah, I didn’t think you’d want to do that. I’ll block some time this afternoon for you to go to the Laundromat, and you better actually go. And remember that you have to use detergent. Without detergent it’s just getting the clothes wet.”
“You’ve got to clean this place up a little bit. How long has that sushi been in the refrigerator? It’s been almost three months, hasn’t it? You can’t just call it a science project. You know nothing about science. Also, look around at how many gigantic bowls are filled with the room temperature egg foo young. Actually, how often have you been ordering from Asian Yummy House? Are these orders even close to being within scope? What happened to saving some of the operating budget by cooking for yourself at home?”
“Did you make your dentist appointment yet? I don’t even know why I asked that question. I know you haven’t. Do it. Today. Because if not your mom is going to call me up and give me a bunch of shit.”
“Happy Sunday! Rise and shine! Oh, don’t give me that shit. You texted me at 3am and told me to make sure I woke you up for brunch. Seriously, if you decide to sleep in again instead of going out and being social, I’m going to quit taking you seriously when you bitch to me about how you want to have more of a work/life balance.”
“You said you were going to get out there more, and part of the project plan was (and is) that you’ll send out a minimum of two OkCupid messages a day. You’re eight messages behind. You either start delivering, or your chances of dying alone are going to go up on a daily basis. I can’t go on the dates for you, you know.”