Yes, I DO have a job, thank you very much

Where does Superman go when he’s not saving Lois and Jimmy? Well, sometimes he’s hammering out a story for Perry White in order to uphold his cover. Sure, he can write at super-speed, but not when others in the newsroom are watching. And sometimes they must see him being Clark Kent to believe in that identity.

So it is with me. I can’t blog ALL the time, and sometimes I’m actually working for a living.

“What? You? Work!?!?” you say, your voice rising in pitch on that last word, as did Maynard G. Krebs’.

Yes, indeed, and you shouldn’t be so shocked. I have been known to do work frequently. I even used to do it when I was with the newspaper, even though I was “in the newspaper business, where it is such an important part of the ethics that you should never seem to be working,” as Jake Barnes so rightly noted.

What am I doing now? Well, I’m in the ad game. I’ve joined ADCO, a full-service advertising and marketing firm here in Columbia. I’ve been ADCO’s director of communications/public relations for quite some time now. I joined in mid-February.

So why haven’t I mentioned it before? Well, it’s not like I’ve made a secret of it. I’ve announced it in some public forums, such as when I’m speaking to civic groups (they gave me a big hand at Rotary when I told them, probably because they were thinking, “Never thought he’d get a job.”). But mostly I haven’t done it because ADCO is undergoing a lot of very exciting changes (see how I’m learning the flack lingo?), and I sort of wanted to wait until all the pieces were in place. There are three big things happening with ADCO as I type this:

  1. This year is our 20th anniversary, since Lanier Jones and Brian Murrell started the company in 1990.
  2. Over the last couple of months we’ve been putting together a new (very exciting!) venture with Periodthree, a Web design and development firm. Gene Crawford and his gang have physically moved into the building with us here at 1220 Pickens, and will henceforth be known as ADCO Interactive. This greatly expands what ADCO can do on the Web.
  3. The addition of Yours Truly. This, of course, is a big thrill for everyone, especially the aforementioned Mr. Truly. What will I be doing? Oh, this and that. Business development, for one. Writing stuff (such as some of the copy for the new Web site). Marketing consulting (which is remarkably like what I did at the newspaper — you’d be surprised; it’s all about shaping message). But the very coolest thing, as far as y’all are concerned, is that Lanier and Brian and Lora and the gang very much encourage me to continue doing the blog. Not many jobs I looked at over the past year would have encouraged that. In fact, most potential employers shuddered at the thought, which makes ADCO rather special.

The Period Three — that is to say, ADCO Interactive — team has been working on a new Web site that will incorporate all of these changes. For instance, if you go look at the old site, you won’t find me or any of the new Interactive folks. The new one goes live in a couple of weeks. So I haven’t wanted to refer you to it until all that was ready.

Also, if I told y’all I had a job, I’d have to go rewrite my lede on my “About” page, and I haven’t thought of anything I like as much as “Brad Warthen is an unemployed newspaperman, until he finds something else to be.” It’s way existential. I think it ranks up there with “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.” Or “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Or “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” You get the idea.

Call me Ishmael.

But what the hey; I’ll worry about that later. I thought I’d go ahead and scoop the new ADCO Web site, if only by a bit.

By the way, to address what I’m sure you’re wondering about, this is just like “Mad Men.” Except that as I type this in my office, I’m drinking a Samuel Adams Summer Ale rather than a martini (I am not making this up — Gene and the gang are celebrating the fact that ConvergeSE happens tomorrow, and I “just happened” to step out of my office just as they were opening a few bottles in the corridor). And I’m the only one who dresses like it’s 1962. In fact, one of the Web gurus here for ConvergeSE just said “nice tie” to me in the hall — and it’s really not one of my nicer ties (hey, I know when these hepcats are being ironic; I’m way perceptive). And if you ask one of the young women in the office to fetch coffee, she just doesn’t hop to it the way they do for Don Draper. I figure I’m not saying it with the right tone or something.

But other than all that, it’s just like “Mad Men.” And I’m really getting into it.

20 thoughts on “Yes, I DO have a job, thank you very much

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    Y’all need a “Joan”? Peggy?

    You may be the hands of Rotary, but I reckon you’re the mouth of ADCO?

    Reply
  2. Burl Burlingame

    I worked as an advertising artist for three months, and it seemed like three years. But that was at a terrible agency, and the guy in charge actually embezzled the company funds and fled town shortly after I quit. The two events are NOT related.
    On the other hand, ad people are SUPPOSED to be bright and creative and thinking all the time, just the qualities quashed down in other industries. It can be great fun with the right crew.

    Reply
  3. Herbie

    (belated) Welcome to the ad biz, Brad. ADCO does really good work from what I’ve seen. You should come to the ADDYs next year!

    From a senior art director at Chernoff Newman.

    Reply
  4. jfx

    Ah. I get it. We read about it, and then see a picture of it. So now we’re all supposed to go out and buy Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

    That is damn smooth. The clothing is even color-coordinated with the bottle.

    I think I finally understand. This whole blog has been one long, slow, deftly blossoming tease, a veritable dark orchid of viral marketing. Should have known that the only thing at the bottom of this seemingly honest, independent, innocuous rabbit hole was a pitch to buy beer.

    Argh.

    Damn you, ADCO!!!!!

    Reply
  5. Norm Ivey

    A job with Summer Ale privileges–sweet! I wonder how that would go over with my principal? Belated congratulations, Brad.

    Reply

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