Thursday, January 7, 2010

No Thank yous Maa'm!!

When i sit back and think through why, have I not been writing frequently I realise the reason is that I actually have no time to sit back and think through!! And well, I only have my job to blame for it (apart from my laziness, sometimes!!). That does not obviously mean that the other blog writers do not have their own respective jobs to take care of.No offense to them. It just means that I haven't got any time out of my job to cultivate or maintain my hobbies.

Before this post starts sounding like a dashboard for my cribbing, I would like to say that this isn't meant to be what it sounds like. I just thought Ill talk about what I do to earn my bread and butter.Well, I work in an ad agency as a client servicing executive or account management. They all sound so fancy I tell you! When I entered the advertising industry I had no clue what amount of hardwork goes in. It all sounded so glamorous to me. But it is not.

Well, to begin with I joined this industry six months back fresh after my MBA purely for my love for media (Ahhh! the power of media these's nothing you can describe). Now, about my job profile, well client servicing literally means at the client's service 24/7. It includes taking the ad requistions from the client and running them past the creatives and then looking after is execution till end in simple words.

Simple it may sound but, only a client servicing executive (CSE) will understand how tough a task it is. Well first it is the client, then the creatives and then the production guys..a CSE has to beg and plead at every stage to get her work done. An agency relies on its creative department to come up with good ads so that it can earn its revenue.. But everyone in the agency thinks it is only the CSE's responsibility (why??). When the client comes up with a tough deadline to meet or if a creative has to wait till late and work overtime then the CSE has to face a lot of scorn (but even the poor CSE is waiting till late na?).

A typical scenario

On a typical day, 4:40pm
: The client calls the CSE " Hey XYZ, I have just emailed you a new brief. I need the creatives asap"

CSE to client, "Oh yes! I read it but its difficult to give it so soon. Give me some time. Give my creatives some time to think"

Client to CSE, " No! i really don't have time. I have to get this done today itself"

And just like that, all the stress of the client is transferred on the CSE . (Well, all that stress has made me resort to some good stress busting techniques. No silly! not on the lines of what your thinking. These are some goody goody ones. Shall post them sometime later ;p)

4:45pm: The CSE goes to the creative to get this urgent work done. The creative at this time is out for a smoke.

5pm:The creative comes back from his (smoke) break. CSE to creative guy, "I have a new brief for you. And its very urgent, it has to be delivered today itself". Creative guy (CG) to CSE, "Today?? I was just getting ready to leave. We will do it tomorrow". CSE to CG, "Well I tried but we can't push it till tomorrow". CG to CSE, "Well, in that case come after 15 mins. I am doing some other work right now." (The other work is chatting on gtalk or booking tickets for a weekend movie show and it is ofcourse more urgent and important than the actual work).

5:15pm: the client calls back "Where is my job? It is such a small thing and your taking hours to finish it. I told you it is urgent." CSE replies ,"Yes! I understand. (Rule no 1: You always have to understand the client's problems or act like you do and Rule no 2: You cannot afford to be even slightly rude to them). You will get it in sometime."

5:20pm: The CSE rushes to CG and the CG finally does her a favour by taking the brief and doing "her" job.

Well! this is the reason why they say that servicing is a thankless job. You have to bear the brunt of everyone's tantrums and there is no one to take out your frustration on.

It does need a lot of patience! I do not mean to sound discouraging to my budding CSEs nor do I mean any offense to the other parties talked about out here. I just needed some space to talk about what i go through in my daily life. :p

At the end of it being a CSE does help you gain a lot of experience in dealing with people and gain some marketing and selling skills. So what if you are underpaid and overworked right now? You will eventually earn more and work less when you move up in hierarchy some day;p