Thursday, October 25, 2007


I recently found myself in a marketing brainstorm with about 69 (hee) other people. I have no idea whose great idea it was to invite 70 people to brainstorm together on new marketing techniques but, never-you-mind, we were all in attendance and ready to come up with groundbreaking and innovative ideas despite the inevitable groupthink mentality.

I was sitting toward the back, enjoying my catered breakfast of bacon and coffee while listening to the mediator set up the problem we were about to solve (or, attempt to solve). It was then that I heard the most inappropriate phrase I've ever heard articulated. Well, at least in the company of such a large group of professionals.

"We've been targeting 22-year-olds and getting the 18-year-olds. We've been targeting the 18-year-olds and getting the 15-year-olds. When we try and bullseye target the 15-year-olds we end up getting the tweens. What we really need to do is get out there in the marketplace and target the people we want as buyers. We need to GET OUT THERE and NAIL 15-YEAR-OLDS!!!"

I immediately clapped my hand over my mouth to catch the coffee that was about to spew forth. Who would say such a thing?! I looked around the crowd gathered and no one cracked a smile or said a word. I'm assuming these people were:

a) still asleep
b) not paying attention because they were too busy trying to figure out why Kim Kardashian and Tila Tequila have their own shows or
c) not as pervy as I am.

Or maybe I just haven't been in the business as long as these other people and "nail 15-year-olds" is a common battle cry. That's something they just didn't teach me in business school... but maybe it's just because I went to a conservative Southern Baptist college.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

we are family

My parents made the hour-and-a-half trek from deep East Texas to Dallas last night just to take me out to dinner. This was a very sweet gesture, though they both had ulterior motives that went beyond "well, we just miss you!"

My mom really wanted to shop at Z Gallerie and Crate & Barrel. What better places to visit in "the big city" than massive retail chains?!

My dad was visiting under the guise of "research for the restaurant" (he owns a restaurant in East Texas) but, truth be told, the man just likes to eat. Thus, the restaurant-owning.

So they shopped while I was at work and then met me at one of my favorite restaurants, which happens to be in one of the trendier areas of the city (see: bars, great shopping and gays - three of my favorite things). The food was excellent, as always, and the service was great. However, these were the true highlights of the evening:

- Troy Aikman showed up with his wife and two kids, causing my father to rubberneck for the next five minutes. "Does he actually have to wait for a table? I wonder if he valeted!"

- A very attractive gay couple walked through the door and my East Texas mother immediately got squirmy. After me asking if she was okay or if there was something wrong, she replied with "Oh, no. NOTHING is wrong. NOTHING AT ALL is wrong. I just... I just... I just really liked his purse."

- Upon ordering seeing the bill for two cocktails, an appetizer, three full entrees, a shared side item (mmm... mac & cheese) and a dessert my father exclaimed "$100 for three people!! I sure wish we could get away with these prices!!!"

I swear - we're not country, y'all.

lucy in the sky with... potato chips?

Yesterday I almost hit my limit with this industry. My creative director put it perfectly, as he so often does: "If this were a sitcom, this is the moment when I would stand up, take the phone off mute, say 'That's it. I'm done.' and then walk out the door. Then the voice-over would say, 'And that was the exact moment I knew that advertising was no longer for me.' Too bad I actually have a wife and kids to support."

We were on a conference call with our client and another agency. The other agency began to compare our product (potato chips) with the Beatles. "They're so similar that they're almost the same," they began. This statement was followed up with a list of said similarities, one being that both are "brands that have their fingers on the pulse of America, therefore gaining widespread popularity by giving the people what they want."

Not okay.

the shoe game

When it comes to Number Twos at Work, I am a huge hypocrite. I find myself feeling the urge - the down-town-push-down, if you will - and every time I find myself going through the motions of a pooping pep talk. "Everyone does it! It's a natural thing and it's no big deal! No one even notices. You don't have a one-person handicapped bathroom for personal retreat anymore, so you're going to have to suck it up like everyone else and pick a stall! Really, it's UNnatural for you to hold it. Now get in there and drop some business! People could care less!!"

And so I go, relishing in the fact that it's natural. Everyone does it. No need to feel embarrassed that a co-worker walks in mid-push. She poops, too!

Fast-forward three hours...

My relentless green tea addiction prompts me, once again, to visit the Ladies. I have a different agenda this time, though. No longer do I need the pep talk to push me over the hump of the pooping stigma. I have to pee! There's no shame in that! I can do that with the door open if I want, while two lesbians make out in the corner*!

So in I go, with all the confidence of... well... someone who has a lot of confidence. I pick the third stall (it's my favorite, as it's a taller toilet and I'm a bit of a leggy bitch) and take my time. Then I remember that the stall door next to me was closed and its occupant has been extremely quiet the whole time. There's the awkward silence that occurs when no toilet paper is being shuffled, no fluids are being released, no pants are being zipped. She's waiting it out; holding out for me to leave so she can finish up undetected. I know her game. She's lying in wait, knowing that if she were to be identified she wouldn't be able to look me in the eyes later as she passes me in the hall.

My hypocrite soul will not stand for this. She must be outed! Cue The Shoe Game.

I quietly finish my business and sneak a quick peek at her shoes from under the stall door. She's been ID'd! The rest of my day is chock full of hide-and-seek fun, looking at every woman's shoes as I pass them in the hallways. No chance that I'll be caught sitting at my desk reading blogs today. No way. I'm a woman on a mission.

Once I find those shoes, it's all I can do to restrain myself from pointing, giggling and saying "You dirty work pooper! I know it was you!! You dropped bombs like Hiroshima!"

Bless my heart.

*story for another time, my friend. Story for another time.