Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I did try selling the sex toy thing for a little while. And it really was empowering, but late night parties with drunken women take a toll on your enthusiasm. You have to be on even when you don't feel like it. So suddenly not only did I have to pretend to be turned on for my husband, I had to do it for a bunch of women drinking wine. Exhausting! Selling toys was an experiment and I'm happy I gave it a whirl (or a buzz), but it was on to the next endeavor for me.
I wondered if I should just go back to working in Manhattan? The mad pace of the ad agencies I'd left behind on Madison Avenue were just a NJ transit ride away. Of course, many of my past coworkers were out of work, too. Who said I was going to find a job? I was 3 years out of the biz, 3 kids out of my mind, and 3 eons behind the freshly groomed, eager gen y's who were probably being paid a lot less than they'd have to pay me to schlep back into NYC.
But I missed it. The bitching about the crazy clients with my team. The bitching about the crazy team with my clients. The creative possibilities with the start of every new project. And the feeling of accomplishment when a box of crisp new brochures was finally delivered from the printer. The memory of the painful journey somehow lessened. There was a lot of crap I didn't miss though. The long hours, office politics and whiny adults. Sounded similar to my current situation, just with whiny children instead.
My last job was as Account Director for an ad agency that created all the automotive brochures for Mercedes-Benz. I had what might appear as the ultimate flex time job. The agency I worked for was in CA, so I either worked out of my house, was stationed at the client in North NJ, or at our partner agency in the city (and they paid for my parking!). I was not chained to a desk and did not partake in water cooler banter unless it was via conference cal. I began this job in 97', when mobile access was not as commonplace and it grew with me. I think I had one of the first Blackberry's back when the fruit was still more popular.
Working out of the house was great especially before I had kids. I could go for a run and get on a client call without having to shower. Once I painted all my kitchen cabinets between calls.
Kiddies changed the whole thing. I hired a nanny. She was supposed to be me, but better, after all I was paying her a lot. Being present but not present is hard to explain to a toddler. When we moved to a bigger house with a finished basement I thought things would get better, but the kids learned to climb the stairs. Sometimes I had to lock myself in the shower, in the bathroom of my bedroom, to take conference calls while one or more screaming children banged on the outside door. Yes, the nanny should have handled that, but when a kid wants their mom sometimes there is no stopping them.
Now both the clients and my nanny are gone, but I still lock myself in the shower stall while the kids bang outside the door.