The sky opened up a little the minute the car turned towards the airport. I had noticed the clouds building up but had not given it a second thought. This was my first international flight and I was quite looking forward to it as I walked into the impressive terminal. The airline check-in counter was professional and prompt handing over my boarding pass and when the security cleared me I slowly started to really feel the adrenalin rush so to speak.
It was drizzling now but nothing that these modern aircraft could not handle and watching the raindrops falling over the tarmac, I turned a page in my yearbook and contemplated my future….
In retrospect, the best thing that could have happened was the incongruous disagreement with my immediate superior in the really renown ad agency, “ELIN”. The brief had been simple and I had nailed it in the very first attempt and the client appreciated the thought process and the research with an in-depth perspective that I placed before them. However, Levine, the Head Honcho, felt slighted because the idea was brilliant and mine, as it wasn’t his, he felt it was his duty to place frivolous excuses to counter the draft.
The client, was all for it and had wanted a few cosmetic and barely visible changes and directed us to place another point of view to ensure that no particular aspect was overlooked and in a sense giving up responsibility.
It would be fair to mention that the client, who had built the company with fortitude and determination, shared a great camaraderie with me built over months of affability and recognition of the wisdom and wit that I bought to the table.
In this disruptive and confounded world of advertising, it is very rare for an agency and a client to get along like a house on fire. In fact, to the undiscerning it appeared that we were having an affair and to make matters worse, we did nothing to allay their suspicion.
Ironic and hilarious at the same time. They could not believe that two creative intellectuals with different mindsets and totally alien characteristics, could possibly share the same enthusiasm for trivial pursuits and become very argumentative to get their respective points of view on the table.
However all stories do not end happily after all and the glass ceiling broke, it hit me in the face with the impact that I would feel for the rest of my life.
To cut a long story short, word reached our bosses in England that I was interfering with the company’s so-called major goal of reaching market globalization and was intent on carving out a niche for myself vicariously and at the company’s benefit. Astounding and completely incredulous.
But to my utter disbelieve everyone believed it and had already acted as judge jury and executioner.
The Chairperson called an urgent meeting and interrogated me as if I had committed a very serious crime. The manner in which the tirade continued, I had a good mind to actually commit one! To my utter consternation, she a very erudite and experienced lady and well known and liked for her fair and unprejudiced point of view, choosing to ignore my defense and each allegation was actually met with a stoic determination to see that I was duly reprimanded and made to pay.
Finally, it was determined that my, once so certain, dream of becoming a very senior associate in the firm would be on hold and I would now deal only with the clients who were so budget-conscious that its a wonder they ever managed to sell a product.
That was the last straw and I remembered my father’s words, ” If ever you feel you are not getting the respect and your achievements are of very little value, it’s time to move on”.
So I left with a clear conscious and my head held high and did not ever regret that decision. By the way, I later got to learn that the “gang ” who had plotted my downfall were suddenly given the royal boot and are today still searching for an organization to hire them.
The universe, my friend is truly a force to reckon with and clearly vindicates the saying “what goes around, comes around”.