Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hooray For The Awkward Squad

The result of my latest poll shows a majority of voters believe there is no correlation between niceness and talent.

Well you know what? I disagree.

Nice means easy to get along with. But to make work that is different you need people who are different - dreamers, weirdos, obsessives, folks who are 'wrongly wired' - and of course this type of person is not as easy to get along with as your average Joe.

Advertising agency creative departments are becoming too boring. You hear stories of people getting fired because they like a drink or two, or wear funny trousers. That's very sad. If there's one thing that a good ad agency should be good at, it is getting the best out of difficult people.

Previous poll results:

Friday Poll No.15 - Who Is Responsible For Ineffectiveness?
Friday Poll No.14 - Your Personal Success Record
Friday Poll No.13 - Which Department Is The Most Insane?
Friday Poll No.12 - What Music Do You Listen To While Working?
Friday Poll No.11 - What Time Do You Get In?
Friday Poll No.10 - Who Drinks The Most?
Friday Poll No.9 - Press v Online
Friday Poll No.8 - Success Or Glory?
Friday Poll No.7 - Is Reading Blogs A Waste Of Time?
Friday Poll No.6 - Job Satisfaction
Friday Poll No.5 - Festive Greetings
Friday Poll No.4 - Ad Of The Year 2006
Friday Poll No.3 - What's Your Favourite Medium To Work In?
Friday Poll No.2 - Agency Of The Year
Friday Poll No.1 - Which Department Is The Most Overpaid?


Alan Wolk said...

I think Scamp, it's all semantics.

When you say "difficult" I immediately go to "asshole" as in someone who's rude and opinionated and entitled and all that just because he thinks he can be.
That's a behavior I've found pretty much exclusively in hacks.

The people you describe are more likely "eccentrics" - a phrase some Americans apply to your entire nation, but generally describes someone who is well-meaning but outside the norm.

Billy Walsh on "Entourage" is difficult.

Flea, from the Red Hot Chili Peppers is eccentric. (I could probably come up with a better example, but it's the weekend.)

Anonymous said...

Toad. From my experience. Hegarty is difficult. He's just difficult in a charming way (but can be really rude when he loses it). Tony Davidson is difficult. Flintham and McLeod could be difficult. So could Nick Bell. Graham Fink was and probably still is (he needs to be at M&C!). Paul Arden was another. And Chris Palmer and Mark Denton were fucking difficult but they are all also brilliant. And being difficult is one of the reasons why they are brilliant. Call them assholes then if you like. It's all semantics as you say

Anonymous said...

well they're square pegs aren't they. innately rebellious.

people who are dissatisfied tend not to be all sunshine and smiles. that's why prozac kills creativity.

Anonymous said...

i think i am sometimes described as 'difficult' and 'hard work' by alot of people i work with although i always strive to be polite and treat people with the respect they deserve.

i think alot of people in advertising don't like people challenging them or challenging the norm. its scary. i can understand that. they want everyone to plod along doing as their told all the time. its the same in the big wide world.

where does that get us? the same old places. and not just in ideas.

personally i find people who are constantly smiling and chipper and 'normal', extremely weird.

Alan Wolk said...

Come on anonymii - there's a huge space between "egregiously rude and expecting to be treated like a demi-god and disrespectful to anyone who doesn't" and "Sunshine and Smiles"

You can stick to your guns, be argumentative and all that without being a complete asshole.

Anonymous said...

Toady, you seem to have a very big axe to grind.
Lets hope you are not using it on the creatives at your place.

Charles Edward Frith said...

History isn't made by reasonable men.

Anonymous said...

Interesting question and I agree with Toad it is all semantics. My art director is often branded as 'difficult' because he has unfailingly high standards and expects others to meet them too. Our boss on the other hand is branded as 'difficult' because he often insults people on a personal level (screaming, shouting etc) and has an ego the size of fucking Mars. Hardly the same thing is it?