The work tells you when you can go home, not the clock, not your boss and not your dog just barely holding it in. The work comes first, slams the door in your face and laughs under its breath. The work doesn’t wait more than three minutes at Starbucks.
The work pays the bills, puts a roof over your head and expects you to take out the trash, you bum. The work calls its mother every day.
The work matters most.
The work matters more than E divided by C squared. The work wrote all of Chuck Norris’s so-called facts. The work has a bigger following on Instagram than Beyonce’s dog. The work can make jokes in French.
The work is probably sleeping with that co-worker you haven’t worked up the courage to ask out yet. The work can make Cross Fitters shut up for a second. The work literally can even.
After picking up their jaws, the first question most right-thinking people ask is “who the hell let this happen?” As most ad agency vets can attest, ideas often snowball before anyone can put a stop to them. Usually, these snowballs simply hit the side of a barn; they tend to result in campaigns or ads that made sense to a small group of people in a conference room but not in the real world. A career-minded sort (not judging) gains nothing by voicing qualms about them.
However, when an idea has the potential to become explosively damaging, everyone has the responsibility to stand up and strongly advise restraint. As an example, let me share the time I helped prevent an agency from re-fighting WWII.