I got knocked off my bike the other day.
I've never understood how clothing can remain un-ripped yet the skin can be stripped from your flesh, yet that's what happened to my leg.
Then there's my ribs that are either bruised or broken.
Still on the bike though, a few pain killers etc and it's OK.
Get back on the horse.
Now it wasn't my fault, but it doesn't matter.
It doesn't make my ribs any less damaged, it doesn't put the skin back on my leg.
If I didn't know how to fall, it wouldn't change more broken more bones or a mangled bike.
That's the problem with getting all self righteous about blame and fairness.
It rarely changes your current predicament.
In fact it usually makes things worse.
It's the same with the job.
It's not fair that strategy types have to earn the right to have any sort of point of view -and are expected to back it up with evidence.
While others can say what they bloody well like and it's taken as gospel.
It's not fair that brief has largely been ignored by the folks working on it.
It's not fair that your carefully crafted, well researched thinking has been torpedoed by a client, creative director, media partner or whoever without any evidence or logic whatsoever.
It is the job. Change what you can, deal with what you can't.
Treat rejection of your work as a chance to do something even better. Work even harder. Learn dirty rules to politely destabilise the thinking of louder mouthed people. Learn how to push emotional buttons when you share your work, no one gets excited by logic.
And if it's a lost cause, start the long term plotting to change your job, client or even department. But do make sure the problem isn't really you that's the problem.
Back to that bike incident.
I got up, ready to blister the offending driver with white hot rage.
Only to see a mother and her little girl behind the dashboard, on their way to school.
No way am I going to upset a little girl.
I prepare for a withering look before I stuggle onto my bike and ride off.
But she opens her door, rushes out and gives me hug.
My ribs are agony, but I let pass because she's in tears.
She's actually in shock. She says she's so sorry, she's full of concern, she offers to drive me to work, pay for a new bike and God knows what else.
I end up calming HER down and making sure she's OK, before I eventually pedal away.
Why am I telling you this?
Because no one has the right to be self-righteous if someone else feels bad and didn't mean it.
But more because, getting back to the job, it's worth making sure you know how someone else feels before they wade in. They may well surprise you - and head confrontation rarely works.
The person who blanks you because they're actually painfully shy.
The client who won't even discuss why you're work won't get any further because they're inexperienced and they make you feel stupid.
The creatives shouting at you for work bombing in research, when they're actually terrified of a creative director.
The TV planner who's only way of dealing with stuff is 100% aggression, because that's what he's got from everyone else. If you give it back, you've only managed to cease to amaze him like everyone else.
Remember, I missed acting looking a total idiot on that road, by a matter of seconds, only because I happened to look through the windshield at the person.
I've learned the hard way about rising to unfairness and being shafted at work. It never works. Pause, look behind the windshield instead.
On the other hand, she might have been using emotional blackmail on me, but that's OK, we've already covered how playing dirty can get you out of dodge. Being moral and fair and considered is all good of course, sometimes, you just need to be a little bit cunning too.