Servicing – a day in the life.

Dedicated to Hiroshima, Bonsai and all my servicing friends.
You know who you are, I’ve yelled at and threatened you enough.

The players:
Hiroshima: loud, explosive with long-lasting after effects that leave ears ringing and head whirling, and sometimes faces stinging. One of the two intelligent humans in the agency’s servicing dept. Strangely, in this post, she came out as the silent one.
Bonsai: tiny, but nonetheless more beautiful in brain and spirit than your normal sized specimens. The other intelligent human.

God: the head of the office. We all look to him for help or answers, but never actually get any.
Jack: Last name Ass. Servicing head. Possesses disturbing tendency towards inappropriate comments.

10 am
Hiroshima and Bonsai walk in.
Jack: why so late? Client called. I told him he can have anything he wants.
Hiroshima: he wants an ad on NASA’s next flight shuttle. How is that going to happen?
God: (impassive silence)
Jack: you’re the AE, you tell me. Anyway, meeting at 10:30.

Bonsai: what? Why?
Jack: for that thing I didn’t tell you about that’s gone wrong. After that meeting from last week that I didn’t tell you about either. Hiroshima, you come too. We’ll have a group orgy. Hahahaha. Get it? Group ORGY! Woo hoo!
Bonsai: whatever. (Eye roll.)
Hiroshima: sulky silence.

11 am. Client’s office. 
Client:…and even though WE sat on our collective asses for four weeks, we feel you should churn out the final product in 2 days, even though it normally takes 10 days.
God: (looking impassively on, offering of biscuits is slid before him)
Jack: oh yes yes yes. Geddit? Yes YES YES. Ahahahaha

Bonsai & Hiroshima (whispering to God and Jack): THREE days? Creative will kill us. HOW?
Jack: you’re the AEs, you tell me.
Bonsai: Whatever. (Eye roll.)
Hiroshima: Sulky silence.

1 pm. In the creative section.
Bonsai and Hiroshima begging two separate art directors.
Bonsai: please! We have to deliver.
Art director 1: no.

Hiroshima: I’ll name my first child after you.
Art director 2: I don’t like children. Fuck off.

Bonsai (threateningly): God says you have to do this.
Art director 1: tell your boss to tell the boss to talk to our boss. We’re off for lunch.
The art directors swan off, leaving behind two shaking Japanese themed servicing people.

Bonsai: Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Why the FUCK did I get into advertising?
Hiroshima: Why the fuck was I born? Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

Beleaguered copywriter working through lunch: what an adaptable word fuck is.
Bonsai: whatever. (Eye roll.)
Hiroshima: sulky silence.

2 pm. In studio.
Hiroshima and Bonsai begging studio boss.
H: please!
B: double please!
H: triple please!
B: quadruple!

Studio Boss: yes yes ok, but what do you WANT?
Hiroshima & Bonsai: oh. Didn’t we say? There is this job that normally needs four art directors and 10 days – and we need your 2 boys who’re doing 3 other things to do it in 2 days.

Studio Boss: please, continue begging. It will pass your time for 20 days, which is how long it will take to do this job.
Bonsai: whatever. (Eye roll.)
Hiroshima: sulky silence.

2:30 pm. Back to bosses.
Hiroshima and Bonsai to Jack and God: it can’t be done. Creative is refusing, studio is refusing. So HOW?
Jack: you’re the AEs, you tell me.

Hiroshima: fine. Lets hire temp workers.
Jack: no.
God: (stoic silence)

Bonsai: let’s outsource.
Jack: no.
God: (stoic silence)

Hiroshima: let’s ask other offices to help.
Jack: no.
God: (stoic silence)

Bonsai: let’s ask client to ask his other agency to handle the artworks, we’ll squeeze out the design.
Jack: no.
God: (stoic silence)

Hiroshima and Bonsai: *#%#$&%$#%???
Jack: you’re the AEs, you tell me.
God: (stoic silence)

Bonsai: whatever. (Eye roll.)
Hiroshima: sulky silence.

3 pm. Back to creative.
Hiroshima: okay, just do the initial work. 2 layouts, that’s all.
Art director 2: No.

Bonsai: okay just do a rough design. I’ll have it adapted.
Art director 1: No.

Hiroshima: PLEASE! I’ll marry my first daughter to you.
Art director 2: I don’t like girls either, dude. Gross.

Bonsai: I’ll chop your balls off.
Art director 1: too late, my wife already did that.

Hiroshima: okay. Drinks. Unlimited. During the time it takes you to do 2 layouts.
Art director 2: NOW you’re talking!
Art director 1 looks at Bonsai: wanna offer me pot?

Bonsai: fucking do it now or I’ll call your wife and tell her where you actually are every night.
Art director 1 considers for a moment: well, when you put it that way…

Bonsai: whatever. (Eye roll.)
Hiroshima: sulky silence.

5 pm. Layouts are ready. Time for copy.
Hiroshima and Bonsai: we need copy.
Beleaguered copywriter cowering: okay, okay. Anything you want, just don’t hit me anymore.
Bonsai: whatever. (Eye roll.)
Hiroshima: sulky silence.

5.30 pm. Layouts with copy ready.
Hiroshima: okay. So we’ve got layouts. Adapts in studio will still take 3 days.
Bonsai: bloody client. If only he’d TALKED to us first….
They look at each other, stunned.

Hiroshima and Bonsai on phone to respective clients: listen you, postpone the date.
Clients: WHAT? No way! God promised me!

Hiroshima & Bonsai: Do you WANT to bring up how I covered your ass last week? And will do it again the next time you screw up? Or do you want me to not help you out the next time you screw up?
Clients: No hurry man. Take five days, no issues. You guys are awesome.

Bonsai: whatever. (Eye roll.)
Hiroshima: sulky silence.

8:30 pm. Trudging out of office, after three hours in studio, two and a half hours of yelling and a half hour of holding head in hands at colossal stupidity of entire mankind.
Jack: Going already? Half day? We all worked all night, every day. Because we guys “got lucky” every night. Ahahahaha.
God: (impassive silence, hand raised in silent goodbye)

Bonsai: whatever. (Eye roll.)
Hiroshima: sulky silence.

Copywriter in empty, echoing office: hello? Anybody there? Should I stop writing now?


Fast and spurious

#chatswithpeople #chatswithflatmate #chatswithfriends #karwachauth #chatsaboutmarriage #34

​2015 May
Tring tring. 
Me: hello? 
To-be-flatmate: hey. We met just two hours ago? You came by the house and met me and my parents?
Me: yes, of course, hi.
TBF: so, um, my parents really liked you and they think I should let you know you can have the house if you want it. 
Me: oh wow thank you, that’s…wait do you like me? 

TBF: yeah sure why not I mean I don’t know you but I’m sure it will be fine and my parents think South Indians make for great flatmates because you know, you’re also vegetarian and you mentioned that you don’t drink much and stuff. 
Me: right. Um. Are you sure you like me? No one’s forcing you right? You can say no if you don’t want to so this. 
TBF: no no, it’s fine. My parents have my best interests at heart no, and they will know best. So yeah. 

2015 July
Me:…and we also have to figure groceries for the month. 
Flatmate: dude how much household shit is there? Is this what married couples do? Are we as good as married now?

Me: I want to be the wife. I always had to play boys in school plays. 
Flatmate: er. I really wish I hadn’t let my parents convince me to share a home with you. 
Me: that makes it an arranged marriage, no?
Flatmate: sigh. 

2016, October
Tring tring.
Me: hello patidev.
Flatmate: achcha karva chauth ka kuch scene hai ki nahin?
Me: hain?

Flatmate: are you fasting for my long life or not? 
Me: errrr-
Flatmate: I thought so. my first view of you this morning was you stuffing your face. I demand my husbandly rights.
Me: err. South India mein toh waise nahi…
Flatmate: kulta. Shaadi toh Punjabi se kiya hai. 

Me: what does kulta mean?
Flatmate: dur fitteh mooh. Don’t change topic. Are you refusing to starve and therefore killing me softly?

Me: arey but I know when you will die. 
Flatmate: I think I’ll start locking my door at night. 
Me: arey I’m not going to kill you. It’s taken this long to break you in. But no need for starving and all. 

Flatmate: achcha? Batao? You’ve used the #SavitriGambit?
Me: ptui.Chasing men and asking them for what we want never works.
Flatmate: true. 

Me: No, no. I have done retirement planning. A la Thelma and Louise, we will joyride to death in, say, 15-20 years. 
Me: I will even find you Brad Pitt lookalike beforehand. 

Flatmate: sob. My patni bestest.
Me: true. Ab gift ka time hai. Kya de rahe ho?
Flatmate: I’ll open the door for maid every morning for a week. 
Me: OMG. You really love me!


#chatswithpeople #chatswithflatmate #chatsaboutworkplaces #24

9 am
Me (bleary-eyed, surprised): oh hello. You’re wearing trackpants. Going to the gym?
Flatmate: no, I’m going to work.
Me: clients making you do push-ups before signing contracts again?
Flatmate: it’s theme day in the office.
Me: you what?

Flatmate: Theme day. We have to all dress according to a theme. We’ve had nineties’ Bollywood, beachwear, cops and robbers, noughties’ Bollywood, pimps and hos…
Me (fascinated): what about eighties’ Bollywood?
Flatmate: SHHH. Not so loud. I can’t take much more.
Me: I want pictures.
Flatmate: Absolutely not.

12 pm
Flatmate: sob. Help me.
Me: show pichar and I will listen to everything.
Flatmate sends pics. Many. Many. Pics.

12.04 pm
Flatmate: Sob. My eyes.
Me: but I can see his-
Flatmate: we all can see it. And clearly he couldn’t find a razor.
Me: well, it might have become blunt just looking at him. Next!

Flatmate: Sob.
Me: Wow, that top is tight. So, so tight. And your office air conditioning is strong. So, so strong.
Flatmate: Sob. She stood next to me for 25 minutes. My eyes.
Me: we’ll buy you a guide dog. Next.

Me: is…she…wearing a VELVET tracksuit?? Omg was there ‘juicy’ written on the back?
Flatmate: No. ‘bebe’. sob.
Me: And the one next to her? Isn’t this the rich one who only eats at five-star hotels?
Flatmate: she’s wearing denim.
Me: but there are flowers on it.
Flatmate: floral cutouts on either side.
Me: sob.
Flatmate: and loud, kitchsy patchwork pockets.
Me: but why?
Flatmate: sob.

Me: wait. This guy is in a three-piece suit.
Flatmate: yes.
Me: oh he didn’t theme. He wore regular work wear.
Flatmate: no
Me: so he…I…okay.
Flatmate: yes. Buy booze ok.
Me: ordering now.