A few months ago, our creative team stumbled across these brutally honest freelance bios from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, a satirical website. As we laughed our way through them, it occurred to us that it would be really interesting to see how our own teams think about their jobs.
Because the thing about most online bios is – they’re dull. Informative, perhaps, but usually something of a slog to get through. So we thought we would ask our team if they had ever wished they could share their hilarious/lightly scathing exaggerations about their work. The kind of response to “What do you do?” that culminates in a deadpan “I transcribe handwritten post-its from blurry photographs into global best-practices”? You know … deep reflection about your work.
We sent out the challenge. Here are our favourites. (Actually, if we’re being brutally honest … these were the only ones sent in. Because it’s summer and holidays and *cough* that’s how it all rolled out. But we love them! Honestly!)
Paul Bremner (Creative Director, CA) is staring at his computer screen, trying to write something clever for his “Brutally Honest Bio.” He does this often—stare at his computer screen, watching the cursor as it blinks. Soon he will take a nap, and he will have the idea for a half-baked meta approach, which you are presently reading. Even though Paul has billable work he should be doing, Paul finds the “Brutally Honest Bio” challenge much more fun, so he will focus on that first. This probably explains the state of Paul’s bank account. Eventually this will lead him to seek out more paying work, hopefully from Audience.
And so it goes.
Mike Hewlett (Creative Director, UK) is a writer, ideas conjuror, concept fixer, content meddler, words masseur, apostrophe fixer, book cover judge, bigger picture seer. To keep it brief (unlike the briefs we get), Mike can write half-decent copy, direct creative ideas, and go toe-to-toe with clients on their agenda content. He also knows a lot of pointless stuff from the world beyond communications, understands the psychology of winning at rock-paper-scissors, and even used to DJ across south London pubs in Peckham, Penge, and Plumstead. This was primarily for the glamour and still comes in useful when helping to choose walk-on music for the great and the good in PDMA. He is writing this himself using the third person.
Howard Gopsill (Managing Director, CA) does not like to wear shoes.
Nicolas Kopp (Managing Director, SA) wouldn’t be caught dead wearing flip-flops (or t-shirts, or shorts) to the office.
Brandy Ryan (Creative Director, CA) manages her creative chaos systematically (as in: her systems have systems). This involves: colour-coding her handwritten notes. Cleaning whiteboards with hand sanitizer. Pushing chairs back into the table after she (and everyone else) has left. Clearing her desk at the end of each work day. (She will resist tidying your desk if you leave it a mess while on holiday, but only for one week.)
Mark Higgins (Creative Director, CA) is a collector and purveyor of rare and precious items, such as the semi-colon.