Mad Men – Good Work: My Anti-Drug
The 60’s were quite the time to experiment. Peggy and the SCDP team certainly tried a few new things in the latest episode. Perhaps Peggy’s most questionable decision (at least the one we’re going to talk about) is her reaction to the Heinz client who did not approve the “Home is where the Heinz is” campaign. Peggy is used to having Don convince the client that the work is good. Don’s off in another realm and not paying attention to anything going on at the office.
The Heinz rep says that Peggy & Co. write down what he asks for, but they can’t give him what he wants. Peggy lashes out, saying that he knows the work is good, “young and beautiful,” and that he just likes fighting. She is immediately removed from the account and goes on a midday movie-marijuana-extracurricular bender.
It’s very important to stand behind your work and push back when you believe in your ideas. There is a thin line though between pushing back against your client and being aggressive towards your client. As we have said in previous posts, every client relationship is different, which means an appropriate tone for one client may not work for someone else. But insulting or belittling your client is never appropriate; doing so could rupture the business relationship and cost you your job.
People stand behind their work because they’re invested in it; they’ve put time, blood, sweat and tears into creating something that they are proud of. But one needs to see the project with clear eyes, which is where the concept of a healthy work/life balance comes into play. Spending too much time at one or the other will sacrifice the quality of the neglected part.
Having enough time for both work and leisure is vital to a healthy lifestyle. That doesn’t mean you can take off whenever you want, even if Don Draper thinks so. Think of it as a symbiotic relationship—we tend to do our best work when our personal lives are fulfilling, and we are happier outside the office when things go well on the inside. It’s obvious the folks at SCDP have their work/life priorities out of whack. Peggy’s boyfriend reminds her, “I’m your boyfriend, not your focus group!”
While there are plenty of ways to de-stress from work, I recommend doing none of the things that Peggy, Don, or Roger did in the latest episode. Not that I speak from experience, but their actions seemed to cause more stress than release it. And given that stress usually kills the creative exchange of ideas, it’s a bad omen that so much of it is flying around SDCP.
Previous Mad Men posts on The Hit Board: