I’m trusting that my days of puntership status are drawing to an end.
More fool me, for I am one of those hapless hopefuls who has opted to
lay their dignity, sanity and self-confidence on the line and enter the
graduate trainee rat race.
Since early November I have slaved over some of the most bastard
application forms ever concocted. I’ll bet all you recruitment lot
regularly gather in the pub to enjoy great laughs over the various
teasers that you’ve dreamed up for us innocents: ‘Describe yourself as a
whoopee cushion in 14 words’; ‘How many times a day should an account
planner pick his nose?’; ‘Are you in love with your mother?’.
More jollity will have ensued over the festive period as our much-
agonised-over answers finally found their way onto your desks. Is it
just a rumour or does the cabaret at every agency Christmas party
consist of a recital of the most amusing extracts from among our paltry
offerings? Or do they simply find their way on to the corporate fax
circuit and end up adorning the office lavatory walls alongside the
alternative rules of golf?
Then we’re left to stew for a couple of weeks. Every phone call, letter
or passing comment causes an involuntary movement below. Then come the
regrets. ‘Why did I say Rover’s advertising had sunk to ‘limp
stereotypes’ on APL’s form? Why did I say Orange’s campaign was
brilliant on AMV’s? Why can’t I spell Haagen-Dasz?’
By the time the 50 ‘least bad’ applicants have been asked for interview
I’m a nervous wreck. Still, I had a couple of positive responses. These
took my mind off the stack of ‘Don’t ever darken our door again, you
Of course, it’s all smiles at interviews. Far too many smiles, in fact.
I say all the right things. Perhaps I ‘um’ and ‘ah’ here and there and
occasionally I have to resort to the old gems like ‘rewriting the
agenda’ and ‘good ad, but is it good advertising?’. But I’m not meant to
know it all yet. Apparently. Then it’s more smiles and coffee and I’m
off. In time, the ominously thin letter will doubtless come again and
it’ll be back to work experience.
Still, at least Campaign remains firm.
Got something you’d like to rant about? Send it to Stefano Hatfield at
174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP. And make sure it’s no more, no
less, than 400 words, please.