Can You Leave Work Behind?

Do You Freak Out on Vacation?

By Published on .

I'm outta here, baby. Going away. It's been a great (but long) year and it's time to get some rest, some rejuvenation, some rum punch. Leaders of Small Ad Agencies, unite! This is what we work for, right? V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.

Peter Madden Peter Madden
Well, vacations have changed for those of us on the front lines of running our own businesses, haven't they? In the old days (the late 80s -- cue the New Order soundtrack and get out the hairspray and Frankie Says t-shirts!) e-mail wasn't nearly as pervasive. And the Blackberry hadn't fallen from its branch yet. You could go away and be ... away.

Not today. Work has a way of following you around. Some of it good, some of it bad. Let's start with the bad.

THE BAD

The sight of a laptop, the beginning of a freak-out
The last time I was away, I was relaxing at a restaurant in paradise just getting into the slower pace and the sun on winter skin my wife refers to as "monkfish white." Next thing I know, some guy -- let's call him Chester -- pulls up a chair near me and flips open his laptop, straps on the headset and starts WORKING. Come on, don't bring your office to my vacation. Within minutes, my head was firmly back at work -- until I walked away, of course.

Work's a topic even in the tropics
It's always nice to meet new people when you're away. But it's typically two minutes before the question "Where do you work?" comes up. As with most small ad-agency types, I actually like my job (most of the time), so within a few seconds I'll be talking about some creative we're hammering out, this new name for a company we just developed and so on. I know I'm to blame for this one. Maybe I should respond "Me? I'm a Sherpa!" Or "I'm Haley Joel Osment of 'Sixth Sense' fame, and man have I grown up!"

THE GOOD

The local ads
Aside from the obvious sun and fun, there's something I love about advertisements that appear in local magazines in the islands. They're rarely high-concept, but damnit if they don't get to the point! (Something we brothers and sisters in ads could learn from.)

Interested in snorkeling? There's the ad of "Smilin' Jack" Robinson with goggles on his head, lobster in hand, grinning in the blue water like he just won the Super Bowl of Crustacean hunting.

How about fishing? Well, turn the page of your mag to an ad that explains how you can charter a half-day trip on the "Gill Chiller." Of course this ad is complete with (another) smiling captain, Red Stripe at the ready, with a sailfish hooked up in mid-air. Of course, as every ad here wants to be "all-capturing," the ad with our friendly captain also offers that he's happy to take you on a sunset cruise, or sight-seeing. Price negotiable, of course.

Hmm. Sun, blue water, fun creative, Red Stripe. Can anyone advise me on setting up an Agile branch in the Islands? Need a name, too. SunFunCat? LazyLizard?

Looking forward to catching up when your Cat is back, rested and ready to jump back in and swim in familiar waters.
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