The Ogilvy Hangover

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I remember the goosebumps that pierced through my skin when I read the words ‘Ogilvy & Mather’ while pushing the glass door of the office forward and setting my foot into the ‘big bad world of advertising’. I was dressed to impress, oh yes I was! A Zara Blazer with a smart white shirt and black trousers with white Mochi peep-toes. “They had to take me, a 19 year old seriously”, I thought sitting at the reception, trying to look intellectual while peeping into the Economic Times…for probably the 2nd time in my life 😛 With thoughts running in my head and while I thanked my stars (and my daddy dearest) for this unbelievably amazing opportunity…my boss, a very sweet and happy face walks up to me looking perfectly smart in her casuals and that’s when it hit me…no not the gush of happiness for being accepted but the culture shock I would face in a few minutes :I

I don’t know if it was just me but everybody just looked so very beautiful…not over the top with the scarves and fancy pants but so appealing to the eyes. (Note to self: This is how people dress in an agency…nothing compared to what my college or my dad had imagined). We as students have always perceived an agency to be filled with the snobbish sorts (you know the ones that films exaggerate about, and people believe it in order to baato gyan to us)…trying to keep that thought away I walk through the office looking at all the busy and stressed out faces…I try to put up my best smile (yes I have a best smile even though I smile all the time). So the formalities are done, I meet all the high dignitaries of the agency (yes they were in their denims too) and feel pumped up for some good work! Starting my journey as a media trainee from the most sought after agency is definitely my idea of getting lucky. We all know why Ogilvy is the number one ranking agency all over India…but here are my reasons to justify the same.

Every company has its work culture; Ogilvy’s is to have fun while working (this is clearly an intern’s perspective) and what’s better than enjoying the work you do? I have had my fair share of an amazing experience getting to know people at the agency.

After completing a month at Ogilvy, I decided to give away what they called my ‘Third Day Sweets’. What I infer out of this is, it’s a pretty ‘sweet’ way to break the ice and get to know everyone at your workplace…yes of course at first you feel like a tape recorder introducing yourself over and over again to 150 people, (who if I may add grab a few chocolates before shaking your hands but that’s only because sugar rush keeps us all going) but I didn’t mind because well, a) I like talking, (Oh yes I can go onn and onn and onnnnn till you ask me to shut up because Im also a bit distracting) b) I like meeting new people (Yes, its fun and handy to know almost everyone) c) Even though they were way ahead on the age bar, I got to meet gorgeous men and women 😛 (I am not least bit ashamed to admit but whether young or old EVERYONE was just appealing, some to the eyes and some in every other way) And you know you’re in an amazing office when almost everyday after 6, you have good music playing (Current favourite during my internship period was Subah Hone Na De – Desi Boyz) and its paperball war! (Oh Dear Lord!) No matter where and who you are, no matter who you’re talking to…you’re being hit from every direction possible! Its something I thought of as a dangerous stress buster…specially after the Creatives started enjoying this and would encourage the servicing team to kill each other as it would save them time (Sadistic as it may sound but hey they all love each other just too much 😛 ) Trust me when I say this I could just spend a day just OBSERVING what people do…(I couldn’t understand half the jokes because it would usually be in Malayalam). After working hard for the whole week everyone looks forward to ‘Opus Nights’ on Fridays. According to my curriculum Im supposed to leave the office after my boss does, which is precisely why during my last few weeks I left with my boss…for Opus 😀 Meeting workfolks and having a drink with them was something this 19 year old here enjoyed a lot.

Why, the ultimate compliment was paid to me when I was asked to stay back…that night the stars came out and so did the rainbow and I could twirl and dance my way back home with the thought of staying back for another WHOLE WEEK! I was lucky enough to be the ONLY intern during my time, as I secretly loved all the attention I got, (Nope not ashamed to admit it) and I loved being given all the responsibilities as it made me more confident as the days passed by…There was always something to learn from someone @ Ogilvy…Some taught me to be healthy…while some taught me its okay to let go at times…some taught me to chill and some taught me ways to become a better client servicing personnel, Yes I had the most supportive boss ever, I don’t think I ever mentioned this to her but I really admired her style of work and hope and believe that one day I’d be instructing my trainees in the same manner! Which reminds me how I loved being the Senior Intern (as everyone put it the Queen I) amongst all the newbies who are still sitting in the cubicles (missing my random outbursts of drama every morning) and working for (what I’d like to call) my office.

Oh Ogilvy…the walls, the cubicles, the Maggie, the random sticky notes on people’s desks (including the ones I left for everyone) and the coffee machine, I had gotten so used to it all…as if it were all meant to stay with me fore life!

But the extended week ended before I could say ‘Ogilvy’ and it was time to bid farewell to the people who grabbed more than 5 chocolates from me, who patiently listened to me and took me seriously while I worked on my new project, who sat through my presentation and paid utmost interest in all that I had to say, who shared meaningless conversations with me, everyone who was shocked at me being ‘just 19’, who remembered and understood that I was just 19, and just like all good things come to an end so did my journey with Ogilvy, But I was going to be alright…hell I had a year to finish before I could enter the industry myself…so after hundreds of photos (literally) and goodbye hugs I reach Pune…to feel myself waking up to an unfamiliar feeling of despair and hopelessness…to experience what I’d like to call, an Ogilvy Hangover.

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