Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Now I need help

Here's one area where 'Life Stinks. Now Fix It!' won't help me. It's the 'a' category of self-development - people skills, or how to persuade your fellow man to get what you want.

I have a problem. An all too familiar problem. The, eh, 'client' (not really a client, more of a minority partner in the venture but for the purposes of business, client will do) wanted one thing. I wanted another.

Client wouldn't budge but actually seemed to have some clue as to what they were doing and why they wanted what they wanted so... I agreed to give them what they wanted. Somewhat reluctantly but I made peace with the decision and actually grew to like what it was... that thing they wanted.

You can see what's coming next, right?

Anyone who has been in this business or probably even any business has to know what's coming next.

They changed their mind. Yeah, what they wanted wasn't what they wanted any more. What they wanted became something that was a bit of what they previously wanted and a bit of something entirely different. Like asking for a fine wine, then chucking in half a pint of beer into it in an attempt to hook the beer drinkers. A recipe for success? Or something entirely undrinkable.

And I can't in all good conscience give them what they want. Because what they want is a poxy piece of crap. It's a job I really wanted to do but I have to now talk them round to either what I originally wanted or what they originally wanted or I have to walk away and let it go.

Ah, yes, stuck in the 'giving what they want until they change their minds on what they want' trap. It's all too familiar. This is where I need one of those self-development 'how to shaft your fellow man' books.

1 comment:

Red Pill Junkie said...

The former Mexican tycoon of the TV industry —Emilio Azc√°rraga Milmo, called 'The Tiger' by both his admirers and enemies—used to say this about the kind of content in the channels of his company, Televisa: "If people want shit, I give them shit".

He died one of the richest men in Mexico, possibly Latin America.

The thing is, I'm with you in this one. I can't stand it when my boss tells me to design something I know is a complete mistake. The latest one was designing a steam room for one of our clients; complete with sink, shower, and A TOILET. A f*#&ing toilet in a sauna! Even when I pointed out the very obvious—how in hell do you keep toilet paper dry in a room full of steam—both my boss and the client told me not to worry about it and do what they asked.

I could go on and on...

But in the end, we must remember something. Even though we all—Animators, Architects, Designers—consider ourselves to be artists, the fact is that WE ARE NOT.

We are not artists. An artist does what he pleases; and that's a rather modern tendency, because in the middle ages and the Reinassance the artist had to do what his patron commanded of him. Remember that movie "The Agony & The Ecstasy" with NRA Charlton Helston? Raphael explains Michelangelo that artists are whores bending their will to their patrons in order to have the opportunity to create.

But then of course, there is the ethical dilemma: at what point your professional training is in complete opposition to what your clients are demanding? An Architect can't obey every wish & whim of their clients, lest the house could fall apart.

So at what point you walk away?