First Day at the New Job

I got let go from my job on Friday.

After 13 years, almost to the day, my career in advertising came to an end. I’ll always be proud of the work I produced. These include such classics as:

Bagelize Their Sandwich (This actually got written up in the NYT as an example of what’s wrong with America—a proud day for me)

Go Down More Often (a ski pass offer that sold into an apparently oblivious client in Utah.)

And, for the last 4 years, variations of Save $1 when you buy 2 (8 oz. or larger) bags of Lay’s Potato Chips.

Now, no one would deny that it was a great run. But, the economy being what it is, and everyone realizing that store brand potato chips are just as delicious as the name brand, there had to be cutbacks.

Getting laid off sucks for a whole mess of reasons. But, I’m going to look at the bright side of this. For example, I finally have time to take advantage of the free neck trim they offer between haircuts.

On top of the neck trim, I already have a new job. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. I’m working for myself and I’m an awesome boss.

Today is my first day at Amalgamated Thoughts & Concepts. What do we do here? We write. We make words do all kinds of fancy shit. Sometimes we’ll even put art to those words. Sometimes it’s just art. But, most importantly, we make things up. We make up people, worlds, stories, entire universes, alternate realities and more.

At my last job I ended up just making coupons and awesome ideas that never went anywhere.

These ideas are going places.

I’m very excited for the first day at my new job.

Want in on the excitement? You can be a part of our first great adventure here.


  1. Hi,

    I’m sorry about the loss of your job. I don’t know about you, but when I lost my on air job, it took me a long time to get over it. I wore so many hats there and loved what I did; community service was the best. Again, I’m sorry it happened to you and countless others.

    The good thing is you can write all you want!!! It’s great knowing you won’t be sinking into a depression. If you are, write to my gmail address. Being proud of what you accomplished at your job is a wonderful experience, one you’ll have forever.

    Happy trails, happy writing.

    Much Peace,

    • Thank you, Robin. I’m doing great. Unlike you, I wasn’t really happy with what I was doing. It may not be the ideal situation, but I’m excited to make the most of it.

      • You are indeed welcome!

        I’m glad you attached to you past job. I’m excited for you and your new
        adventures! Please keep me posted. Enjoy your time and stay excited.


  2. Sending you good vibes and best wishes

  3. Ben,

    I am there for you in whatever way a Facebook/Twitter friend can be from 1000 miles distance. Good luck with your endeavors going forward. If anyone can make it work, you can…George (tradergeorge)

  4. For the first few years after T/L, I toyed around with finding another agency and poked my nose in some doors, freelanced, had some interviews. . . and then one day I realized I would never set foot as an employee in another advertising agency ever again.

    The agency world has changed beyond recognition from when I took my first starvation-wages job in NYC back in the mid-80’s, which after getting laid off in less than a year resulted in my foray into law enforcement, which found me a wife and grad school and then right back in the soup again.

    At one point, when I was in Kansas City working for Barkley (still the best job and agency I ever had, bar none), I thought it was the coolest hing in the world. I still miss the place, but in talking with some of the staffers there, it’s changed, too. Drastically.

    I’m thinking about looking into the client side and I’m also exploring various other venues. The thing that made us somewhat successful, our right-side of the brain, also keeps us incessantly wandering the highways and biways of the business world because we get bored way too quick.

    Good thing about your present job is nobody can take it away from you and the satisfaction you get is entirely up to you.

    Go for it and best of luck!


  5. I’m sorry, Ben. Something like that is big, and it is even bigger when you have a family to support. But it seems, like a winner, you’ve ripped off the silver linings of those dark clouds and using it for something far greater. I’ve never been a great fan of people telling me things will get better when I’m not in the mood to hear it, or when they’re on the outside looking in and not going through the crap I am going. Yet, the reality is that something great can come from despair. Sometimes it is the despair that catalyses you into such grand action that greatness is inevitable. Look what happened to Lee Child. You’re doing it too. And given your success so far, I think you’re going to kick ass. That softens the blow somewhat, I hope. Between you and me, my circumstances also prompted me into desperate action and like any sane person I chose to pursue writing to save my family’s butt. A mixture of craziness and determination is sometimes all it takes. Fate seems to favor stubborn asses.

    Good luck with the future my friend, and all the best.

  6. A step up, good sir.

  7. LAY’S® brand Potato Chips
    All-caps on the brand name superscript the ® and subscript “brand” is how they did it when I was writing that for them. Then there’s CHEE-TOS® brand Cheese Flavored Cheese Puffs. And if there was a special flavor, look out! CHEE-TOS® brand Dangerously Cheesy Cheese Flavored Cheese Puffs. You couldn’t write a rhythmic sentence if you wanted to. You’re better off writing funny stuff.

    • They actually lost the hyphen in Cheetos but it is now Cheetos Brand Snacks. And, worse than flavors were the sub-brands. Giants and Mighty Zingers. During my tenure they also trademarked “cheetle”—the orange dust left on your fingers after you’ve eaten the snack. We couldn’t really use it though. Orange fingers was “owned” by Doritos.

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