The ticking clock …

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 9:00 am

In my last post, I mentioned the possibility of yours truly retiring. Now don’t worry, it’s not going to happen just yet. But the long walk to the exit clutching cardboard box to chest is drawing inexorably closer. I could, of course, die on the job, in which case it would be me being carried out in a slightly bigger box. Actually if I had to kick the bucket in service, there would be something rather poetic about expiring noisily in the boardroom of a particularly difficult client, leaving them to clear up the mess.

But back to my point: I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the question, ‘How do I know when it’s time to go?’ It’s not when you look so haggard that your kids don’t want to be seen in your company any more. Grey hair, grey skin, bags under eyes, a tyre around the waist and a generally dishevelled appearance come with the job. They’re the hallmark of most senior advertising executives who spend all their time moving multi-national accounts around a giant global chessboard to avoid client conflicts. The spring has gone from their step because they don’t do any actual advertising any more. But, because they’ve got themselves so in hock to their expensive lifestyle, to quit pounding the treadmill now would spell disaster. Much as they’d love to retire, they absolutely cannot afford to.

No, the time to hang up your boots is the day when you sit in your first meeting and realise that you’ve spent so much time at 43,000 feet that a generation on earth below has passed you by and you no longer recognise the clothing, hairstyles, technology or even the lingo of the people in the room. That’s when you should place your filofax in the cardboard box …

  1. Hello! Just so you recognise me this is ‘sparklewisp’ from twitter calling! A very good read; I enjoyed your blog, and find it tells some ‘home truths’ about being hemmed into the work force, and also about the onset of this thing called ‘age’!!
    I guess retirement could work; but only if there was something to replace the hours production, if only on a smaller scale, to keep the levels of interest and involvment going!
    Thanks for the link
    Natasha (nahatsu/sparklewisp)

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