We know it takes a little while to get
into our culture, so we thought we’d
help you out. We asked a brand-new
writer to put down his thoughts during
his ﬁrst 22 days. Okay, that writer is
me, actually, and this is the last section
I wrote. The rest is part handbook, part
journal, and hopefully really relevant
since I was probably feeling what
you’re feeling now. So check it out and
enjoy your ﬁrst 22.
HEY. WELCOME TO 22.
Ok, you feel like an idiot. Temporarily, of course, but for now, you
can’t remember if it was Jim or Joe or Jed or Moe you just met
or why your password won’t work or where you’re supposed to
be next or where the bathroom/coffee/elevator/stairwell/printer/
anything is but you’re smiling all the time because hey it’s your
ﬁrst day and you don’t want anybody else to know you’re an
idiot and okay you’ve got the computer working and it was Jim,
not Moe, and you ﬁlled out most of the forms and they took
you to lunch and everybody’s cool and you’ve got your pass
thingy so you feel less visitor-ish and you actually remembered
that the big door is a push instead of a pull and by the time you
leave you realize you just started a really great part of your life
because this place is pretty cool. And you’re not an idiot at all.
Now where did you park?
THINGS I DON’T GET:
Client Leadership (transl. Account Management). Campaign
Management (transl. Traffic/Project Management). Performance
Solutions (transl. UX, Analytics and Search). Yeah, it’s like going to
Mexico. You can still speak English, but you’ll need to memorize
a few key words to order a taco. Of course there are reasons
why they speak differently here, most of them tied to the fact
that they think differently here. You will too. Be patient. Oh, and
if people start wondering out loud if you’re an E or an I, that’s
part of a personality test they may have you do to help you and
others to interact better. Does that sound cool to you? Yeah?
You’re probably an E.
22 ACRONYM I HAD TO ASK ABOUT:
SET: Southeast Toyota.
So, you’re over the new employee blur and now it’s time to do
stuff. But everything seems kind of clunky. It’s going to. Relax,
nobody expects you to know everything all at once or, actually
ever. Because everyone here is learning, all the time. That’s one of
the things that make this place so great. It’s never perfect because
perfect isn’t perfect. Perfect means stopping. And stopping
sucks. So, relax. You won’t be judged for trying too hard. And
you’re good at what you do. That’s why they hired you. And they’re
really picky. Did we mention that you need to relax?
CLUNKY THINGS I DID TODAY:
Spilled soda on my pants because the bathroom
door handle required less pressure than I realized.
Warning. When you innocently ask somebody “Hey, what’s there
to eat around here?” you think you are asking a simple question
with the usual ﬁve option answer. Oh, no. You’re about to get a
passionate discourse on the culinary merits of every eatery known
to modern man. And the food trucks. Whoa. It could take a lunch
hour just to hear about the food trucks. So just cut in and say,“That
sounds good.” And go try it. Then, in a couple months, when a new
person asks you what there is to eat around here, sweet revenge.
BEST PLACE TO EAT:
We’re in the most vibrant, exciting part of the largest, most
cosmopolitan city in the Southeast. An area where accountants
rub elbows, accidentally, with hipsters, where fancy restaurants
compete with street food, where even the homeless people are
enterprising. It is a food, bar, theatre, shopping mecca. So go.
Leave. Explore. Have lunch, after-work drinks, take a walk, get out,
breathe. Then come back, feeling like you’re part of something
bigger. Because you are.
FAVORITE PLACE TO BE:
This place is alive. Alive as in busy and alive as in constantly
rethinking how things are done. There’s an energy that you’ve
never felt before, as if everybody is really connected to everybody
else, not just digitally, but in spirit, too. And constantly moving.
FUN THING TO DO:
Sit at the 15th ﬂoor cafe couches in the afternoon
and just watch people come and go. Better than reality TV.
That’s the biggest difference you’ll ﬁnd here. In most places,
you’ve got your poseurs, your squeaky wheels, your worker bees
and your coasters, the people who just sort of do the minimum
and let everyone else carry the load. Here, there’s a different
attitude. An energy. People are excited. And the place is always
moving forward. That’s because nobody’s just riding. Everybody’s
always pushing. Pushing yourself, pushing ideas, pushing limits.
It’s refreshing and a bit of a kick in the pants.
The lights of the city from anywhere in the office.
It doesn’t take long to feel like you’re part of this place. To start
saying “we” when you tell your friends what’s happening here,
instead of “they.” Because what’s happening here is pretty cool
and you’re starting to be a part of it.
Memorize a few names on your map of the agency,
then take a walk around and see what they look like.
No, really. What’s next? They never rest here. I mean, they sleep
at night, sure, but they’re always building, never repeating. After
every meeting, they ask what worked, what didn’t and what can
be done better and then, move on. They think of feedback, any
feedback, as a gift, a way to go forward.
CLEVER-SOUNDING THING I JUST THOUGHT OF:
Mistakes are the fuel for success.
Why is it such a great place to work? Because the people who
work here think it’s a great place to work. And being surrounded
by people who want to be here makes it a great place to work.
Does that make sense?
If a doughnut is left in the kitchen and
nobody sees it, does it exist?
This is big. A lot of agencies say they want to be the leaders, but
they aren’t set up to allow that to happen. We’re independent in
ownership and in attitude. We make our own rules. We don’t have
to “check with corporate.” We are corporate. And our corporate
is anything but corporate. So we don’t have to compete with
ourselves to be the biggest mouthpiece in a meeting. We’re making
our way in the world, pushing what’s possible. It’s a little scary.
But the rewards are much, much bigger.
“WHAT IF” IS THE REASON YOU’RE READING THIS.
Finally, you can stop feeling the need to introduce yourself. You
can also stop wondering if they’re all whispering about you.
They’re not. And maybe it’s time you started showing off some
of those quirky habits. Wear the funky shirt. Bring in the toilet-
shaped coffee mug. Unveil that tattoo you never remembered
getting. Take a phone call from your honey without running to
the restroom. You’re one of us. It’s what makes us all interesting.
What’s that smell? Is it new person? No, you stepped in something
this morning. Good, you’re real. Stay that way.
Today I made a bad pun out loud and everyone groaned.
It was so liberating.
You’ll soon ﬁnd out that the people you don’t work with, you do
work with. Because there are no walls between departments, just
doorways, made of glass. And we all have the same goals. So
Social has to be really creative and Creative has to be really social
and just about every project involves just about every department
from the get-go.
DEFINITION OF INTEGRATED:
All hands on deck.
So you’re three drinks in and your team just won the latest round
of ping-pong/Pictionary/whatever game was available and you’re
talking to somebody from another department about that movie
you both love and saying things like “I know, right?” and your
new work buddies are giving you head nods and ﬁst pumps and
a group is forming to keep the party going and you’re thinking,
“I actually like these idiots.”
FRIDAY BEV BAR:
When our media partners invade our office with alcohol.
We’re all moving this place forward. So spend a little time each day
ﬁguring out where the future’s going and how you can help us to
shape it. Go online, see what’s new. Download the apps the teens
are into, try ’em out, keep the ones you like. Make a cool avatar.
Sign up for everything social. Get connected to what’s happening
out there. ’Cause that’s what’s happening in here.
TIP OF THE DAY:
Go online. Find out something that nobody else knows yet.
Rub everyone’s face in it.
It’s more of a movement than a company. And you’re a supporter
as well as a mover. Feel free to join whatever function, group,
sport, event or even hallway gathering you ﬁnd interesting and fun.
We’re a social company. So go socialize.
Take a picture of your new space and post it.
The big glass doors open away from the kitchen. That way, when
you’re bringing food or hot coffee somewhere you can just push.
Or just look up to see if there’s a little metal bar in front of the
metal plate on top. That means push, too. There, now the world
can continue to revolve.
Holding the door for people. It’s appreciated
and increases core strength.
They love friction here. The good kind of friction. The kind that
doesn’t slow things down, but makes things better. That doesn’t
make enemies, but lifelong friends. The kind that can stir a roomful
of ideas into a sum that’s so much greater than the parts.
Two gently butting heads are better than one.
It’s an agency meeting where people share what’s happening.
And don’t worry. They aren’t going to call out your name and start
clapping like a T.G.I. Friday’s birthday party. Just go and listen and
enjoy being part of something bigger.
“Hear ye, hear ye.”
You want to prove yourself. You want to show you know what
you’re doing. That you can hit the ground running. And yet, there
are a lot of little things you don’t know yet. Like where’s the
cream for the coffee? So, ask for help. People like to help. And they
like people who aren’t perfect. So you’re actually helping them by
asking them to help you. Does that help?
ME: Where are the phones?
ANSWER: Your laptop is a phone.
ME: I knew that.
This place was designed for interaction. Creativity. Sharing. But
there are times when you just need to escape to the privacy of
your own thoughts. Good, it was designed for that, too. You’ll see
people camped out in corners, booths, cafe tables, conference
rooms, other people’s desks. Still connected but less distracted.
And that’s cool. You won’t look like a tool for checking out every
once in a while. It’s expected.
NOT A LIE:
Tell your friends you have a corner office with
an amazing view of the city.
So you’re on your way in to work. And you’re thinking about that
deadline you’ve got to meet and that email from _______ that’s
actually gonna help you meet it. And you’re already planning
lunch in your mind. And trying to ﬁgure out if you can go to
that thing somebody from 22 invited you to next Saturday. And
even in your thoughts, you’re using 22 lingo and when you stop
and think where you were 22 days ago, it’s like you’ve become
a whole different you. A quicker-witted, more progressive, more
energetic, more in-the-know you. And you like this you a lot better.
22 days at 22. Yeah.
THE MOST AMAZING THING ABOUT MY FIRST 22 DAYS:
How fast they went by.