B2B Insights

Professional insights and personal musings

Low Agency Morale and the Beach Ant

By Bob Rose, President

Mmmmm the warm sun of Florida in January. There is something perversely pleasurable about absorbing the sunlight while knowing at home, up north, people are dark and cold, trudging around in coats and hats, if not housebound or stuck in their office.

So I sit, soaking it in.

Below the bluest sky.

Toes curled in the cool white beach that stretches to quiet crests of ocean waves.

And what's this I see making its way across the sand? Why its a tiny ant. And he's moving fast. An ant with plan. And what's that he's toting? I kid you not: he's got a crumb -- bagel? pizza? pita? hard to say-- but this crumb is, without exaggeration, 9 or 10 times the size of his body. And he's bolting with top ant-speed toward wherever the heck he's going.

Man, that must be heavy. The strain on his six legs burning. I speak to him:

Me: "Hey ant...why are you slogging that humongous load across this endless desert, to some far off destination?"

Ant: "Because I'm an ant. Bona fide. And this is what we do. Nothing feels quite as satisfying."

He left me there to breathe the sea air. Thinking.

I read not too long ago that morale at ad agencies is, for some people, very low.

34% of survey respondents agree that low morale is prevalent at their ad agency.

I guess agency life is not for everyone. It can be a tough haul.

I can't wait to get back.

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