Last (Mon)day @ VML

Welp... that's it. Just like a lousy NCAA Basketball team, today was one and done. I dreaded today a lot over the weekend (especially last night when the people above me ran their dishwaser at midnight – yeah, wtf?). As ready as I was to get the hell outta Dodge, I also didn't want to leave so quickly. But as we all know, time flies bye so fast (redundant, sure, why not).

Today was no easy day, though, it wouldn't be the VML way if it wasn't. I've been working hard on the redesign for the past month, and it's supposed to go into testing tomorrow (don't hold your breath). But, I'm pretty sure that the guys left working on it will get a majority of it perfect by the 20th – which was the day Matt told us to get it done by. You see, Sir Martin Sorrell (CEO of WPP, the conglomerate that owns us) is presenting to Intel next week and is pitching VML as the interactive lead for WPP. That presentation hinges around being complete. Talk about pressure.

So what's the first thing I see this morning? An email, forwarded to me, from the User Experience Department, saying that there are some problems with the site and how come they weren't involved earlier!?! Good question.

The answer? Because the system at VML is broken. This isn't news to anyone, especially those who work at VML. You see, VML has become quite fast at what they do, which is a good thing. The problem that being fast presents is unrealistic deadlines and lack of quality. We pitched the new site idea to Matt in mid-November, and he wanted it done by December 15.

That's not an unrealistic deadline, in Utopia. At VML, that's pushing it, big time. It put a lot of pressure on everyone involved. So much in fact, that corners were being cut one week into the project. Why not go back to Matt and say this isn't a good idea to press so hard? Yet another good question.

The answer this time is because the previous "new" was supposed to launch LAST December. Ouch. So before we even started the project, the cards were stacked against us. So you do what you can, the best you can, and give them your all, and they appreciate that.

That's what I did. That's all I know how to do.

Yes, today was busy, but it was a great day. I worked my butt off, but I'm glad that I did. And as a reward, I ate lunch with a lot of great friends at Genghis Kahn. They read a poem for me, gave me a card that they all signed, a photo book of my going away party, and a gift certificate to get me a new portfolio book (sorry Sam). It was a lunch that I'll never forget, from friends that I will never replace. Thank you all.

Around 4:30 I packed my last box and started to make my final rounds of VML. It was so strange saying goodbye to everyone. It felt right, but at the same time, it felt foreign. I truly can't imagine not walking in those doors tomorrow.

But, it's a small town when you run in the same industry, and I know I'll see everyone sooner, rather than later.

Below is a copy of the email that I sent company-wide before I left:

To everyone at VML,

The past two weeks have been surreal.? There wasn?t a whole lot I could do to prepare myself to say 'goodbye' to VML.? Everywhere I walked around the office spurred some memory, some unique story that I'll never forget.? When I packed my belongings into boxes, I uncovered old work and long-forgotten timesheets, which allowed me to relive every fire drill that came our way (scary!).? Even the emails I've sent over the last two weeks, I realized that I may not be talking to these same people on a daily basis in the very near future.

And that was the hardest part about it all.? The ultimate realization that after five years of headaches and heartaches, fun times and hard work, long days and sometimes even longer nights, I won't be surrounded by 200+ people that I love and cherish.? To say that the people here are what make VML a wonderful place to work is almost clich?, but it's a simple truth.? And while it may be true that a job is a job is a job, I know that it was all of you that made VML the special place that it is, and the place that I found extremely hard to close a chapter on.

Saying goodbye isn't one of my strengths.? In fact, I'd much rather not say goodbye to any of you.? So, I choose to say "see ya later," it doesn't seem so absolute that way.? I'm not about to drop off the face of the Earth.? I'll still be bowling in the VML Bowling League and I'm sure I'll see a great many of you out around town? Heck, I may even drop by the office from time to time, just to annoy you all (don't worry, no more "lame" fun events from my twisted mind).

So, here it is, and here I go.? Thanks so much for all of the memories, and I can't wait to have many more with all of you.? Take care.


Good bye, VML.

+ original post date: December 13, 2004 06:37 PM
+ categories: Work


(comments rss feed)

Hmmm. I'm just now reading this. Not sure why... Uh, are you apologizing to me for having my damn book for 5 years?

+ author: smanley
+ posted: April 10, 2008 03:23 PM

Jesus - I can't believe Ijust found your blog entry. I have worked at VML for a little more than 3 months now and realized what a unhospitable place it is. I have never seen so many generaly mean people that work there. I work with TS in the creative department (He was there when you were there) and what a jerk! Tired of playing the game there, trying to act as cool as the next douchbag. I am out of there as soon as I land another position. I envy you, man.

+ author: Fred Fredburger
+ posted: May 27, 2008 08:46 PM

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