October 16th, 2002


Eating Your Coworkers

In 1972, those guys in the photo above were on their way to a rugby match when their plane crashed in the Andes. Stranded for 10 weeks in the freezing mountains, 16 out of the 45 passengers and crew somehow managed to make it out alive. The 1993 film “Alive” was based on this incredible story of survival and perseverance.

Of course all that anybody remembers is that they ate dead people.

One of them, Nando Parrado – who was played by Ethan Hawke in the movie – goes around and talks about it to companies. Yesterday, the companies were us and our sister agency Saatchi LA.

I chose not to go. I already read about the whole thing when I was a kid, so I knew the story and didn’t want to hear it again. Secondly, as far as inspirational speakers go, he just struck me as an odd choice. From what I could tell, Saatchi headquarters had one of the following two messages in mind for us employees:

1) When times are bad, don’t hesitate to eat somebody.

2) Hey, you think you got it rough at the office? Try having to gnaw on your buddy’s frozen liver.

3) This is the second entry a row where I’ve used a list. My ass is jonesing for a Twix bar for some reason.


Speaking of cannibals, I found out yesterday that one of our projects won a BAFTA award for Online Entertainment. What’s a fricking BAFTA, you ask? It stands for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and is basically Britain’s Academy Awards and Emmys rolled into one. For whatever reason, they also give out awards for Interactive Entertainment as well.

Of course none of us were at the ceremony to accept the trophy. The problem was that I found out that our site had won secondhand; because Hi-Res – the Web design agency in London we hired - had entered and claimed the award on their fucking own, without telling us. I’m still waiting to get the full story, but I’m praying that they somehow did this unintentionally, because otherwise it was an extremely sleazy thing to do. Even for the world of advertising.

I mean I personally approached and hired them to help design our site, because I’d admired their work for a while and thought they were perfect for the job. And their contributions were obviously significant. But for them to take full credit just disappoints the hell out of me.

For now, I’ll let the producer and maybe Saatchi lawyers handle this matter. But eventually I’ve got to talk to Florian, Hi-Res’s founder, when he gets back to London. The guy’s turned into Fredo.


Later that night, about a dozen of us had drinks with Big D before he moved to NYC Wednesday. This almost didn’t happen because - as you recall from my earlier entry - he didn’t tell any of us that he was moving, except Chuck.

Chuck told me about it late Sunday, and so I called up Big D yesterday and forced him to share alcohol with me and some friends before he ditched LA. Plus I figured I could talk him into having me babysit his luscious black Carrera 911 ‘til he sold it.

What makes this move a bit insane is that he’d decided to move out there a little over a week ago. Just Boom! “I’m outta here. Now.”

It was then I realized that he wasn’t moving to Manhattan. He was quitting cold turkey. Quitting what cold turkey? You mean, quitting whom.

Women. I guess some of them are stronger than nicotine.