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Wednesday, 9 May 2012


Strange how adverts have changed over the years.
I somehow cannot see this being used today
There was a time, many years ago when I worked *shamefaced shuffle* in sales and marketing.

Look, I was young, impressionable and dazzled by the prospect of a free car, long spells in nice hotels, with an expense account, so don't be too hard on me please.

The actual job wasn't too bad, except for the bit about trying to manipulate buyers into ordering equipment and testing kits (I worked in the medical laboratory area) that wasn't quite what they wanted.  As an aside, the most entertaining visits I made were to what used to be called VD Clinics, and now in this age of Political Correctness, STD clinics. Walking in with my rep suit and sample briefcase to the reception area was always a hoot.  Seeing the seated patients in their waiting area studiously avoiding all eye contact, the blokes with caps pulled down over their faces, the women with scarfs over their heads, and all for some unfathomable reason, wearing trench coats.

I had no fear.

I always made sure I wore my badge.

You know, the one which said, "DON'T LOOK AT ME, I WORK HERE"

Eventually, as I gained experience in my chosen career, I was given more responsibility in the product development and marketing areas.

This was when I first made contact with an advertising agency.

Not to put too fine a point on it, they were weird.

I suppose creative types are always a bit on the edges of the behavioural spectrum, but this lot weren't just weird, they were gloomily weird.  I've since come to understand the pressures most of them worked under, the extremely tight deadlines, the difficult clients, the hyper-sensitive photographers and of course the tremendous volume of vodka consumed.  I got the impression that they were all permanently semi-pissed.

I was working with them on a small magazine based campaign, designed to increase the sales of our top-of-the line Streptococcus typing kit.

It took about 3 meetings to create the brief, choose and adjust the first drafts and at the last, finalise the accepted advert.  I got completely pissed every time. 

I did enjoy the champagne and the smoked salmon snacks. 
I also enjoyed the whole side of best quality Scottish Smoked Salmon which was delivered to my home after the contract was accepted.
I didn't enjoy the meeting with my boss when he got the final bill.

I still say it was his fault for not giving me a budget to work to. All he said was get the campaign going.

Ah well, we learn from experience.
I learned that a budget was essential.
I learned that I really liked smoked salmon.
I learned that bastard bosses can switch blame faster than a hyperactive ferret on ice.

My next company was quite nice really .

As some of you may know, I'm responsible for coordinating the relief teachers at Nuova Lazio High School, and I like to think I do quite a good job.  I definitely know that I do a better job than Ringo did when he had the responsibility for relief.  I don't make the last minute panic and confusion he used to create when his disorganised brain tried to work in a logical and planned fashion.

Part of this job is being thoroughly prepared.

This means that I need a list of relieving teachers who:
  1. Are qualified
  2. Can arrive at short notice if needed
  3. Are reliable
  4. Can handle some quite disruptive classes, made worse by not always knowing the kids.
  5. Are cheap.

It's number 1 and 5 which cause problems.

The school is given a fixed amount from the MOE (The Ministry, not the teacher) to pay for all the relief used during the year.  These teacher are paid at varying rates, according to qualifications and experience.  A brand new qualified teacher gets about NZ$45,000, paid pro rata per hour worked.  A teacher with a MSc and 10 years experience gets about NZ$68,000, again pro rata.  An unqualified reliever gets about NZ$30,000.

We used to be allowed to use unqualified teachers (an ordinary punter) after they went through a police check.  The New Zealand Teacher's Council would give these punters a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT), and we could then use them to cover classes when the teacher was off.

But now the NZTC is getting very wary about awarding the LATs (It was discovered that a qualified, registered teacher had been teaching for 4 years with a conviction for some unsavoury child abuse) and they now want proof that we've been trying our best to get a qualified and registered teacher to fill the relief jobs.

So they suggest that we advertise locally.

I've made one up.

I'll get it added to our school newsletter and see what the response might be.

Click on image to view in full size


  1. The VD clinic in my home town was opened by Fred Dinage, something some of my friends would be interested to know for esoteric reasons. But there's no way of introducing this fact into a conversation without also disclosing that I actually visited the VD clinic in my home town many years ago. On a related note, I should point out that I eventually discovered that excessive beetroot consumption can lead to your piss coming out looking like there is blood in it, and that this is not a VD. Did you sell a testing kit for beetroot?

    1. What an interesting comment. Fred Dinage, well I never...

      WTF is Fred Dinage?

      I know that if you have the right enzymes in your genetic makeup, you will pass red urine, but as I lack them, I've never seen the effect myself, although when I worked in the hospital labs we did get a few samples a year that looked like hematuria, but turned out to be caused by beet consumption.

      There actually is a test for beetroot.


  2. Have own flak jacket? Speak profanity? Sure you're not in the US?
    I have a good friend who's a teacher and I don't know how any of you survive it without killing someone. Or losing your minds.

    1. Unfortunately the kind of violence we see in the US is spreading.

      We would never think of killing one of our little angels, but I've thought about Ringo once or twice.

      Losing our minds?
      Never. We're tougher minded than that.

      I can honestly say
      "I'm the ouster King, so suck them apples Mr Panda"
      or even
      "Bugrit, millennium hand an' shrimp"

  3. Love the Advert TSB. You need to add "Experince in dealing with Hyperactive kids. This is an essential skill in today's classroom regardless of experience levels.

    1. That's taken as said. Hyperactivity is so commonplace these days.

      I also believe in a pleasant manner, a friendly approach and getting to know their names.

      My ability to metamorphosise into Satan Incarnate when crossed is also very useful.

      As is my Army-trained parade ground bellow, known to strip the hairs of a prepubescent scrote at 20 paces.

    2. Yeah - I remeber,i used to get you nto my classes to do that .. it scared the living hell out of me too! Was fun wthcign those year 9's jump out of their chairs though!

  4. Replies
    1. To quote Francis Urquhart, "You may say so, but I couldn't possiby comment"

      But we all agree anyway.

  5. Jings - that's an attention grabbing advert if ever there was one! Although I have to say - now I'm at the bottom of the page - I've no idea what it's selling.

    You don't know wko Fred Dinage was? Seriously?

    I do think it's hilarious that anywhere would plan a celbrity opening for a VD clinic though - or that anyone would show up for it.

    I too came into contact with lots of people from marketing and advertising agencies through my work. I generally found them to be pretty {the girls} gay {the boys - some of whom would also be considered pretty} far too eager to please,{only in a professional capacity naturally} highly enthusiastic, {always annoyingly over enthusiastic I found}
    generally ineffectual and expensive, {they could never hide their disappointment when I told them how much my budget actually was - sometimes I'd lie just to see their reactions which was hilarious if they thought my budget was much bigger than it really was.

    I too suffered from a bastard boss at one time but had the ultimate satisfaction of leading him through one of my projects a few years later and watching him squirm and panic just a wee bit more than needed before I stepped in with advice or {gleefully sour} direction. Petty I know - but my, he deserved it and it made me feel so much better.

    I couldn't teach for a pension. Wait a minute.....

    A pension?

    Actually I'd be a bloody good teacher!

    1. I agree Alistair, that advert is really attention grabbing. Actually it makes me want to grab something, but I'm too much of a gentleman to say what.

      Your perceptions of the advertising world are almost identical to mine. You only missed out the tinge of hyperactivity and paranoia that seemed to emanate from them all.

      My experience of bosses is not good.

      My worst was a fat Machiavellian bastard of an Aberdonian (a bit of a tautology I agree) who ran my sales division into the ground, got himself promoted to a director, and got all of us sacked. I live in hope that I meet that bastard Logie in a dark alley somewhere or over the sights of my trusty 7.62.

      I thonk you'd probably be a good teacher, but we never know until confronted by a ravening mob of 14 year olds.

      I have seen new teachers cry, and experienced teachers turn to drink.

      Do you have your flak jacket, and can you start on Friday?

  6. Times have moved on - I too worked in a VD clinic in the 70s (floor polishing) - I think the term now is "Sexual Health" for that department. I bet the 'clients' look just as sheepish ....

    1. Hi Tracey, welcome.
      I got confused for a minute, because another Tracy has been commenting on some of my other posts.
      Hey, we're in NZ now, you cannot use sheepish and VD in the same paragraph. I think it's against some law or other.
      If it isn't it should be.

  7. Tsb, you are a character, maybe in a mahjong set?

    1. Oh, Ho, ho, ho.

      I think I'd like to be a Red Dragon.

      The Curmudgeon could be a Flower and you could be any of the Winds

  8. "I think I must be gay."
    Step out of the closet. Though that first picture makes me feel gay too.

    1. Richard, my dear friend and colleague. If that picture makes you feel gay then I despair.

      It just makes me feel ever so slightly randy, in a gentlemanly way of course.

      Do you think you could persuade Hobbit to step out of the cloeset as well?

  9. In the UK the "rule" is that you must be a qualified teacher of HLTA (High level TA I think) to take a class without anyone else in there... this is ignored in many cases I believe... but that is the "rule"... Also you can't be a teacher unless you have a degree and then you have to do one of several routes in... I have no degree so realising it was at least 3 years probably more like 4 before I could earn I didn't even consider it as a career move a while back.

    However new ruse... Academies... yes, funds direct from govt no interfering from the local authority and they can get sponsorship for unis, companies, churches, charities etc. However they can employ anyone... honestly I could walk in there tomorrow (Criminal Records Check not withstanding) and start teaching, on a salary higher than a qualified teacher in a council school. eh?

    This I predict will go horribly wrong down the line... and the govt will have to reverse this all out.

    1. Before I left Scotland about 9 years ago, it had become mandatory to have a specaility degree plus a post-graduate diploma in Education before you culd teach. There were no teachers without degrees left in the system, apart form a few old die-hards in Tech and Food.

      I was a bit surprised that NZ still allowed non-graduate teachers, and we can all see that NZ is heading along the same path.

      These Academies smell of failure. Especially the failure of the kids, and that's so sad. Our pensions depend on the earning power of our grown-up students, so it's to our benefit for them to succeed.

      What's really scary is that we have a political part called ACT (sort of a coallition ruling part) which is brown-nosing up to the rich and pandering to some rather weird ideas. They have promised (as part of their power sharing deal with the national Government)to initiate Charter Schools in NZ.

      Sound familiar.

      I just wish for three things.
      That the governmnt stops interfering with education.
      That the educators stop f*cking about with education
      That we get enough money to keep the kids warm, dry and equiped with the skills they'll need for the next generation.

      I agree with you. These "Academies" will go pear-shaped quite quickly

  10. Get punged you kong!
    (or something similar in Second Fiddle's poetic universe)

    1. Sorry TC, you can get a Pung, a Kong or a Chow, but you cannot be "punged"

      You can however steal a pung.

      maybe yu could start a new game. It would have 4 suits.
      Bile, Vitriol, Sneer and Cut.

  11. No wonder you're got exposed to advertising agencies early in life. ..and you are a bastard for helping expose US to their rubbish advertising.
    Your poster is about perfectly accurate and states the real job, but I cant see it drawing many applications..

    1. Thanks Tempo, It's so nice to be recognised as a genuine TSB. Thinking back, I blame Bewitched. Not that film made with Nicole Kidman, but the original with Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York.

      Darren was an advertising executive. He never ever seemed to do any actual work, was pit-bull ugly with a mutated nose, and made loads of money. He was my peer model.

      I just liked the picture.

      I'm not sure about applications, but I know what I would like to apply to her. *best dirty Benny Hill laugh*

  12. You forgot the requirement:

    Must be able to administer discipline without leaving a mark!





      All the bloody PC governments around the world have long abolished dsicipline in schools.

      AND the kids know it.

      You have to get along and relate to the kids.

      Mind you, I've found that humour works really well. (As does a well placed kidney punch which leaves no bruises, but don't tell anyone, especially Ringo who is so f*cking PC that he doesn't brush his teeth in case he kills off some bacteria.)

  13. I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time in the Greater Wellington region lately, and I have the kind of job where no-one notices if I vanish for an hour or two as long as the work is done at the end of the week.

    I don't have a full flak jacket; in my line of work, you don't need full body armour, just protection against being stabbed in the back. Also, I can't speak Maori, but let's face it, no-one else can either. Like "Kia Ora" is hello? Yeah, right, and "Ribena" is goodbye.

    The dealbreaker for me would be: what benefits package do you offer? (i.e. what biscuits in the break room?)

    1. You're showing your pommie antecedents here. Most Kiwis do not associate Kia Ora with a slightly plastic tasting ornage drink sold in cineams in the UK. Seeing that Nuova Lazio High School has about 35% of our pupils claiming Māori ethnicity, then I can assure you that quite a few can speak te Reo quite fluently.
      Benefits package?

      Well we get free milk and sugae to go with the free tea and coffee, and we get free use of the microwave, but no biscuits.

      Still interested?

  14. Some of my best friends are in sales and marketing.

    I had a stint in advertising. The goal is to separate people from their money as quickly and efficiently as possible. Preferably, before they even realized it happened. Now I'm in the dignified field of investment banking. Oh, this worked out well.

    You get what you pay for. That goes for teachers, a steak, an auto. Any product, really.

    1. I've still got friends working in Sales, but as we all get older, most of them have left for easier options.
      Do you realise the difference between advertising and investment naking?
      Advertising's purpose is to separate people from their money.
      Banking's purpose is to separate money from the people. (and houses from the people, and dignity from the people)

      I know that investment banking is different, and I'm not having a dig at you, but currently I'm hearing all the old jokes about lawyers being converted to new jokes about bankers.

      Mostly you do get what you pay for, but as allways there are exceptions. I've just started a brand new teacher as a reliever, which means she's inexpensive compared to older more experienced teachers, and she's great. The kids love her, she doesn't put up with any nonsense and she really teaches the lesson. I wish we had more like her.

  15. Actually just go into Abercrombie and Fitch (which is supposed to be for teens) and see the explicit - and not very jolly- sex being rolled out there

    1. I went to Abercrombie and Fitch's web site and was surprised. I had vague memories that Abercrombie and Fitch was an old fashioned outdoor/hunting equipment outfitters, but all I saw was as you said preppie teenagers.

      I didn't see any sex at all, and I did look hard. Where did you see it if I could ask? *blushes slightly at such an awkward question*


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