Trust Us, We Graduated 163 Days Ago

As many of you know, I teach a portfolio class at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Two of my 2013 students, Priscilla Cutri and Olivia Maramara were hired as Junior Copywriters on my team.  This week I asked them to write a guest blog post. “Tell everyone what the real world is like,” I said. “Give them tips on what they should know, things they don’t tell you in school.”  

Below are 5 thoughts. I think they have an incredible insight on what it means to be successful at a large advertising agency. If they follow their own advice, they can go very far. Enjoy. 

You may think you’re ready for the proverbial “real world” once you graduate. Let us save you some time: you’re not. There’s so much more to this industry than designing three posters and an app.

You’re not a team player until you understand there’s no such thing as “my idea”; your great work ethic will be put to the test when your boss asks you to stay late; and your communication skills are challenged when your partner doesn’t like your brilliant concept. This is the real world, kids, and you have to prepare yourselves. Here’s what you should know:


Come in early. Stay late. Work weekends. Drink a gallon of coffee. Eat a bag of stale honey wheat pretzel sticks for lunch at 4:13PM. In school we were told all the time that this was the industry standard. We saw Mad Men. It was the “pitfall” of advertising, yet we all so badly wanted to be Don Draper. Here’s the thing: when you love what you do, you lose track of time, and 9pm doesn’t seem so bad.

Ask, “Can I help with anything?” Ask a hundred times. Bother people. Be proactive about learning and work on everything you can get your hands on.

Be that copywriter who can draw or the art director that can write. Don’t let your job description define your abilities. Show off. The more valuable you can make yourself, the more people will want you on their team.


Lose your inhibitions. This leads to creativity, which is why we’re all at this party in the first place.

Say your worst ideas out loud. Every bad idea has the potential to drive the thought process to an insanely brilliant idea. Don’t be afraid to get weird. And don’t think for a second that everyone else isn’t weird, too.


Don’t be shy. Working in a large agency, you tend to regularly see a face you don’t recognize. Change that. Say hi to everyone in the hallway/break room/elevator/restroom. Chances are they won’t bite. Even better chances are that you’ll make really important connections.

Hit up happy hour. Connections are easier to make in a more casual environment. And it’s okay to have a beer with coworkers. Just don’t get up on the bar to do the robot.


Find your team synergy. Eat/work late/laugh/stress together + make weird nicknames for each other + have each other’s backs = create amazing work together.

Get excited about your stuff. Present your team’s ideas as if they’re going to change the world. 50% of the creative process is convincing other people that your idea will work. 100% of convincing people is believing in it.


Make choices based on your own opinions. Don’t listen to anyone when they tell you healthcare is boring or something is not for you. Experience it for yourself, and then decide.

Believe that you’re an adult. You may not feel like one, but you’re getting paid and trusted to be. The only way people will take you seriously is if you take you seriously. And that doesn’t mean you can’t break the rules once in a while, because let’s face it—everyone loves a badass.

Questions? Comment.


[Priscilla Cutri + Olivia Maramara]


Three Great Ideas Virtually Nobody Has Seen.

I love great ideas. I love when we all are watching something and talk about it. I love when a few people come in to my office and say, “I wish I thought of that.” And recently that happened with the Carrie movie promo “telekinesis coffee shop” video that showed up on YouTube.  As of this morning, 39 million people have viewed the video. I’ve attached the link in case you haven’t seen it.  It’s really fun.

But I also wanted to show you three other ideas.  I love all three of these and less than 100,000 people have viewed these videos.  I think all are amazing.  They get me in my heart and in my head. They all make me feel something and think something.

I wish I had created all of these.

#1 – The Call Girl Next Door – This is an amazing idea that took a very simple idea and made it a national phenomenon. And while this took place half way around the world, the idea is so simple; it could have been done anywhere. How many views on YouTube? 90.  I love this. It should have 9 million views.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

#2 – 12th Man – This video has the most views of any. A little over 60,000. And yet the idea was so simple. The results so amazing. I instantly said, “I wish I had done this.” Of course, it’s incredibly sad that this APP had to be created. It’s incredibly foreign to us in the USA that these rights could be taken away. But this is proof that a simple idea can unite people. Enjoy.


#3 – September Surprise – This is a heart-warming story of a little girl with cancer. And an idea to make her feel special, while she was dealing with her illness. I can’t watch this without thinking about how I should be doing more to help people. Only 41,000 people have watched this video.  I think its special.

What makes these special?  They’re simple. They’re true. They could have easily have been done before, but nobody did it. And they force you to have a response. I think you can’t watch these without feeling something.

And that’s what good advertising is supposed to do.  Make you have a response.




Top 40 Radio in 1973 Sucked, too

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I think we tend to romanticize things from long ago. How things were better. How things were cooler. That’s not always true. In fact, this morning I was listening to the radio with my 11-year old, and was thinking how much better music was when I was his age. So, I decided to look up the top radio hits from 40 years ago, just to test my theory. And guess what? I was wrong. Top 40 radio sucked in 1973, too.

Here are the top hits of that year.

#1 – Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around The Old Oak Tree – Tony Orlando and Dawn. Really. That was the best song of the entire year? We couldn’t do any better than that? My guess, it was one of those songs that got into the public’s head, and wouldn’t let go. Let’s face it – this is a song about an ex-convict coming home from prison. Who know what he did. Yet, it was the #1 hit of the entire year. It must get better.

#2 – Bad, Bad Leroy Brown – Jim Croce.  A song about another really bad guy. In fact, he was the ‘baddest man in the whole damn town.”  But this guy got what’s coming to him. While Tony Orlando’s bad guy got the girl in the end, Leroy Brown got into a bar fight and ended up looking like “a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone.” I have to admit, I remember when Jim Croce died and was very sad. My school played “Time in a bottle” over the PA system the day he died.

#3 – Killing Me Softly With His Song – Roberta Flack. I guess this was the beginning of the soft rock ‘70s.  While this is a beautiful song – where are all the rock and roll songs? Where are the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin?  This is the early ‘70s.  Didn’t it rock?

#4 – Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On. I can’t argue with this song. An all-time classic, which I would listen to today if it came on the radio and not cringe. In fact, there’s a new song in the top 40 called “Classic” by MTKO that references Marvin and this song. (As well as Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Prince’s Kiss.)  Go Marvin.

#5 – Paul McCartney & Wings – My Love.  Before Sir Paul was Sir Paul, we was still the ex-Beatle with a new band. The only problem is Linda McCartney is singing background instead of John Lennon. And while this song is #5 – I won’t be learning to play this any time soon.

#6 – Kris Kristofferson – Why Me. I have to admit, I have no idea what this song is.  I don’t remember it. I don’t think I ever heard it. It could be great. I don’t know.

#7 – Elton John – Crocodile Rock. The beginning of the end for Sir Elton.  I liked his music before he became bubble gum with this song. His first 3 albums were among my favorites.  Never loved this song.

#8 – Billy Preston – Will It Go Round In Circles? A catchy little tune. The Beatles Apple records freshly signed Billy. Had played some back up tracks on the Let It Be album. And then this hit.   But I still notice. No rock and roll.

#9 – Carly Simon – You’re So Vain.  Huge break out hit. Everyone wondered whom she was singing about. Was it really Mick Jagger? Was it someone else? In the summer of 1973, this song was everywhere.

#10 – Diana Ross – Touch Me In The Morning. Uggg. I hate this song. “We don’t have tomorrow, but we have yesterday.”  Kill me now.

So I scanned the rest of the list. There had to be some rock ‘n roll in the top hits of the year, right?

Not at #11. The was Vicki Lawrence, you know the woman who played Carol Burnett’s mother on her TV show. She did “the night the lights when out in Georgia.”

The right Rock ‘n Roll song shows up at #16 – Edgar Winter Group’s Frankenstein. Next #23 – Grand Funk Railroad – We’re an American Band.

I next pass John Denver, Maureen McGovern, Barry White, the O’Jays, Anne Murray, Gladys Knight and The Pips to finally get to a real rock song.

Buried at #50 – Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water.  Finally. They just beat out Loggins and Messina, Chicago, The Carpenters & Gilbert O’Sullivan.

And if you’re wondering, The Allman Brothers? #79 – Ramblin’ Man.  The Rolling Stones? #85 – Angie. Pink Floyd? #92 – Money. Led Zeppelin? They lost out to Donny Osmond. He has the #99 song of the year – The Twelfth of Never.

That’s exactly how I felt about the music from 1973. So the next time you’re in the car and complaining about Katy Perry or Lady Gaga or Imagine Dragons or even One Direction, remember Top 40 music sucks. And it always has.



The most important thing to do at work: get noticed.

No matter the size of your organization, the best way to move up, get promoted and get the really juicy projects is to get noticed. Somehow, you have to catch the attention of the person making the decisions and make sure you get what you want.

Now here’s the tough part. You can also get noticed in a bad way. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are constantly being judged at work. What we do either confirms a belief or changes a belief.

So what are the things you can do to get noticed?  Here’s a simple guide:

1)    Do great work. I know that sounds simple, but the better the work, the sooner people start talking about who created it. Nothing is an important as positive office buzz. If you are attached to a great body of work, people will notice. There is a team at my office that always does great work. I know I can count on them (virtually) 100% of the time to come through with winning ideas. They have never disappointed me on any project. Their supervisors rave about their work ethic and creativity. Clients love their work. The exude confidence when they present internally. And what has happened, they’re getting more and more responsibility. Their work demanded they be noticed. And it worked.

2)    Have a point of view. There is nothing worse than sitting in a meeting with people who don’t have a point of view. Want to get noticed? Speak up. Challenge a creative brief. Challenge the direction being given if you don’t agree. Make sure people understand why you created a campaign or idea.  Ah, but here’s the double-edged sword on this, you have to know when to stop. You can just as easily get noticed as the person in the room who is always wrong and convinced their right. You don’t want to be THAT person. You’ve been at parties with THAT person. You’ve been in meetings with THAT person. Eventually, people stop listening to that person. Make sure that’s not you.

3)    Volunteer. Every organization needs people to help on projects. Raise your hand. Ask how you can help. Do things that are not ‘required’ in your day-to-day job.  In our company, we have an annual event ‘The Global Day of Giving’ when we help children’s charities. There are dozens of things that need to be done to make this a success. Volunteering to help will show you care. Volunteering shows you know that work isn’t the only thing that important. Volunteering shows you’re a team player.  There are plenty of examples of projects that could use extra help. Raising your hand is a great way to get noticed.

4)    Be a student of culture.  Know what’s going on in the world and pass along your knowledge to the organization. Have you seen a great new campaign? A video? An art installation?  Share it.  Here about an amazing movie? Comic? Share it. Better yet, know a great copywriter or art director or digital designer. Share it. We are in a hyper connected world.  Stay connected.

5)    Don’t give up.  When things are not going your way, it’s easy to retreat to a corner of the office and give up. Don’t. It’s easy to blame someone else for your troubles. Don’t. It’s easy to say that nobody appreciates what you do. Make them. The worst thing you can do is give up. You were hired for a reason. You have talent. You have a point a view. You have a voice. Don’t ever, ever give up.

6)    Find a mentor. Every company has someone who loves helping people. Find that person. If you’re doing an amazing job your mentor will make sure everyone knows. Your mentor will give you positive press around the agency. Your mentor will help spread some buzz about you and your work.  Find someone.

There are probably dozens of other tips I could pass. But I think these are the most important. Oh, and one other thing. Be yourself.

I’d love to know any stories of fun things that people got noticed. Comment below. Thanks and Happy Thursday.



10 tips to help you land a great job

Rich @ Syracuse on stage

Tuesday at Syracuse, I spoke about how great I think it is to work in healthcare advertising. My topic was called “Healthcare advertising doesn’t suck.” I showed lots of examples, talked about the myths surrounding healthcare advertising, and tried to show 200 students the path to getting a great job.  Since Tuesday, I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails from those students asking questions about a career in healthcare, about getting internships, about getting jobs.

But many have requested I publish my 10 tips for getting a great job.  These are very simple and basic, but you’d be surprised at how many people blow an interview by not following these simple principles.

So here they are:

1)   Have 6 great campaigns in your portfolio (website and PDF).  You are only as good as the worst thing in your portfolio. You need at least 6 great campaigns. Your interviewers will probably only look at 2 or 3 campaigns.  But you need at least 6.  If you don’t have 6, get to work.

2)   Control the conversation. Make sure your portfolio or website is set-up in a way that you control where the viewer goes. If you leave it up to me, I may look at the worst work in your portfolio by chance. Don’t leave anything to chance. Make sure I see your best work.

3)   Research. Know as much as you can about the agency and their work. And absolutely know as much as you can about the person interviewing you. Google is an amazing tool for interviewing. Use it.

4)   Hire a proofreader. Nobody knows more about typos than me. But you can lose a job opportunity because of a typo in your resume or in your work. Trust me, you can’t see your own mistakes. Your brain fills in the correct word. Hire a friend. Pay them in pizza. Do their laundry. But have someone proof your work.

5)   Rehearse. Practice, practice, practice. Know what you want to say about yourself, your campaigns, the agency, even your life story. Talk out loud. Have a friend interview you. Video the interview. Watch yourself. You may notice something you want to hide.

6)   Know what you’re wearing before the morning of the interview. I can’t tell you how many people wear completely inappropriate things to an interview. If you have to tug on your skirt – it’s too short. If you have to pull up in the neckline – it’s too low. If you can’t sit on the floor and be comfortable, you’re wearing the wrong thing. Wear what you would wear on your first day of work – and then make it a little nicer. No suits. No party dresses. Something fun. Interesting. Stylish.  Your first advertising campaign is yourself. How do you want to package it? How do you want people to remember you?  Consider everything.

7)   Prepare questions. I asked everyone I meet if they have any questions. If they have none, I don’t hire them. People who are really interested in a job have questions. Prepare 3 to 4 questions. Write them down if you have to. Bring a pad.  But ask something.

8)   Don’t be boring. Advertising is not a career for boring people. Have a story. Have an interesting hobby. Ask fun and interesting questions. Make it up if you have to. After all, I’ve just met you; I don’t know anything about you. But don’t just sit there.  An agency should be made up of interesting people. If you’re boring, don’t apply.

9)   Don’t be late. Pretty self-explanatory.

10) Intern and never leave. The best way to get hired is to intern and never leave. Some students graduate and won’t accept a summer internship. That’s foolish. We hire many of our summer interns. Intern at an agency where you want a full time job, and plan on staying. Move in. Work your internship like it’s a full time job.

There you have it. Pretty simple stuff. Think of it as a checklist for interviewing.

Good luck. And if I see you, you’ll be ready.



19 hours from Kansas City to New York City – 9/11/2001

I was on an airplane flying to focus groups in Phoenix on September 11, 2001.  I left Newark Airport on Continental Airlines flight CO1535 at 7:00 AM. I was sitting in seat 9D, next to the window.  We were going to test concepts for a new campaign that was about to launch for Verizon wireless.

We never made it.

When the pilot came over the public address system and told us we were landing, we had no idea of the horror that was happening back in New York. We had no idea that we were the lucky ones. We had no idea that hundreds of people had already lost their lives.  All we knew that “due to a national emergency, we are instructed by the FAA to land at the closest possible airport.”  We were about to land in Kansas City.

I was flying with three co-workers, John, Rick and Dave. While the announcement got our attention, the speed at which we landed was scary. I have flown hundreds of flights, but never before had I been on a commercial airliner that landed so quickly.

Only when we were getting off the plane did we find out what had happened. Shock. Tears. Concern.  The first tower had already fallen by the time we got out of the terminal.  We made it to Avis, rented a minivan to begin the long drive home. By the time we left the parking lot, the second tower was gone, too.

Four co-workers in a minivan, starting a long drive home to our families. For the first few hours we barely spoke. We listened to the radio. We saw Air Force One and its fighter escort in the sky over Iowa. We saw American Flags being hung on every overpass along the interstate.  We had a deep feeling of loss.

We drove in shifts. We barely ate. We stopped only to get gas and to find a car lighter adapter for our cell phones at a local Wal-Mart off of Interstate 35, ironically near the town of Liberty.

At some point our cell phones began to work. We had a very hard time getting through and it was hours until our friends and families knew we were safe. We didn’t have a plan except to get home. We had an overwhelming feeling that we needed to get home. No matter what it took. No matter what roads may be closed. No matter how long the drive. We needed to get home.

We drove all day and all night. From Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Near the Delaware Water Gap we started to make plans on how we would get home. The bridges and tunnels were still closed. Nothing was running. But we kept driving.  We noticed at a gas station in New Jersey that the post cards of the Twin Towers had been sold. People were beginning to fill up spare gas tanks. People were bracing for the worst.

I dropped off Rick and then Dave.  John somehow got home to Brooklyn from some place in New Jersey that he thought he could get in.  I was now alone.  I was also one of the first vehicles allowed over the recently reopened George Washington Bridge.

That’s when I saw the smoke.

That’s when the tears started to flow. I had driven over 1,300 miles and was emotionally spent. Everything that had happened over the past 19 hours finally descended on me. I was alone. I was tired. I was in shock.

I’ve never been able to go downtown to look at the 9/11 Memorial. Maybe someday I’ll be able to do it. But not yet. I do carry with me one reminder of that day. In my wallet I have my boarding pass. Flight 1535. Seat 9D. I keep it with me as a reminder of that day. As a reminder of people who were not as lucky. As a reminder of the bond that was formed with John and Rick and Dave.

Today, in Phoenix, our agency is testing work for a new television campaign for one of our clients. I couldn’t bring myself to go.



How to screw up a job interview

I interview a lot of people. On average, I meet at least 2-3 people a week. I meet senior level people. And junior level people. I meet people on the way up. And people on the way down. All of these people are talented. They wouldn’t make it in for an interview if they didn’t have talent. Virtually 100% of the time, I’ve already looked at their work and liked enough of what I saw to have them come in and meet with me.

And yet, I still hire a small percentage of these people.

Why? Because the vast majority of the people I meet mess up the interview. These people make big, huge mistakes that make it hard for me to hire them. So, to make my life easier, I’m going to tell you the questions I will ask during an interview. You will still need to come up with the answers. I will even tell you why I’m asking these questions.

Ready. Here we go.

1) Tell me something about yourself.  Why do I ask this question? I believe an agency should be made up of interesting people. I like people with interesting backgrounds. People who do weird things on weekends. Who have unusual hobbies. Why? Because interesting people bring all of their passions to the office and its reflected in their work. Boring people do boring work. Interesting people do interesting work. Now, I’m sure there are plenty of boring people who do great work. But I play the percentages. I’d rather have an agency of interesting people.  So what does that mean for your answer? Don’t bore me with what I already know. “Hi, my name is Rich, I went to Temple University, I majored in journalism, and I’m hoping to find a job as a copywriter.”  That sentence is on a resume. I knew that already. Tell me something I don’t know. And here’s a trick. I have 107 blog posts on this site. If you read past posts, you’ll know the things I like. Perhaps saying something like “There are three jobs I felt I was born to do:  Be the Pope, be a guitar playing rock star, or be someone who changes the face of healthcare advertising forever.”  That’s a conversation starter. I already like you.  This is selling 101 — know your audience.

2) Why do want to join us?  Why do I ask this? Because you’re interviewing me as much as I’m interviewing you. Do your homework. We’re not the right fit for everyone. Don’t waste my time if you’re not sure you want the job. If you don’t know why you’d want this job, you probably don’t want it. And I probably will be able to tell. Find out as much as you can about us. Read industry publications. Read blogs and websites. Know at least 3 campaigns we’ve created. I love what I do. I’m passionate about what I do. I’m looking for people who are equally passionate. Make sure you know why you’re coming in to see me.

3) What’s your favorite campaign that you’ve created and why? Why do I ask this? To see if you recognize good work. What was the insight that drove the campaign idea. Do you know what the main idea is? Do you go immediately to explaining the execution and not the idea. Can you sell your own work. 90% of the people say “I love everything in my portfolio.” Yet, the moment I challenge something in their book, they say something like “yeah, that wasn’t my favorite campaign.”

4) Do you have any questions? Why do I ask this? I want to know what’s really on your mind. Always have 2-3 questions ready. Write them on a pad if you have to. But ask something. But never ask any of these questions: What’s the starting salary? How many vacation days to I get? What are the office hours? When and if we offer you a job, someone will discuss all these things with you.  When you’re trying to get the job, these don’t matter at all. (And by the way — the answer to those questions are on multiple job sites — so a little research will help you figure those out in advance.)

What are some great questions?  Why did you come here? What is a typical career path? What is your personal creative philosophy? Why type of person succeeds here? Was there a campaign in my portfolio that you loved? Hated? Would immediately remove from my book?  Those are all great. I like those.

At this point in the interview — if things are going well — we’ll have plenty to talk about. If things are not going well — we’ll have nothing else to talk about. If our interview ends long before our time is up – you probably blew it. If our interview goes long – you probably did really well.

That’s it. Now if you’re reading this and you have an interview with me in the next few weeks, you have no excuse. You should nail it. This is like going to take a test and knowing the answers.

Oh, and one last thing. I work for a healthcare agency. Not a general advertising agency. If you’re not interested in doing the best healthcare advertising in the world, please, please don’t come in for the interview. The shortest interview I ever conducted was with someone who told me they were not sure if they ‘wanted to do the healthcare thing.’ The interview lasted less than 5 minutes.

Good luck. I hope you get the job of your dreams.



I’ve never watched a single episode of Breaking Bad (and other things I’ve never watched)

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I haven’t watched Breaking Bad. Whew, I needed to get that off my chest.  I also need to admit that I feel really bad about not making the commitment to watch the show.  I’ve heard its really, really good.  It also means I can’t be a part of the final season, since I’ve never watched any of the seasons.  And I know I’ll eventually watch it on Netflix, but I can’t seem to get started.

But then I started thinking about all the other things I’ve never watched. The classic movies. The great TV shows. So here’s a list of some of the things I really have to watch.

The Movies:

• The Godfather, Part 2 – I can’t believe that I’ve never sat through the entire thing from start to finish.  And since its been on TV 10 million times, I’ve probably watched the entire thing – just not in one sitting.  I really need to see this one.

• Breakfast at Tiffany’s – I just can’t seem to sit through this film from beginning to end. I always tune out as soon as George Peppard starts to talk.  I guess I can’t get past the “A-Team” with him.  Most people tell me this movie is pretty good.

• Fight Club – Don’t know why – I have no interest.  I like Ed Norton. I like Helena Bonham Carter. I like Brad Pitt.  Can’t watch it.

• To Kill a Mockingbird – At least I know why I won’t watch this movie – its because the book is one of my favorites of all time.  I don’t think I can watch this movie without destroying the image that’s in my head.  I have a picture in my mind of Scout and Jem and don’t want the movie to change that image.  I’m probably wrong. Is this movie good?

• Raging Bull – Just like The Godfather, Part 2, I’ve probably watched this entire movie – just not in one sitting.  I think DeNiro is amazing. As is Joe Pesci. I think I really need to watch this one.

• The Big Lebowski and Fargo – Don’t know why. Never got to ‘em. And I know they’re both great. Please tell me I’m an idiot and need to watch these immediately.

• The Graduate – OK – I actually think I saw this film. I just don’t remember anything about it. Except the party “Plastics” scene – and the “Cross in the door” at the end. Everything in between is a blur.

• Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Redford and Newman.  Nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Never saw it. I know I should. But I haven’t.

TV Shows:

• Game of Thrones – I’ve never watched a single episode. I don’t even know what it’s about. And yet everyone tells me I’d love it.

• Arrested Development – I don’t think I could deal with another dysfunctional family

• Dexter – Heard it was good.

• Six Feet Under – I feel bad about this one. I heard it was amazing. I really have to go back to the beginning and watch this one.

• The Walking Dead – Zombies? Really? Is it that good?

• Boardwalk Empire – After the Sopranos I turned off HBO . I love Steve Buscemi. So I think I really have to watch this one.

I’m sure there are hundreds of other shows I should watch and missed. Hundred of movies that I would love. But there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything. So unless you tell me otherwise, I’m going to beginning watching Breaking Bad this weekend. A Netflix marathon.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

PS: If you have any suggestions on something I should be watching, please let me know in the comment box below.




Five Questions I Need Answered If I’m going to be Pope

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So, since I announced my candidacy for Pope yesterday, I’ve gotten a lot of free advice about becoming Pope.  Thank you.  Yet I still have these 5 burning questions before I accept the job. If someone from the HR department at the Vatican could get back to me on these, I could make a more informed decision.

1)   Can I work from home a few days a week?  I get that my main office would be in Vatican City. But since I’m planning on being on the road at least 60% of the time, can’t I work from home the rest of the time? I’m not a sit behind a desk kind of Pope. So, I’d have to be clear on this.

2)   How much PTO time do I get?  I know that being Pope is a full time job, but I’d like to tack on a few days when I’m in some of these foreign countries. Meet 2 million people in Hawaii?  Add a weekend on the beach to unwind and perhaps learn to surf.  Mission is Scotland? How about a few rounds of golf? I want to make sure I have the proper work/life balance.

3)   Is my dentist ‘in-network’ on the Papal dental plan? I love my dentist. I can’t imagine going anywhere else. And I’d hate to start over with all the x-rays, molds and stuff.  Can I still use my dentist? PCP? These are important things to know.

4)   How would you describe the ‘culture’ of the organization? Is it inclusive? Open to change? Is there an acknowledged enemy?  (And I don’t just mean Satan.) Is there something that would need my immediate attention on day one? Is it friendly, or will I just be another number? Do you have casual Friday’s? Do I have to wear the red shoes?

5)   Name one thing you’d be really upset about if I change it. And one thing you can’t wait to be changed.

That’s it.  If anyone out there can help me answer these questions, I’d greatly appreciate it.  Oh, and by the way, yesterday I forgot another amazing qualification – I read BOTH Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code more than once. So I already have a lot of knowledge about Vatican City.

Please comment on the WordPress blog site.

And Happy St. Valentine’s Day.


The World Outside My Window

I have a great view.

While I’ve only been in this office a few days – here are a few shots from my desk.

Mid morning


Late Night


Early Morning


Late Afternoon


2 PM


5 PM



Yes, I’m enjoying the view. I hope my son doesn’t see this. He’s been asking to go to the 102 floor for months. This will only make him increase his efforts.

Happy Friday