Peo­ple

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MAY CHAKER, a Leo Bur­nett Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Ex­ec­u­tive, walks us through a typ­i­cal work day at the agency, around her peers with whom she spends more time than she does with her fam­i­lies.

As my alarm rings on Thurs­day morn­ing, I wake up and pon­der for a mo­ment, should I snooze? I so des­per­ately want to snooze. No no, this will not be that kind of day. To­day is go­ing to be a good day. Break­fast takes a lit­tle longer than an­tic­i­pated but who cares, it’s not like I work at a bank. I’m just go­ing to be a lit­tle rebel and show up at 9:35 AM.

I get to the of­fice and Nour is yelling at Samer for shav­ing, he looks like a 12 year old. We share a work­sta­tion so we call each other the ‘Is­lan­ders’ be­cause it’s cooler to have nick­names. I take a glance at my emails and think, “Thank the mighty heav­ens, no emer­gen­cies.” I head to the dig­i­tal depart­ment to find Tony at once, and he de­liv­ers the news I want to hear, the cof­fee is ready!

I re­turn to my desk with the only mug my mother would part with: It’s an ugly Christ­mas mug. And now that I’ve men­tioned Christ­mas, you should know that it’s Au­gust and I’ve been lis­ten­ing to Christ­mas car­ols all month be­cause Nour’s Christ­mas brief HAS to launch in sum­mer. I check my email again and of course the Client needs more work­ing files. “What do they keep do­ing with all these work­ing files?!” I won­der, but I cast the thought aside be­cause I have big­ger fish to fry. Al­right, it’s time to trot across the hall­way and go through to­day’s job list with the cre­atives. It’s not al­ways rain­bows and but­ter­flies with those guys, but for the most part, we tend to love each other. One time a friend of a friend ac­cused me of work­ing at “that Agency where you will­ingly hang out with each other af­ter work like you’re all in a cult.” I mean I can’t help that we’re so tight knit we spend more time with each other than we do with our fam­i­lies.

When I fin­ish my rounds in the Cre­ative depart­ment, I an­swer some se­ri­ous emails and by the time it’s 11:30 I’m al­ready starv­ing. Of course that is when Raphael de­cides to or­der a dis­gust­ing three-cheese man’ouche with ex­tra sesame and ham and gets the en­tire open space on board be­cause I work with a bunch of glut­tons who want to make me fat. I hold off un­til lunch only to find that Raphael has three slices of lasagna, a side salad, and ex­tra cheese. No mat­ter, I’m happy with my healthy lunch be­cause I made it and I love to cook. I am guilty of

the crime of pre­dom­i­nant food con­tent on my In­sta­gram, I’m not even sorry.

Post lunch is meet­ing time. We’re brain­storm­ing with the team on some ac­ti­va­tion for some brand and with ev­ery sit­com ref­er­ence and in­ap­pro­pri­ate joke we make we get closer to crack­ing a great cam­paign idea. And while we’re al­ways amused by each other’s quirks and flam­boy­ant wardrobes, we are the black sheep of the build­ing, which is pop­u­lated al­most ex­clu­sively by banks and con­sulates, AKA peo­ple who judge us for wear­ing jeans all the time and tak­ing the scooter into the el­e­va­tor. One time, we kid­napped one of the cre­atives and of­fered to sell her to the Agency across the street. The bank peo­ple were not amused.

Now I need to fo­cus on fin­ish­ing some aw­fully long pre­sen­ta­tion. But don’t you dare call it a pre­sen­ta­tion, it tran­scends Pow­er­point for­mat to reach the far more il­lus­tri­ous form of a DECK. And by the time I de­cide I’ve had just about enough of my screen, Sur­prise! Our cam­paign launch is now four days ear­lier and here comes the drill: Is the vis­ual done re­touch­ing? Can it be done in an hour? Ok. Can we fin­ish AW tonight? What ac­counts are you work­ing on? I’ll get Grace to push your dead­lines. Pri­ori­tise this! I know we al­ways say it’s an emer­gency, it is! Can the sup­plier de­liver in three days? How about par­tial quan­ti­ties? Work with me! I’ll wait for the proof just call him! Time for media. What is the latest we can give you the AW? Can we push that? The Client went home?! She can’t check PDFS on her

If I were to choose the one thing that makes our Agency what it is, I would al­ways in­evitably say the peo­ple.

phone! Send jpegs. Get ap­proval. Launch print­ing. Sigh in re­lief.

Just in time, Na­dia and Philippe stroll in from the cre­ative depart­ment all packed and ready. Drinks in Mar Mkhayel are ba­si­cally my birth right at this point and here we are yet again at the same bar or­der­ing the same drinks and be­ing as pre­dictable as my friend’s friend ac­cused us of be­ing. We don’t care, we own it!

I get home at mid­night, text ev­ery­one to make sure they’re alive, and I go to sleep happy be­cause I love those guys, we are friends first and col­leagues af­ter. And if I were to choose the one thing that makes our Agency what it is, I would al­ways in­evitably say the peo­ple.

There’s a light­hearted vibe in the Agency, ev­ery­one is work­ing but it doesn’t stop Samer from play­ing a lit­tle mu­sic. It’s Fri­day morn­ing and life is good.

The Desk

Over a Cof­fee

Tarek Atrissi, De­signer, cre­ative di­rec­tor and founder of Tarek Atrissi De­sign, the Nether­lands, has been se­lected to take part of the in­ter­na­tional "Flags of Peace" pro­ject whereby top de­sign­ers from ev­ery coun­try will de­sign their own take on how the peace flag should be vi­su­alised. Among the de­sign­ers, prom­i­nent names in­clude Milton Glaser, Wim Crouwel, Reza Ab­deni, Helmi El-touni and many more. The re­sults will be ex­hib­ited in the city of The Hague in the Nether­lands dur­ing the In­ter­na­tional Day of Peace on 21 Septem­ber.

In­sta­gram feed @may­chaker

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