Thursday, November 2, 2006


The older I get, the less I like change. At least the less it seems necessary. Why are they tearing down all the perfectly nice houses on my street to build giant monstrosities? With driveways that have pavers instead of asphalt? Why do people vacation in Belize when we've got a perfectly good beach right here? When did Halloween turn into Christmas?

Change is everywhere. All the time lately. When I started out in advertising, people could draw. Now they "design" on the computer. If the electricity goes out, the creative department is toast.

In my experience with brand managers, I've learned that it doesn't matter how effective an ad campaign is for a particular product. If the brand manager is new on the account, they're going to change the creative. Usually that's the only way they can prove they've done something during the two years they were messing with the "brand." The latest bullshit in marketing is "brand building," an ironic phrase considering that every time an ad agency develops a longterm plan to "build the brand," some short timer comes in to truncate all the effort. How long did The Softer Side of Sears last? Ten, fifteen minutes? It had a great launch. But no time to put down roots. Because SOMEBODY NEW got hired.

Back in the real world, the change that is annoying me today is the new look of our ADD AN ENTRY page. Where the heck did the blue go?  I liked the blue. Now everything is white against off white. Why? Did someone get promoted and want to make his or her mark? Was there a discount on digital white this month?

How often does the new guy [girl, whatever] get hired at a company and decide that nobody knows how to do anything and only they can make things right? Instead of first asking around and figuring out what does work then leaving that stuff alone.

No, they show up, screw things around, and leave.

I was at Walgreen's tonight. They were trying to make a change. A new computer system had been launched and it wouldn't accept charges or checks for purchases. A manager had to be called to punch a bunch of buttons a few times, re-enter the check or card, and punch a few more buttons, delaying everybody standing in line, embarrassing the person trying to make the purchase, and finally, with a shout, YAY, somehow making the transaction transact.

Changing the color of the ADD AN ENTRY section of my journal is a symptom of making change for no other reason than change can be made. I see no difference, nothing of any consequence to take note of, except that the blue in the ADD AN ENTRY section is gone. Why did someone do that?  Because they could? Is that an acceptable reason? That was a rhetorical question. All questions on AOL are rhetorical. They go out into the ether and no answers ever come back. The question of acceptability is not up for discussion. Since there is no discussion.

Of course, anyone who reads this journal who is not on AOL has no idea what I mean about the blue changing to the white, which reduces my whining about this change to the sound of a tempest in a teapot. Or more accurately, a tempest in a tea CUP.

Maybe I just need some camomile tea, a little lemon, a little honey, and an early bedtime under a cozy comforter.  Wait, first I have to CHANGE the sheets. Get out the flannel. But perhaps I'll find some change under the pillow. Change. Change. Change. Change of fools.


suzypwr said...

Get a blue Sharpie! I haven't tried to write an entry since The Change, but I probably won't like it either.


ally123130585918 said...

I hate this change and cannot for the life of me think of a reason they would want to change something that worked perfectly well before ~ one of the reasons given "It is simple" and "This is what the Kids are all talking about"  Pity AOL don't spend some time putting right the things that don't work ~ Like how do we access our archives on our blogs !!!!!!!! Ally

screaminremo303 said...

These guys could screw up a wet-dream. If Disney was run on the "AOL Model," Mickey Mouse would have a heroin addiction and Pluto would be President of NAMBLA.

ladeeoftheworld said...

Listen to this:  I used to be a sign painter.  Before computer aided graphics.  I'm the one who lettered "store hours" on glass business doors, or "Ruth's Beauty Shop" across a picture window, or painted a downtown billboard advertising the banks new give-away.  The 70's were very, very good to me.

ladeeoftheworld said...

I guess I digressed.  I was trying to say change sucks.

mombzbe said...

The white on off-white just looks like white on white to me.  Hate it.  Hate change.

Love, love Remo's comment.  rofl!!
(P.S.  We ccan only hope whoever made The Change is on his way back to Bangladesh.)

xzasporated1 said...

I hate the change in the comment page.  I don't like things centered.  And to think all of this energy could have been directed at fixing that damn 12-pt. font button that I started bitching about in 2004.  But it's AOL.  Fixing that makes too much sense, and they avoid logic at all cost.

~~ jennifer

alphawoman1 said...

I miss the blue too.

rgossett4195 said...

ugh...I am with ya!  rose~

swibirun said...

I am having a harder time reading the font in AOL journals unless I use Internet Explorer.  How screwed is that?  You'd think their stuff would be more compatible with THEIR OWN stuff wouldn't you?


cberes1 said...

The only thing constant is change my friend.  Such is life.  But I'm with you.  I liked it when art directors actually put pencil to paper.  We're getting old Judy.......