As of recent, I’ve been offering my marketing/social expertise to a multitude of clients. While I have been interning with the same firm since January, I have acquired a wide, discernible skill set, and I have built connections with influential people.
Now, the term “influential” is rather broad, and can mean a lot of things. Someone who is wealthy can be influential to someone who has a desire for a lavish, opulent lifestyle. Someone who lives a humble lifestyle can be influential to someone with goals to be charitable.
Personally, I admire Cathy*, a current client of mine, however, we have managed to butt heads on more occasions than one.
As a general disclaimer, Cathy* is a client I took on at my own volition, and not one of the firm I am interning with, therefore, the opinions below do not reflect those of anyone at Culture Hype.
Cathy* is a caterer who is the owner of her own company and runs her business out of her home. She is the stereotypical white southern suburban mom and lives a lavish-yet-humble lifestyle. She’s very well off, lives in a quaint home, and drives a luxury vehicle. She enjoys wandering around her home office in her Lorna Jane leggings and a can of La Croix in hand. If you have any understanding of the “white suburban mom” archetype, you can probably draw that Cathy* is a conservative republican. I tend to lean left politically, but I try not to let politics get in the way of work and business matters.
That being said, I was slightly taken aback when she had me install a camera in a tree, because someone had been stealing Trump signs from her neighbors.
“I know you may not be a Trump fan,” Cathy * said, “but this looks bad on my part as precinct chair.”
Well no shit, I’m not a Trump fan, and I felt like installing the camera would be compromising my principles. But, I kept in mind that she was paying me, so I figured, “Fuck it.”
She had already purchased the camera, so all I needed to do was assemble it and place it inconspicuously in the tree. The camera package, however, didn’t include four D-sized batteries and a memory card.
“So, what do we need to do?” asked Cathy* angrily when I pointed this out.
“Well,” I said, “We need to get an SD memory card and four D-sized batteries. If you give me 20 dollars, I can run down to CVS and get them for you.”
“20 dollars?!” She yelled.
“Yes,” I said.
“Okay, fine,” she replied, as if I was holding a gun to her head. 20 dollars is nothing to her. I’m sure she spends more money on breakfast. Lord knows, those gluten-free muffins and cold pressed juices ain’t cheap!
After purchasing the missing components to the camera, I set it up, and we drove around the neighborhood to pick a tree in which to hide it.
“So what do I do if I want to catch who’s stealing the signs?” Cathy asked.
“Well, you’ll have to remove the memory card and plug it into your computer,” I explained.
“You mean, I can’t watch it in real time?! I have to actually take the memory card out of the camera to see the pictures? What if the thief steals the camera?”
In my mind, I was face-palming so hard. I was frustrated that she was taking her anger out on me. I mean, this is something she should’ve taken into consideration when buying the damn camera. It wasn’t my fucking fault.
“I mean, if I hide it well enough, it’ll blend in with the tree,” I said. The camera was bark-colored, so it wasn’t noticeable.
I proceeded to nail the camera to the tree. I placed it in an area high enough to where a thief wouldn’t notice it, but low enough to where Cathy* would be able to reach it in order to retrieve the memory card.
After nailing the camera to the tree, I walked towards Cathy’s* car. She gave me the most uneasy look, saying, “I’m not sure about it. I can still sort of see it.”
“I think the only reason we notice it is because we both had a part in it being installed,” I said.
“I don’t know,” Cathy* said. “Why don’t I get a second opinion?” She pulled out her phone and called a neighbor.
“Hey Laura,” she said. “We’ve got the camera installed, but I’m worried it may be too noticeable. Do you mind driving by and taking a look?”
I tried to keep in mind that I get paid by the hour, so I thought “okay, yes, by all means, let’s just drag this on as long as we can.”
About ten minutes later, Laura, Cathy’s* neighbor drives by and pans around the tree.
“Looks good to me,” Laura said, from the window of her Audi R8. “I don’t think anyone will be able to notice it. I feel like you have to consciously be thinking about a camera to notice if one’s there.”
“Okay,” Cathy said hesitantly. “I’ll take your word for it.”
Since then, Cathy and I have had minor disagreements here and there, but I like to think I’m fairly patient and personable.
There was one day where I was scheduling posts for her social media handles and she insisted that I create a post for Columbus Day. I insisted that if we were to create a post for that day, we refer to it as “Indigenous People’s Day”, as the idea of celebrating Christopher Columbus is controversial and would drive away potential future clients. Her argument was that if we referred to the second Monday in October as “Indigenous People’s Day”, it would drive away her current customers (who mainly consist upper-class, suburban, bougie old white people), as it would make us sound too concerned with being politically correct.
Ultimately, we decided not to post anything on Indigenous People’s Day and to just create posts for food related holidays; such as, National Noodle Day, National Dessert Day, and other random-ass holidays that sound like they were created by 14-year-old white girls on Pinterest.
In order to enter the professional working world, you need to be able to get along with others. Sometimes, this means making an effort to hear out someone’s argument when they don’t agree with you, and coming to a happy medium. It’s not always fun or ideal, but patience is a virtue and pays off. Cathy* has paid me well, so I managed not to bite the hand that fed me.
Unfortunately, my time with Cathy* was short-lived, due to our schedules conflicting, however, I wish her and her company the best.
Note: *indicates a name change to protect identity