In Tel Aviv Mischa was doing what she always did before a presentation. Going over her notes for the umpteenth time and rehearsing in front of a mirror. She’d been at it for the last two hours, since about 9:30 in the morning.
Even though the client wouldn’t be there for an hour and a half, a very jumpy Annabelle was already at the Agency’s offices on 6th Avenue in Manhattan.
This was a huge account. The relationship was great. Or it was until Lenny’s wife got her dream job in San Francisco.
The client loved his creative team and he was pissed. Which was only exacerbated when he found out that Mischa was taking off for three weeks to visit her family, in Israel. So he flexed his muscle. He called Annabelle and told her he was putting the account up for review. They’d have one chance to prove they were still worthy.
Lenny was onboard instantly. Mischa took some convincing. She’d been working like a dog. The unstable economy meant no-raises; and no hiring. She worked nights and weekends, with no time off. When her mother needed surgery, she put her foot down and went home. So she was resentful when she got the urgent plea for help.
When Annabelle told her she could stay on an extra week and expense her flight she grudgingly agreed.
Today was the moment of truth.
Annabelle pulled out all the stops. When the client and his lackeys arrived a chef was making omelettes. Every square inch of the console was covered with an assortment of juices, teas, coffee, bagels, muffins and danish.
As pre-arranged, Lenny, Mischa and Annabelle turned on their computers 15 minutes ahead of the meeting. Annabelle wanted them all on Webex ahead of time.
Lenny couldn’t get on the Internet. Panicking, he packed up his laptop and ran across the street to Starbucks. No go. Mischa’s was down, too; and she was cursing. Of all times…
Trying not to panic, Annabelle went to look for their I.T. support guy. The client frowned, glanced at his watch and gave one of his colleagues a look that said, “They are so fired!”
Meanwhile, in Fort Wayne, New Jersey, Carl and his wife Sandy were in the den waiting for the Knicks game to start.
On the screen in front of them, the client picked up his Blackberry so he could check his emails. He couldn’t get on the Internet either. Looking up he said: “What the…”
As he was talking the screen turned to black.
VOICE OVER: When it absolutely, positively has to get there
SUPER: Call 1-800-GoFedex
Back in Fort Wayne, Carl turned to his wife and said: “What a stupid commercial.”
Just as all their power went off.
Fransi Weinstein is a former ad agency writer/creative director, turned freelance writer of anything and everything. When she just can’t seem to shut down her computer and relax she works on her book. Or on her blogs: three hundred sixty five and fransi weinstein et al.