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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  To Smile Or Not To Smile? – There Is No Question


To Smile Or Not To Smile? – There Is No Question

Posted on July 30, 2003 and read 9,362 times

To Smile Or Not To Smile? – There Is No Question thumbnail

I have just started my first job here in Toronto – actually it’s an internship at an advertising agency, and what’s the first thing that I notice when I get here? No one smiles. No one says ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ or ‘please and thank you’, no-one cares.By: Anonymous

I have just started my first job here in Toronto – actually it’s an internship at an advertising agency, and what’s the first thing that I notice when I get here? No one smiles. No one says ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ or ‘please and thank you’, no-one cares. Now, I’m not referring to my agency per say, but other agencies I have been to or other industry people I have come in contact with. Now the creatives are different all together– literally! But almost everyone else is afraid to open up a little: Must not talk. Am not creative. Must not be funny! Our industry is based solely upon not being afraid to push the envelope and about taking risks, but that is not only limited to our Adobe Illustrators or our Microsoft Words, it’s for our lives as advertisers as a whole.

I know I am not from Toronto, but come on, I’m not that far away that our people are so different. It seems like anyone and everyone in this city is afraid to open up a little. Smiling is not evil; it just shows that you are human.

I’m sitting on the train one day on my way home from work. My friend and I were chatting about our day and were laughing and giggling, like we normally do on the train. There was a man across from us who we could easily see was listening to our conversation. From the way he was dressed, I would presume he was an accountant or a lawyer. When I started laughing hysterically at something my friend had said, I looked at the man and apologized for laughing in his face. He replied with the nicest and saddest comment I have heard. He said that after seeing my friend and I laughing, he realized that he has gone his entire day without once smiling or laughing and now after being witness to our giggles, he wishes he had. He also said that he sees how ‘gung-ho’ we are about our jobs and how excited we are, and that everyone he works with is miserable and wishes they could just get laid off.

Now, I know accounting is far from advertising, but how many agencies out there are full of people like this guy? Or full of people like the ones he works with? How many of you reading this, know of an AE, a Junior Art Director or whoever that hates their job and is miserable because of it. We need to do something about it. If anyone can, it’s us advertising people. We are here to help people realize what they are missing when we sell a product. So let’s start with ourselves, learn how to smile and laugh a bit more, and then sell it! Smile at someone! Say hello! Wish them a great day.

Why is it so hard for someone to smile? Is life really that bad that you can through your entire day without ever once smiling?

I have heard that a child smiles or laughs 146 times a day and the average adult smiles or laughs only four! FOUR? What’s wrong with that number? What’s wrong with it is that how can anyone enjoy their day or their week or their year if they are afraid to smile a bit. Happiness is more than just making money; it’s being able to enjoy yourself. You have to know the difference between working smart and working hard – or you can’t be happy.

And what’s with people in elevators? My building has many different offices and agencies in it – all places that deal with people, yet these people won’t even make eye contact with you when ride up 15 floors with them. Oh, don’t look to the right, that’s the guy from the second floor…don’t look behind you, that’s the big shot Creative Director, don’t look straight ahead or someone will notice you staring at them…look down, that’s the safest bet! Come on! We live and work in a world that revolves around people. We advertise. We sell to people, so why are we so afraid of them?

Just so we’re all clear on this, we do know that it’s not a sin to: Smile at a stranger (they read our ads). Say thank you to someone who opens a door for you (they just bought the product that you pitched the creative for a few months ago). Laugh at yourself when you trip over someone’s shoe on the train (you probably thought of using that scenario in the last television commercial for that specific shoe). Giggle when you see a couple kissing (remember, sex sells!). Laugh hysterically at your friend who has toilet paper on his foot (that could be a future advertisement right there). Say good morning to an absolute stranger and say goodnight to the lady who cleans your office (because maybe, just maybe, they need that to get through their day one more time).

Your simple smile could make someone’s day. So make it!

I have decided I am going to attempt to remake this city. I am going to show people that it’s okay to smile once in awhile. “JUST F:)CKING SMILE”. Somehow, someway, I will get this message across….it’s just a matter of time.

It’s okay to be quiet
It’s okay to be sad
But it’s not okay to always being mad

Life is too short to let the little things matter
Life is too long to avoid the friendly chatter

It’s more about smiling than it is anything else
Open up your mind and trust yourself

If it’s something you haven’t done in quite a while
Don’t be afraid, go on, and JUST F:)CKING SMILE






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