Friday, July 6

A terribleterrific day.

So I went to London last Wednesday. So I had the perfect schedule. Get the plane at 5:45, arrive in London at 7:10, take Gatwick Express at 7:45, arrive at Victoria Station at 8:15, take the tube to Liverpool Street, at least arrive there at 8:45, have some time to drink a coffee and then step through Wieden+Kennedy entrance at 9:20 for the start of the interview is at 9:30. This was a great plan, with an included buffer, easily I could have dropped that "time for coffee"-thing. Unfortunately germanwings and Gatwick Express were against me and turned the first part of the day into a disaster.
At 5 a.m. I found myseld at the germanwings desk at Hamburg Airport. The unfriendly woman got me my ticket and, as it would be some kind of sidedish, told me:

"Your flight is delayed."
"What do you mean with delayed?"
"Your flight is delayed."
"Oh, really? You meant "delayed" as in the meaning of "delayed"? Should have thought of that. But what I wanted to know is what "delayed" does mean in terms of minutes."
"45, have a pleasant flight. Next customer."
"Oh, thanks very much, too friendly."

Okay. 45 minutes. That's okay. Then I will arrive at 8:00, take the Gatwick Express at 8:30 and will rush from Victoria via Livverpool Street to Hanbury Street in 30 minutes. But I hadn't thought of that this maybe wouldn't be it. So at 8:29 an announcement banged down Gatwick train station platform 1.

"The Gatwick Express to Victoria Station at 8:30 has been cancelled."

What?

"The Gatwick Express to Victoria Station at 8:30 has been cancelled."

What? WHAT?

"THE GATWICK EXPRESS TO VICTORA STATION AT 8:30 HAS BEEN CANCELLED, STUPID KRAUT BOY!"

Damn you. Now I will be too late for the interview. Goddamn germanwings, goddamn Gatwick Express. So I made my sheepish call to Wieden+Kennedy reception.

"Wieden+Kennedy, hello?"
"Hello here is Sebastian, I have an WKside interview today. But unfortunately my plane got delayed and my train got cancelled so I will be a bit late."
"What?"
"What?"
"Again please."
"Hello here is Sebastian, I have an WKside interview today. But unfortunately my plane got delayed and my train got cancelled so I will be a bit late."
"So you won't come?"
"No, I mean NO! No, YES! I will come, only a bit late!"
"Okay, I will tell them, say your name again, please."
"Sebastian."
"What?"
"Let me spell...S...E...B...A...S...T..A...I...N. No, wait. I...A...N. Sebastian."
"Okay, and your last name?"
"Oehme...but...I think they don't even know my last name."
"K, give me a second."

Seconds pass by, I can hear she's talking to someone.

"Hello Sebastian?"
"Yes?"
"No, problem. They know you will be late."
"Oh, I am so sorry. Thanks a lot."
"No problem. Good bye."
"Bye."

Huuu. Okay, everything seemed to be okay (though it got me -10 points). The next 60 minutes just rushed by. Riding the Gatwick Express. I sat on the train next to a business man who had a really bad breath, I got onto the District Line to Aldgate East and then walked, walked, walked, started to sweat, walked, passed the Wieden+Kennedy house without noticing, walked, came to the end of Hanbury Street, turned around, walked, walked into the door and said hello. A friendly girl at the reception asked me to fill in my name into a form and then took a picture.

"Nice. You are the first one who did smile. All others were frowning."
"Really?"

Really. What a stupid answer is that? But I like the girl. She is very friendly. While following her I have a look around. Everything is very colourful with a lot of stuff standing around everywhere. Compared to this all agencies I know look like the government's department of finance. Boring. This looks like a crazy, colourful leisure park. She opens a door. WKside interview. I can see a lot of people. Immediately everybody is starring at me. I try to smile, but I guess I looked a bit tantalised. Quickly I sit down. The friendly girl gave a form to fill out. While trying to follow the conversation going on I try to fill it out.
Then time passed on very quickly. Everybody said some stuff about who they are and what they have done until know. I am not the only one not from the island. There is a guy from Stockholm, one from Zurich, one from Barcelona and Zac, a director from LA who now works and lives in Shanghai. Isn't that a crazy guy? He flew down all the way from China to take part in that interview. Then the nice people from Wieden+Kennedy did a presentation about the agency. They showed us some of the books they did for Honda and other clients. Really impressive. That's a brilliant thing, to capture the character and voice of a brand in one book and try to express through all of those pages. Really cool. Any questions? Someone asks to go to toilet. Great idea, I follow him. On the toilet I can't find the light. Someone kindly pulls a string next to the door. Funny, in Germany you would have pulled that string in order to use the flush. After the loo the second WKsiders join in to talk about what they did. They look nice. One girl (I guess her name was Sophie) and two guys (I think both were called Ben). One of the Bens has weird curls, the other Ben talks weird. It must be an accent from Scotland or Wales. It sounds funny but he talks so fast that I understand nothing. Everybody is nodding about the stuff he says. To me it sounds like someone gurgling words. I am lost. But one of their first projects was to do a concept for a hotel. Together with Philippe Starck. Wow, Philippe Starck. That's amazing. They seemed to had a great time. A lot of work and a lot of fun. I wish I could do that as well. Then Simon is entering the room. He is called the fat planner. Because he is WKfat. Funnily he is a very thin man. He is here to give us a brief. In groups of five people we are supposed to collect ideas on how to embrace Wieden+Kennedy's connection to music. Quickly we start to work. We have one hour and the 15 minutes to present our ideas. The first 45 minutes we spend talking about music in general. Then the last 15 minutes we quickly draw a scribble and get together our idea. Then presentation time has come. The first group present their idea of "Welcome to (P)Optimism". One of the guys is Christos. A friend of Waldemar who was a professional basketball player in Greece. He's really tall and has a deep voice. Their idea is really nice. And pretty close to the stuff we came up with. Then it's our turn. We decided to let a nice guy called Elliot do the main talking, because he is pretty good at it. We others jump in to explain stuff or talk about some of the ideas. The last group was, I think, the best. They had a pretty cool idea. It was the group of Zac, the 15hours-flight-man, and a skinny guy from Zurich, who gestured a lot what looked quite funny. Then it was time for the last part of the day. Speed dating. Five people of Wieden+Kennedy. Three minutes each. They ask for volunteers. Nobody raises his or her hand. So I step up and walk out. WKside interview.WKside interview. The first was a friendly guy. I talked a lot about blogging with him. Then came Sam. She was very friendly as well. Then Nat who is the woman in charge of human resources. Then Lucy. She was really nice. She's the one I have my appointment with on July, 31. She says she liked the stuff I did to answer the "Can anything be beautiful"-question. I cheer up a bit. Nervousness is gone. The last in the row is Darren. He's very friendly as well and tells me about a skateboard and sneaker exhibition of Nike I should visit. One of his questions made me think a lot and stumble. Then we wait a lot for everybody to finish. During that I call Will and my girlfriend who told me about a very lovely thingthat Rob posted. Thanks to everyone who had his or her fingers crossed. I think I need it. Because everyone here at the interview is brilliant and nice. The people of Wieden+Kennedy say some nice words to all of us at the end. WKside interview. Unfortunately Tony and Kim, the creative chiefs, have a Honda meeting and can't join for some last words. Then we all leave. It were 6 exciting and interesting hours. I feel a bit exhausted. Now all we can do is wait and be optimistic.
Last but not least the most lovely hour of the day was to come. I met Lauren...Lauren. ...and Will...Will....at the 1001 for a beer. They are excited about the thing I came here for and I am excited and happy to meet them for the first time. It was lovely. We talked, drank our beer...no...Lauren drank tea actually...talked and talked. Unfortunately after one hour I had to leave to get my plane. Next time we hopefully have more time. Because it was brilliant and toptastic (sorry to steal your word, Rob) to meet. But, just like it started, the day had a new problem for me. The Circle Line was closed. But Lauren, thank you so much, found me a way that got me the last Gatwick Express I could have taken. You are great, thanks a lot. So after another flight and a taxi ride I arrived home. Exhausted. Excited. And happy to have my girlfriend in my arms.

8 Comments:

Blogger Tim said...

Lustig, dass gerade du zu spät gekommen bist. Ich habe erst den Post bei W+K gelesen und mir das fast schon gedacht ;P
Fingers crossed.

9:33 pm, July 06, 2007  
Blogger lauren said...

Hey Seb!! it was so great to meet you too we'll definitely catch up for longer at the end of the month.
and i wish you told me about Christos and Waldemar beforehand - I know those guys - mostly Christos.. - they came to Interesting and to coffee morning! I hope all you guys get it, London would love to have you!

2:56 am, July 07, 2007  
Blogger proxikid said...

Hey, I heard from Wal and Christos about you, it's been a good read, and a much better description of a day than the one i got from Chris! It sounds like a very busy but interesting day. Well done for getting through it and Good luck!!

/Oksana

11:42 am, July 07, 2007  
Blogger Waldemar said...

wicked one. well done seb! i dont doubt that we'll have you here in london soon. brilliant post, one question: what wasw your groups idea and the one from the other one?

1:35 pm, July 07, 2007  
Blogger Will said...

It was a pleasure to meet you Seb; great to share a beer or two (hopefully we'll be able to do it again sometime soon).

Yes, I also know Christos and Waldemar from Coffee Morning. Small world..

12:52 am, July 08, 2007  
Anonymous Michael said...

Hey, thanks for posting your photos! I only took a couple on my phone and they turned out crap. :(

I had a great time at the interview. Good luck to everyone.

Michael (from Barcelona)

5:52 pm, July 08, 2007  
Blogger Seb said...

Hello everybody. And thanks everybody. Waldemar, I will send you an email with the ideas I still remember. Michael, you did the amazing drawing on the napkin, right? Wish you good luck as well. Good luck, everybody.

10:19 am, July 09, 2007  
Anonymous Michael said...

Yes, it was me. They weren´t very amazing.... but thanks anyway! :)

BTW, if you want to check out my "Can anything be beautiful?" it´s @ www.mousegonemad.com

8:06 pm, July 09, 2007  

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