I had an interesting day yesterday. Deadlines at work were chaotic, the materials I needed were missing, and shortlists for two award shows were released. My entries didn’t make it. Bam. Sledgehammer to my chest.
For the first time, in a really long time, I felt frustrated. Unlucky. Mad at myself. But mostly, frustrated.
I needed to clear my mind. I needed to step out of the office. I was asking the universe if I was really, truly, madly, deeply going anywhere. But the universe would never answer. I will be left to fend for myself, to lick my wounds, as usual.
I was wrong.
When the elevator door opened, there it was, the answer I needed: a Nilfisk Alto Vacuum Cleaner. Enlightenment from a vacuum, what the hell right? But before you take me for a complete retard, let me explain myself.
When I was an intern in a web-outsourcing firm, years ago, I was assigned to the Nilfisk Alto account.
We were revamping their website and I was tasked to change the logo on each of their product shots. They updated their logo and I guess it was cheaper to ‘shop their new logo onto the photos versus having to reshoot all of it. Plus I was an intern, so labor was free.
I had to edit thousands of photos with different layouts and perspectives. From their vacuum cleaners, to their pressure washers, to their floor sweepers, I edited them all. There was a man cleaning a warehouse, a woman cleaning a mall, a floor sweeper in front of a scenic mountain background — a Nilfisk machine for all occasions.
I could code. I could design. I could make websites. I could make games. But no, I was digitally sticking logos on vacuum cleaners. It felt horrible. It felt like I was never going anywhere.
BYE BAD JUJU.
The frustration I had yesterday tasted familiar but was altogether different. Like a two-week old pizza you left to ferment in the fridge. When I saw that vacuum cleaner however, the frustration was sucked out of me. It took away the fear. It was a gentle reminder that no matter how frustrated I am, I am no longer editing vacuum cleaner photos.
Goodbye bad juju.
I am in a better place today than I was then. I am going somewhere. I’ve just got to suck it up and keep pushing harder.
I am no longer a drone. I create. I ideate.
I may not be in this year’s shortlist, but at least I’ve come up with work that was good enough to become an entry. Work that stood a chance. I didn’t get in this year but I will, someday. I may even win it.
So thank you, Nilfisk. Thank you, universe. Thank you Lord. I am once again humbled. And I truly am a fan of your wicked sense of humor.