I’ve spent about a year working for a marketing agency in Dhaka, known as TrumpTree 360. Try saying that five times quickly. If you think the name is unappealing, wait till you read the rest of it.
I was appointed as an art director, was told there is a team under my command and that I’ll have my creative freedom. I made sure these were clear before I signed the contract.
I started work and things seemed to be little shady right from the start, but I dismissed any doubts since it was a fresh start and needed to be sure before jumping to conclusions.
I was greeted by two juniors, one male graphic designer, and a female content writer. I asked them about the work environment, the content writer joined a couple of days before me, so she had no idea and the graphic designer was in a bad financial situation and said neither good nor bad, so I had zero insights.
The office was actually set up in a residential flat, so you could guess how weird the set up was. There was a lot of trash and empty boxes laying here and there, stacks of paper, books, and magazines almost filled one-third of the office. I entered the kitchen to get some water and noticed a bunch of roaches doing the funky chicken on the counter. There were also dirty plates and glasses in the sink and seemed like they’ve been there for a few days.
I entered the master bedroom (accounts department) to get into the washroom and saw dirty clothes laying on the counter. It was smelly and made it unbearable to pee. I had to hold my breath while I was inside. Turns out, the CEO lived here from time to time and treats the office as his home. There was a cleaning lady the management hired, but she only showed up whenever she felt like working.
I wasn’t surprised when they told me I won’t be given a separate station, there wasn’t much space anyway. I didn’t mind sitting beside the juniors, but kick in the balls was when I saw the PC they gave me.
I’d like to think that PC was last used by the Pharaoh of Egypt. That shit was not just old, but slow as fuck! They demanded that I use this PC to create motion videos since they had no motion designer. That’s the cherry on top.
As a problem solver, I checked other PCs that were unused and laying around in the office and found an additional RAM stick that was the same as the one in my system. It was like walking around in a junk yard salvaging weapon parts in a post-apocalyptic world. I asked the management for a better or new PC, they said they couldn’t afford one and will have make do with what they have.
This was a big red alert for me, they had no interest in investing in the company. I guessed they will make all sorts of crazy demands and they did, eventually. They actually hired me to do graphic design, motion design, video editing, and photography. They had no clue what art director meant.
The CEO was playing the role of multiple figures in the management including the role of the village asshole. He had no creative background or experience, let alone knowledge. He was friends with the actual owner and that’s what gave him power. He didn’t like disagreements, his ideas were automatically the best. I’ve seen him arguing with other people, besides me and for the same reason. He wasn’t open to new ideas due to fear of losing control.
No matter what my team and I designed, he ALWAYS had something to add, which broke the principles of design. We frequently got into arguments and this resulted in my team and I losing passion and interest to give our best.
After some time, most of the employees quit. There was literally two guys in the entire office; the graphic designer and myself. Then the CEO decided to bring in a new face, his girlfriend. I’ve read her resume and she was studying business administration and she had never worked anywhere. Soon after her arrival, she started acting like a boss and was getting pretty nosy in matters that didn’t involve her such as what are we designing and which client is it for? She even asked us to do some chores, haha. Talk about respect.
It was time for me to set up my boat. I was pretty sure one of these days, there would be some sort of trouble, which the management will use to get rid of me since I was being paid the highest. The CEO brought this new guy into the office and said he’d be working with us. The guy actually knew some clients so the CEO thought to make use of him. They got into an argument and the CEO couldn’t have his way, so he took out his frustration on me, he frequently kept asking me to make changes to a project, saying the client asked for the changes. I could hear them clearly, they never called or met the client, he was just pissed off because he was losing control on the project.
We got into a heated argument and I shoved some words down his throat. I finished my work and left the office. Later that evening, I got a call from the actual owner asking me not to come to work anymore and the remaining salary will be handed to me. So I called the “accounts” person and asked him when I can come to collect my salary? He played around for a month giving me different excuses each time. Finally, after a month, I got my money, which was one-fifth of the total amount. Imagine if it would have been the full amount, haha.