Unrealistic timelines; life story of every Marketing manager

Unrealistic Timelinesource: google

Start of a first job is the best time for every individual. We build high expectations from our employers, and we believe that the organization will help us achieve a successful career. We all start making goals to achieve and work for it.

People like you & me who work in marketing have a very different work life.

We have every day goals.

Reaching office on time, getting the artwork approved on time, finishing up the meeting on time, eating on time, loo break on time, leaving office on time and [-fill-your-every-day-goals-here]

I still sometimes hear “is this done yet” when I’m all alone. This phrase chases marketers down the hall, into the meeting rooms & right into the inboxes.

In my 8 years of work experience I have observed and have also been a victim to project timelines that I know I will never understand.

Send it in an hour

Here you grab a cup of coffee and are walking down the aisle, giggling away with your colleagues & all excited about the last slide of the report that you will update & tick off the most important task of the day before noon. But there in your Outlook, is sitting a big fat mail, asking you to download big fat data, from 7 different sources, & collate in a big fat spreadsheet.

It’ll have a closing line something like this; Please have this sent to my inbox in an hour.

There… it won’t happen in an hour, you know it, the sender knows it, but that will take up your lunch time, and your after lunch and your tea break because this timeline is the most useless & the most urgent of all.

Send it by “EOD”

Usually the request for sending anything by the “EOD” (end of the day) will never come in the BOD (…I wana say beginning of the day?).

This request will always be of a write up, of an ad report, of an annual report, of an artwork or anything that will take you atleast 7 hours of execution & 2 hours of coordination. A mail, phone call, or maybe even a WhatsApp message requesting for an end of the day delivery of anything will come during lunch time or after lunch. And this is not the standard lunch time, it is your lunch time which is 4 PM.

Send it over the Weekend

Something that is so important and needs to be finished over the weekend but not so important for the week.

What you do on the weekend usually gets reworked twice or is not done at all. Because mostly it will require coordination with someone who is at the movies or on a low network area due to the “weekend”. No matter how much you try to tell yourself that you will wake up on Saturday morning at 7 and finish it before noon, your work will not start before Sunday 4 PM. This will mostly finish on Monday right before your meeting.

The “send it when it’s done” timeline

This is as bizarre as it sounds. It makes you feel that you can do it at your own sweet time, but deep down in the corner of your heart, you know that this is to be done and closed first.

This situation is the worst because you don’t know whether or not to focus on this at that moment. It will also constantly make you feel that this is a test of your competence. But I can tell you for sure, whatever you’re feeling about this will never be correct.

Weren’t you supposed to send it in 1988?

My favorite kinda timeline.

This usually comes up during a team meeting with at least 9 people in the room. It starts with, “I discussed this with Uma 6 months back, then Rocky shared a proposal which I disapproved & later Harry revised it. I don’t know where that is but You should’ve closed it by now.”

You will have to treasure hunt a plan_final_ver_11.pptx  of the proposal. You will change the strategy, update the numbers, add two more ideas & share it. It will go in 3 rounds of meetings & will get disapproved & you will be held responsible for it never seeing the day light. Good luck to you if you have anything similar to this in your task sheet.

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