—Craig Redmond believes the pandemic has given us a new understanding of work-life balance that won’t be forgotten as we return to the office. And he’s preparing for a great return of his own—
Resignation. If ever a word could be bipolar, resignation would be it. On the one hand, it can be the most positive, liberating, soul-regenerating word in the English language—as evidenced by this third chapter of Apple’s remarkable mini-series featuring the ensemble cast of misfits we’ve come to know and love as “The Underdogs.”
Handing in your resignation can be tantamount to rebirth.
On the other hand, resignation can also be the most negative, debilitating, soul evaporating word one can endure. We can handle pretty much any disarming emotional grenade that a partner, colleague, or client can heave in our direction, be it doubt, anger, hysteria, fear, or even an all-in-one cluster bomb.
But resignation? Oh my.
When someone is resigned to what they consider an inevitability, that is an immovable beast. If an individual or individuals are resigned to the fact that something won’t change, or can’t be achieved, or is an inexorable non-starter, then they have sealed their fate—and yours—on a course to tragic, self-fulfilling prophecy.
And I guess that’s what I find most intriguing about this latest effort from the Apple ecosphere, and what shall soon transpire in our own reality, as we emerge from our pandemic hibernation in the coming weeks and months.
Because it seems as if those once polarly opposing interpretations of the word “resignation” have actually converged and collapsed into one another within the all-consuming black hole vacuum of the past two years.
The “Great Resignation,” as it has been christened, isn’t just about a workforce quitting en masse. It’s also about a large chunk of humanity being resigned to the fact that they never intend to return to the compulsory-attendance-workplace ways of old.
They are resigning because they are resigned to believing that we will forever exist in a new abnormal normal. Resignation resignation, in other words.
Whoa. If that doesn’t induce Timothy Leary acid trip reflux, not sure what will.
Meanwhile I, find myself within that chunk of the populous that optimistically believes we will neither need to accept the continued abnormality of the present, nor return to the old-school world of life-work imbalance of the seemingly distant past.
I believe we will have the opportunity to adapt to a new, much better, normal.
And as I prepare to lug my family back East from the gentler, laidback pace of the left coast, returning to the bustling hustle of big agency life in Toronto, I am literally frothing in anticipation of the passionate boardroom discourse, watercooler wisdom, drive-by brainstorms, and face-to-face client collaboration from days of yore.
Because now, all that creative, catalytic energy will also be tempered with a new pandemic-forged understanding of the importance of home, family, and personal life beyond the once cloistered corridors of agency cray cray.
I truly believe the dinosaur age and its relentless predators like Vivienne, caricatured in this latest Underdogs’ adventure, are drawing near to extinction, and shan’t be eulogized. While all the greatness that drew us into this business in the first place, and got us so excited about going into the office every day, will be resurrected with a vengeance.
Indeed, I believe wholeheartedly that we needn’t fear the forthcoming office homecoming at all. We just need to command a different kind of progressive office culture when we do return.
So, until then, watch Apple’s “Escape From the Office” with a considerable grain of salt. Maybe even a salt lick.
And see you soon, back in the 6ix.
Craig Redmond is a creative director in transit.