by Michael Friedenberg

Let’s Vent

Sep 14, 20082 mins

Because sometimes you just have to let off steam

I love commercials and am not embarrassed to admit it. This isn’t only because my livelihood depends on advertising—I truly enjoy seeing a well-produced commercial or ad. In fact, if the Philadelphia Eagles aren’t in the Super Bowl (and they rarely are), I get more excited about the commercials than about the game.

The other day I saw a terrific ad. A husband and wife are together, and a friend calls asking the man to come over because he needs to “vent.” His wife is so touched by this sentimental outreach that she lets him go. Unbeknownst to her, venting means sharing a Coors Light with his buddy using Coors’s newly designed can.

Very funny, but it also got me thinking about the positions we hold and our inability to vent from time to time because of where we sit. We can’t vent upwards because our peer executives don’t want to hear it, and we can’t vent to our team because that would be poor judgment and leadership. So who can we vent to?

Well, I am inviting you over to vent. Why don’t I start:

Budget planning: Can’t stand it, and it never goes as planned. There’s got to be a better way.

Product names that don’t mean a thing to the common man.

Air travel: Has it really come to this?

Airline security: Do you feel more secure?

Golf: Why can’t we hit a stationary object straight?

Vendors and golf: Do they really think that a golf invitation is the only way to get our time or attention?

The economy: We can’t control it, so let’s just adjust to what it is giving us.

IT complexity: Vendors make a ton of money off it. Do you think they really want to give us something that isn’t complex?

Apple’s iPhone: Now it is our responsibility to support whatever the end user purchases?

Gen Y: Yes, you’re smart, intelligent, driven and technologically astute, but could you wait three months before asking for your next promotion?

Tell your spouse you’ll be home soon; we have more venting to do. Send me your best vent. The winner will get free admittance to our upcoming CIO Year Ahead Conference, Nov. 9-11, 2008.