My first boss showed me this piece of writing perfection.
Like everyone before me who somehow stumbled upon it during the 93 years since it first appeared, I was stunned to learn it was written, not by the legendary copywriter Bruce Barton, but by a long forgotten employee named F.R. Feland, BBDO’s Treasurer.
F.R. Feland (Robey), according to my digging around the internet, was very much like his hero, Brown. He was a voracious
Technically ‘Brown’s Job’ is a house ad–an ad for, and by, an ad agency–in this case, BBDO. Yet I find it hard to imagine as the result of an assignment; a brief, for an ad agency’s self-promotion.
It’s too personal, too deeply felt. It is a tour de force portrait of that illusive yet familiar company employee we yearn for when we’re the boss and yearn to be when we’re the hired hand. And even though we see only words on a page, and plenty of them, Brown is flesh and blood in 3 dimensions. Only his job is vague.
Finally, I think the truth about ‘Brown’s Job’ is that it is a snapshot of our best self.
Imagine if it were required reading in every employee handbook in every company in every land.
Somehow, every time I return to ‘Brown’s Job,’ just for a moment I can almost believe in a future with more Browns–and fewer Enrons.