Monday, July 17, 2017

My (Three-month) Life in PR, Part One: Click Here to Apply

Look, I’ve been in and out of the newspaper business for going on 25 years now. I’m cool with that, I accept the fact that I’m in a business that is going the way of coal-powered dodo birds, the telegraph, and professional jitterbuggers. If I’m the last one standing the day the stop rolling the last press, feel free to chisel it on my tombstone.

For most of those years of professional newspapering, however, I have held out hope, the hope of all the poor newspaper men and women (which is pretty much all the newspaper men and women) of getting a Public Relations Job, in which I would make money, and perhaps wear a suit, and write things that are generally ignored by real newspaper men and women, but did I mention the money?

Which is where I was again at my second go-around at the best newspaper I’ve worked for (and not to ruin the story, but there is a third go-around) on another day with another meeting and another paycheck that paid one or two few bills. So I did what any frustrated, daydreaming newspaper man or woman would do when faced with the frustrations of the job. I went on, entered “public relations” in the search box, and watched the public relations jobs I would probably never have scroll down the page. I scrolled with as little effort as is Internetily possible, I found a job near me, one which did not require a cover letter and I could apply for through submitting my archived, frankly unproofread over the past year or two Indeed resume with a single click. Did I mention that I was sick of being called into one more meeting? I clicked. I forgot about it. I went back to my second go-around of the best newspaper job I’ve had and figured I had shown them, strictly in my mind, that I could apply for another job where no one will ever call me.

Yeah, I know, this would not be much of a story if the public relations place never called me. So I  called back from a Walmart parking lot where I was my best charming phone interview self and of course I could do all the PR things, whatever those were, and I was looking to transition into the field and all those good things. It went well, I thought. At the time, I didn’t reflect on the fact that nothing good has ever happened in a Walmart parking lot.

The president of the company called me back several days later to schedule an interview. I called back several times and left messages without getting a call back. Screw it, I guess I wasn’t that impressive. But eventually she calls back, apologizes that she didn’t get back to me because she had a pet emergency and had to bring her dog to the vet. I should trust the reader to find the spots later in the story where this will turn out to be ironic foreshadowing, but I’m going to come right out now and foreshadow the foreshadowing, because screw that damn dog.

Next up, Part 2: This interview is like a bad Raymond Chandler story


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