Just wanted to share a war story from the job hunt. Literally, as it turns out.If you or anyone you know is looking for freelance writing, editing, or proofreading, check out his portfolio site. We go back a long way. He is a hilarious poet, raconteur, and real professional.
I got a call on Friday afternoon from one of the SEVEN staffing agencies I have now listed myself with. I was out running an errand when the call came, so the rep left a message and said she had a three-day position at an ad agency writing banner ads for Web sites, and I just needed to call and confirm that I was still available.
I'm saved! I thought. Finally a way to pay my rent this month. Whatever it is, wherever I have to go, I'll take it, I thought.
She did say in the message that I would need to be able to write in a "tough guy" tone of voice. That gave me a little pause, me being me, but I've had to do it a couple of times before. In August I had to write copy about Sears Craftsman tools for a NASCAR tie-in, so it was all this "winners never quit" stuff and I'd logged some experience trying to fake the sound of testosterone.
So I called the rep as quick as I could dial and told her I was still available.
That's great, she said. So, it starts on Monday. It's on-site work, writing banner ads for Web sites, and the client is ... wait for it ... the U.S. Marines.
Long pause while I beat my head against the desk. Then I explained as diplomatically as I could that I wasn't a good fit for this particular job, and thanks for thinking of me, etc.
And that's the only concrete offer of work I've had since we last talked.
I do have the consolation of knowing I'm not the only one who has turned this gig down. Yesterday I interviewed at yet another staffing agency, and the rep and I clicked pretty well, so we had a nice conversation. And I wound up telling her the story about the Marines job.
As soon as I said the words, "tough-guy tone of voice," her eyes got wide and she said, "I have that exact same posting!" She said that the ad agency hadn't been able to fill the position because no one would take it.
So at least it's nice to know that right now there aren't a lot of Chicago writers who want to convince teenagers to go get shot at in Iraq.
What a long way we've come since Sept. 11.
The few, the proud
And by that I mean those who stick to their convictions, even at great personal cost. My friend Dave Awl, performance artist extraordinaire, alarmingly between writing/editing projects in Chicago, just sent me the following email: