I didn't plan to work in advertising. When I graduated from college, the economy was similar to this one (maybe this one is a fraction worse, because I was at least able to hold down a retail job that provided benefits all through college). I wanted to be a movie director! The only problem was I lived in Detroit, not New York or L.A. I did a few unpaid internships at a radio station and then another unpaid one at a PR firm, which eventually became paid. All while still working at J.C Penney for the benefits. I was on an academic scholarship and maintained the good grades necessary to keep it, but it still took me about two-and-a-half years to find a job after the internships ended. I finally got a bite from an advertising agency. The position was secretarial for the PR director. That was my in.
|Is this kid being 'scattered' or imaginative?|
The best thing about my job was that my desk was situated smack in the middle of the Creative department. I had a writer in an office directly across from me. Listening to him answer his phone was quite amusing: "This is (Name changed to protect the innocent)" Pause while the other person asked how he was. "I'm naked! How are you?" They were truly the most lovable bunch of nuts in the history of the universe, in my opinion. It didn't hurt that they were treated a bit like gods. I was starstruck. The writer's art director partner would stop by as I clipped articles, the newsprint turning my fingers black. He'd check out the sports page while making small talk, and probably wondered what the hell I was doing cutting holes in the paper! By that time, I was wondering as well.
One day my boss took me into her office and told me I was "scattered and unfocused." I was devastated. Up until then, I'd always been an overachiever and while I knew I was failing at the secretarial portion of the job, I told myself it was because I hadn't really been prepared in my college classes, which were all theory-based or writing intensive. Nothing useful! That night I applied at a bank to be a teller, because my boss also told me she was giving the PR coordinator job to one of our interns.
|The best way to celebrate|
So today, I'm grateful to Don, to the advertising industry and my proofreading colleagues (who felt like family from the first) and even to the boss that rejected me. In fact, mostly to her! All the rejection I've had over the years is a little easier to handle when there's a little voice in the back of my head saying: "Who's to say this person is right?" Because one time, she wasn't. Now join me in some General Foods International Coffee--or a nice birthday s'more--to celebrate the small things.