AD NAUSEAM: a copywriter's life

The 18-month job interview

Posted in Uncategorized by CopyBlogger on the September 7th, 2012

LAST WEDNESDAY I WAS OFFERED A JOB AT BROOKSTONE.  It was suspiciously similar to what I’d been doing there as a freelancer since last February, only for a little less money and a few more hours. So of course I snapped it up like a starving  trout. Now I appear before you an employed man, a changed man:

                  Dave, a bum no more.


Officially the title is a mouthful–”Copywriter – Home Products & SEO.” It sizes up about the same, I guess.

But having a full time job with a real commitment is so very different.

When I was just out of college in the 1980s, the world pretty much insisted that I acquire credit cards. Merchants and banks were oddly reassured by plastic, and wouldn’t accept my identity or my money without it. And that’s what the job thing reminds me of. People want to know whose corporate  livery you’re wearing. Tell them you work for yourself sporadically tapping out website copy, and they’re so damned kind. Politely interested, a little hopeful for you, but sensitive that they might hurt your feelings. Like someone drawing attention to a handicap.

And loan officers, don’t get me started about loan officers. Or recruiters.

How many phone screenings have started out with some bubbleheaded HR newb asking, “Why did you leave your last job?” They never once tired of it, clumsily hoping to uncover the stolen silverware or grievous flaw that lets them cross you off an overcrowded candidate list. I got so sick of being a suspect, not a prospect.

Really, it’s surprising that only two-and-a-half years have gone by since Deluxe “eliminated my job.” Believe me, it seemed a lot longer. Pushing 50 in a terrible economy, I wondered if I would ever have a full time job again. Fear was a very real thing for me, with a wife and a kid and a house. So every day I kept coming to Brookstone with my contractor’s badge, trying to prove myself and wondering what the others had that I didn’t.

It was like a very long interview, and I held my breath every minute of it.

But hopefully some of that is behind me now, and a world of benefits and belonging and normalcy will be mine again … at least until ennui sets in and I become a bored wage slave once more. I can hardly wait.