It has been weeks since I’ve answered a reader question here at Archives of Our Lives. In fact, I’m pretty sure I skipped all of February—but in my defense, it was a short month. Anyway, there’s no time like the present to remedy the past (I think that’s how it goes).
This week’s question comes from Carmen (who, by the way, gave a nice shout out to me in a recent post on her own blog—thanks Carmen!). Carmen writes:
Neat that you are in the paper. Keep it up. Hope you get published more because you truly are an amazing writer. Did you ask to write in the paper or did they find your blog or how did it all happen? Just curious.
I was so excited to see my name in print, I took pictures.
Thanks, Carmen! What a lovely compliment. In case you don’t know what Carmen’s talking about, I’ll clue you in. At the beginning of this semester, my first at the University up here, I happened upon a call for applicants in the student newspaper. The job was a simple recipe column of about 500 words, and I applied straightaway. I was given the opportunity to switch off with another guy, so every other week I have been submitting recipe articles. First, I did pico de gallo; next came potato skins; and most recently, chocolate chip cookies of love.
Nothing wrong with a little shameless self-promotion, said the girl who secretly dreams of paying her bills with blog revenue…
So, in answer to your question, Carmen, that’s how it came about. I applied, and so did another guy, and we both were given an opportunity. The end.
Only it’s not the end. Unfortunately, since signing on, and with every passing edition, I have become increasingly disillusioned with the content of the paper. The advertisements are crude and vulgar, often showing scantily-clad women of the night posed provocatively (don’t I sound like a granny?). There are even ads for the local strip club, which I find extremely offensive. Moreover, the actual written content of the paper is not much better. Last week, the other recipe columnist posted not a recipe in the recipe column…but ideas on how to bake er0tic cakes. Shameful! He straight up used “P” and “V” (which I refrain from typing fully because I would hate to see the sort of creepies it would attract from Google™), and even graced the student population with an effer. Lovely.
This one is not edited, so don’t look too closely.
Lest you think I am harboring any sort of competitive bitterness against my “alternate” columnist, you should know that my qualms don’t stop with the other recipe columnist; those sort of articles are the rule, not the exception, and it has disgusted me to the point of not wanting my name associated with the paper whatsoever. It is so bad that I can’t even send copies home to my dear parents, who were so excited for me when they first found out about my opportunity. Even though I have every edition saved, I will probably never show anyone, because they are simply too vulgar for me to take pride in.
I couldn’t post the evidence in all its entirety, or this blog would no longer be family-friendly. Let’s just say, I don’t think Poor Kyle believed me until I showed him this ad, and then he was all like, “Yeah, this has got to stop.” He’s a good man.
Last Thursday, I emailed the features editor (to whom I submit my recipes every two weeks), explaining all these ideals, and apologising, but informing him that I no longer feel comfortable writing for the paper. I resigned, in other words. I’m a quitter.
He wrote back and apologised for my predicament, said he understood, and told me not to worry about the articles anymore. *Phew.* Then…he went on to say he would like to talk to me about it further, and he thinks I should not give up on applying for his position. [Oh yeah, that was part of my email, too: I was disappointed because I had hoped to apply for his paid position once he graduates. It seemed like the perfect job for me.]
Of course, it is one thing to resign via email, but to have to defend my views in person…well…I’m a pansy. I pretty much break out in hives any time I have to engage in face-to-face combat confrontation, on account of how scared I become. My legs shake, I get that pee feeling, and it’s always a traumatic experience overall. I really didn’t want to do it, but it was the mature way, so I accepted his offer. And this is where it gets really juicy:
He never wrote me back.
(Oh yeah, and by juicy, I mean anti-climactic.)
How’s that for a cliff hanger?
If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a similarly unsatisfying manner, now’s the time to do it. Ask in the comment section of this post, or send me a piece of electronic mail via firstname.lastname@example.org.