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Erma Bombeck died on April 22, 1996, at the age of 69.
April 22, 2017
It occurred to me last week that I haven’t put together a resume in nearly 12 years. I don’t need a resume or anything; knock on wood, everything professionally is going just fine, I have zero complaints, it’s ridiculous I get to do this for a living, all that. But a cousin asked me to look at her resume, and I realized I hadn’t put one together in more than a decade.
The last job I needed a resume for was Registered Rep. magazine, a financial publication where I worked as a staff writer for nearly three years. I was a terrible financial reporter, not because I’m a terrible reporter in general — at least I hope not — but because I simply did not, and do not, care about the financial services industry and discovered fairly early on that it was impossible for me to fake that I did. I got along well with everybody at the magazine, though, which made them more patient with me than they should have been and allowed me to hang on far longer than I deserved to; I wrote about financial planning for three years, on a professional basis, and honestly could not tell you one thing about it. I’m not sure I could back then either.
I left that job to professionally “freelance,” but that quickly turned into my successful pitch for Gawker Media to start Deadspin, and we all know how that turned out. Gawker didn’t ask me once for my resume, and there has been no need for a resume since.
Thus, the most recent resume I have is from November 2004, when I briefly looked for another “real” job so I wouldn’t have to dance between the raindrops at Registered Rep. much longer. This is the exact resume.
This resume doesn’t make much sense. None of these jobs have any connection to one another. There is no progression from one job to another; it’s just a twentysomething kid floating from one couch to another, trying to figure out who he is, what he wants to do, and whether he even wants to keep doing this at all. Also, some of those job descriptions! “Develop lists of sources and contacts at major brokerage firms.” “Made all newspaper content from sports section applicable to the Web.” I’m not even sure what those things mean. There is no cohesion to that resume. It is just a stupid kid hoping he can fool someone into hiring him. I didn’t even want any of the jobs I was applying for. I just wanted a place that would pay my rent and leave me alone enough to let me do the real work I wanted to do, which was working for The Black Table and writing books and trying to pitch fledgling Websites to let me write self-indulgent essays about my cat. Looking at this resume, it comes as no surprise that no one ever responded to my resume. Why would they? This is the resume of someone who doesn’t want the job he’s applying for.
Also, seriously, would you have hired this idiot?
I think often about what would have happened had Lockhart Steele and Nick Denton had not given me a chance to start Deadspin, more than 12 years ago now. I’d quit Registered Rep. after the publisher asked me, point blank, if I was using his job simply to finance all my online (and unpaid) writings for The Black Table and other sites. I said yes, hoping he would find this an admirably honest moment of pluck; he scowled, said, “yes, I can tell,” and right then I knew my Registered Rep. days were numbered. I told myself I’d give freelancing a year before I started to ask some real, deadly serious questions about what, exactly, I was doing with my life. In March 2005, when I quit that job, I was engaged, I was financially wobbly and I was about to turn 30 years old that October. It was really my last chance. It was a risk. It was pretty much my hail mary.
What would have happened had Gawker said, “sorry, pal, but nope?” I would have tried to eke together a living with my meager freelancing, I would have failed, and then ... I honestly have no idea. It worked out. But it worked out because of pure, random chance. It’s a good thing it did. Because looking at that resume ... I pretty sure, had it not worked out, I would have starved to death.
Here is a numerical breakdown of all the things I wrote this week, in order of what I believe to be their quality. (This is an attempt to have an objective look at the value of my work in a way that I suspect will be difficult to sustain.)
1. The Secret Life of Pitchers, The Atlantic. This was a big feature/book review that’s been finished for a while but finally came out in print this week. (You can guy the issue on the newsstands: It’s the one with Alec Baldwin-as-Trump on the cover.) I have been very eager to share this one with everyone and I hope you like it.
2. The Tragedy in Isaiah Thomas’ Life Was On Full Display, Sports On Earth. Thanks to Scott Van Pelt for a segment about this column on his “SportsCenter” this week. I’m often asked what I think of ESPN these days, and I think it’s so much better than it used to be, Stephen A. Smith and company aside. People like Van Pelt, and the crew from The Six, are among the reasons why. (Van Pelt’s poor taste in columns aside.)
3. A Closer Look at SunTrust Park, Sports On Earth. The place is nice. It’s just where it is, and what it stands for, that’s the problem.
4. Separating Facts From Fiction in Starling Marte’s Suspension, Sports On Earth. I feel like I write this column every time someone gets busted for PEDs, but it’s probably worth saying every time.
5. The Grierson & Leitch Summer Movie Preview, The New Republic. I can’t believe there is another Transformers movie and another Pirates of the Caribbean movie coming out this summer. (Neither is on this list.)
6. A Look at the Top Players in Baseball Right Now, Sports On Earth. I was a bit out of gas by the end of the week, as you can probably tell by the last couple entries on this list. When you’re out of gas, a fun, silly Small Sample Size Theater column is a handy way to get you through it.
7. Your First Playoff Odds Report of the Season, Sports On Earth. These are back.
8. Dive Into Five, Sports On Earth. This one was so inconsequential that not only did they forget to post it, I forgot I had even written it. I’m counting it anyway, but ... yeah.
As I say every week: If you are the sort to subscribe to a weekly newsletter, I would have to think it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to subscribe to one of the three podcasts I do. You don’t even have to listen to them! Just download them. Here they are:
Grierson & Leitch, Grierson and I talked about “The Fate and the Furious,” “The Lost City of Z,” “Zero Effect” and “Man of the West.” Fun show this week.
The Will Leitch Experience, no show this week.
Waitin’ Since Last Saturday, the G-Day spring game preview. I will be at G-Day with the boys tomorrow. We will not stay long. It’s a freaking practice.
Also, here is the full-length video from Detroit. The crew is very good at what they do. Last screenshot:
Have a great weekend, all. Polish up those resumes.