Friday, June 20, 2008

According to the AP, I'm qualified to be its security guard


I wasted a lot of time during my job-hunting excursion last summer.

I had just graduated with my second degree in journalism, this one a Master of Arts from American University. I had several newspaper internships on my resume, including the Dow Jones position at Newsday I was serving at the time. I thought I stood a good chance of getting something I would enjoy.

And I did. But there were plenty of pointless tasks that I could have done without.

I placed my resume on, and Each gave me the same result: jack.

Then I signed up for job alerts from The Associated Press. Its Web site prompted me to enter my qualifications, and it promised to send messages when it thought I was qualified for a position.

When they started coming, I realized that I had further wasted my precious time. These were the positions the e-mails suggested: business systems analyst, product specialist, business assistant, product support specialist, administrative assistant, order processing specialist, marketing/administrative assistant, production coordinator, order specialist, editorial assistant, photo retoucher and sales correspondent.

It's a no-brainer that any position ending with "specialist" or "assistant" is going to be lame-o.

Oh, but "production coordinator?" COORDINATOR? That sounds important. Then I read the job description: "transcribing sound-bites for use in scripts and by the AP wire." Another yawner.

I never unsubscribed from the e-mails because they were good sources of amusement. But the one I got today was a real laugher: security guard.

Here are the responsibilities of the position. Let's see if I could handle it.
  • Experience in providing security in the assigned area.
    • Each time I edit a story, I kill grammatical and factual errors that try to enter it. Unlike most editors, my tactic is: Shoot first, ask questions later.
  • Enforce that all visitors wishing to enter the building show proper I.D. and sign in before entering.
    • I equate this security responsibility with protecting the paper against plagiarism. If they aren't who they say they are, WHACK! POW! KA-BOOM!
  • Providing information and directions as needed.
    • At FLORIDA TODAY, we frequently get callers who demand to speak with the circulation department because, "I DIDN'T GET MY SATURDAY PAPER!" I'm pretty good at giving them directions to call the proper department, to go somewhere else or to get a computer/life.
  • Properly log in outgoing and incoming visitors into a spread sheet.
    • Spread sheets? FLORIDA TODAY's lottery numbers are published in the newspaper via an Excel sheet. I'm all over that. I loooooooove data entry. Spread 'em!
  • Receives and directs visitors; answers telephones and directs people as appropriate.
    • Again, I'm totally cool with dealing with irate people on the phone: It's what makes my job amusing.
  • Profound ability to resolve customer complaints and concerns.
    • Oh, it's deeply profound.
  • Proficient in providing protection services to individuals in the area assigned.
    • I protect more than 80,000 readers from crap.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
    • I have a master's degree in journalism, which remotely required some writing skills. And I was born with a big mouth.
  • Organizes and coordinates name tags for visitors and groups meeting.
    • I don't know. This sounds like a lot of responsibility. And in six years of college, I don't think I took a class on making name tags.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.
    • Copy editors do whatever they're told - usually a gazillion things.
Hmm. I just might make the cut. The thing that would be the real clincher would be a salary that would pay for a Manhattan apartment.

Pff. Yeah. Right.


Anonymous said...

You could volunteer with ACES and learn how to make name tags. Name tags need editing, too.

(OK, stupid blogger thinks I'm using the wrong password to post this reply, so it's going to be anonymous.)


shoyu said...

Opportunities are waiting for you.