Maybe you haven’t heard: The Detroit Newspaper Partnership is looking to cut another 7 percent in costs. Another round of buyouts is coming, but now that most newsrooms have burned the deadwood, cut the fat, stripped the muscle and amputated its pinky fingers and other superfluous body parts, it’s now time to, what? Suck the marrow?
I dunno. I tell you this only to stress that for me, for pretty much everyone with a stake in the newspaper industry, worry is our constant companion. At this point in my life I’ve learned not to let it consume me, but honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve thought next year might, possibly, lord willin’, inshallah be better than this, I can’t even remember.
So I’m always looking around for interesting job opportunities. They frequently present themselves at this time of year, summer’s beginning, when I can’t take them. This was yesterday’s:
Here’s the deal. We sell adult stuff. Not porn, but toys, lubes and all that. In our business they are called “adult novelties” Why do we sell adult stuff? Because people really enjoy buying it, that’s why. It’s called making money. The local economy isn’t doing that well, but we are doing great!
We do the website / Internet thing. We have been at it for 10 years now. It’s not too shabby. The work environment is as casual as anyplace on earth and people here are nice.
You’ll write stuff and maybe take pictures of it. We then create a webpage. People see what we have to say and decide whether to buy or not. A great copy writer will balance salesmanship with truth. You’ll be honest and upstanding. People will respect you for it and you will earn their trust.
The job is Monday-Friday 9AM – 5PM. …This is not a freelance job, nor is it a work-from-home type of thing. This is a real copy writing position. You will sit at a desk in a crappy office.
It goes on from there. They extend an offer to apply and invite writing samples about a package of bachelorette party stickers. I blinked when I saw what they wanted: “100-200 words.” Say wha? That’s a big ol’ copy block for a catalog. It sounds like they’re producing the J. Peterman catalog of adult novelties.
This could be my dream job:
The night started the way they always start — sexy dresses straight from the dry-cleaning bag, new shoes, the thrilling sight of the stretch limo pulling up to the apartment door. It’s Clarissa’s bachelorette party, and we are going to plow a wide swath through the night, starting with pomegranate martinis at dinner and ending with shooters at 2 a.m. Comes the witching hour, and here we are – Jenna is puking in the ladies’, Jess is dancing with some guy who has his hand on her ass, Cassie is slumped at the other end of the table, drunk-dialing her exes and crying for no reason. And the bride-to-be? She left an hour ago, and if you squint, you can see her through the window of the tattoo parlor across the street, stretched out on her stomach, some illustrated-man ink artist putting the groom’s name at the top of her butt crack. And you? You’re looking down at the pink bubble sticker you slapped on when the evening was young, a sticker just above your left boob that reads “flirt.” Just so you remember which one you are.
That’s 187 words. They actually sound like fun people, if you don’t mind the soul-destroying work of crafting 150 words about personal lubricant.
That Craigslist ad makes me despair, actually. After our weekend of filmmaking, which would have been impossible without Craigslist, I wonder what the newspaper industry has in the pipeline to compete. Many in the business have criticized Craig Newmark for failing to “monetize” his creation; in fact, I think they have a special word for him, from a high-level econ seminar, something like “bad actor” — used to describe a capitalist who doesn’t want to make money. That implies a similar site could be monetized, while remaining free, so what are they bringing to the table? There’s always a better idea, a way to innovate. My guess is: Not bloody much. They’re GM in 1972, looking at the first Hondas rolling off the boat from Japan, scoffing, who’d want to drive that stupid thing?
As I said: I worry.
OK, on to bloggage, because that’s what we love:
Headlines that shouldn’t be written, much less clicked on: Oprah Winfrey completes her 21-day vegan cleanse.
Oh, and this just in: Copy editing outsourced to India.
And why don’t we leave it at that? Have a swell day, all.