I am so pleased (and humbled!) to be starting a new job with the Washington Examiner next week. I’ll be a staff writer in their Opinion section, which has been one of my favorite places to get the news since I moved here.
The funny thing is, it’s not the job I applied for.
I had compiled a decent but not especially exciting list of jobs to apply for, when a friend told me the Examiner had an opening for a crime reporter. Not exactly my cup of tea, in case you were wondering, but I love the Examiner and thought it would be a good chance to get in the door there.
A few days after I sent in my application, I got a call from their opinion editor. He asked if I would be interested in interviewing to work for his section instead. So much for getting in the door!
When I sat down for my interview, one of the first things they said to me was, “You don’t look much like a crime reporter!”
No indeed. I don’t think writing up police reports and responding to fires in Santa Barbara would have prepared me for Washington, D.C. crime. Thank goodness they decided not to give me the job I asked for.
During my interview, one of the editors asked me what I like to write about. I hesitated, wondering if I should be completely honest: every time I pitched a pension-related story, my previous editor would respond: “Zzz.” (He would be the first to tell you this.) Labor union stories didn’t always fare much better. Still, I took the plunge.
“Pension reform and labor unions,” I said, trying not to wince.
Sometimes God’s hand is visible in the humorous details. My awkward admission was met with cries of approval. “Those are two of the issues we like to write about!” they assured me.
I left the interview feeling very good about it, but could still hardly believe it when they called with an offer. How can it be that, three years out of college and three weeks after being laid off, I could be accepting the very job I would have picked for myself? I think sometimes God likes to give us things we hardly dare to ask for, just to remind us that all our skills and all our opportunities come from him.
I’ll be working downtown, five blocks from Bryant and right across from Pret a Manger, whose yogurt cups are a special addiction of mine. Their website is a little like an interactive Portlandia sketch: click on the yogurt menu, and they tell you about their cows. “A wonderful snack from some wonderful cows,” they say. “We know because they’re local; they live on the Hudson Valley’s Ronnybrook Farm.” So help me, I am pretty sure my paychecks will slowly but surely be eaten in Pret Yoga Bunny yogurt pots.
I am looking forward to writing every day again. I don’t know exactly what the job will look like, but I’m excited for it!
Now, if only I could be as glamorous as Rosalind Russel while getting my scoops.