Billy, sweet Billy boy

Dear Bill Simmons:

Panel & Screening Of "Beyond Playing The Field" 2010 Tribeca Film Festival

Bill, what’s up man? Am I getting through to you? Do I have a job at Grantland yet? Maybe this is all part of the process, like, week one, you saw my first letter, you were like, big deal, I get crazy letters from people all the time. And then week two, you saw that second letter and the beginnings of a smile started to form at the corners of your mouth, you thought, OK, maybe this guy’s serious. Probably not, but maybe. And here we are, week three, I’m imagining you reading this paragraph, this very sentence, and maybe you’re not directly thinking about personally giving me a call to say, “Welcome aboard, kid,” but there’s a part of your brain that can’t help but think about that spot over in the corner, you’re saying to yourself, “Well, maybe I could fit an extra desk there. And yeah, I guess we might be able to scrounge up the money to pay another full-time writer.”

I get it Bill, I know that this is a process. We’re still getting to know one another. Well, that’s not true exactly, because I’ve been reading your stuff online for a while now, I’m sure I know you about as well as you want all of your readers to know you. But you’re just getting to know me, through these letters. Assuming you are reading these. And yeah, I’m not blind to the fact that you might not be seeing them in real time. It’s hard to attract the attention of famous people on the Internet. It’s even harder when the sole purpose of attracting that attention is purely trying to get something out of that famous person.

Am I making that clear enough Bill? I just want you to give me a job. I don’t want to go through the whole traditional trying-to-break-into-the-industry route. I just want it to happen. I just want to magically say the name Bill Simmons three times in a row, and then you’ll appear in my inbox. It’ll be a letter that says something like:

“Hey Rob! I just came across all of your open letters to me on your blog. I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed with your style. Although it doesn’t take a lot of guts to just put stuff online, I’m more interested in the fact that you just kept writing to me, every week, posting links to your blog posts on Twitter, linking them to my Twitter, hoping that eventually I’d see something and offer you a job. Well, here it is Rob, the offer you’ve been waiting for. When can you start?”

You can use that letter if you want, I know you’re super busy, writing your own stuff. You probably don’t have a ton of time to respond individually to every aspiring writer seeking employment through your web site. I can start on Monday by the way. Any Monday. You call me or email me on any day of the week, and I’ll be there that Monday. Unless you get in contact with me on a Monday, in which case I’ll be there the following Monday. You understand, right? Same-day notice is a little tough.

But yeah, I do understand, there’s a lot of noise out there, everybody wants a cool writing job, it’s statistically improbable that I’m going to get your attention just by writing these letters. It’s tough out there, getting a job that doesn’t involve waiting tables. And writing? Forget about it. If I had any success nailing a writing gig, well, I wouldn’t be begging you from the Internet for a long-shot chance at a job.

Most of the stuff I send out gets no reply, which is almost worse than a flat-out rejection, because even if I did get rejected, at least I’d know that my stuff was getting through. With the no response, I can’t even imagine that my email or my resume is ever opened in the first place.

Except for this one time, I applied for an editorial position on some video game and comic book web site. I really wanted it, so badly, so I had an Edible Arrangement sent their office with a note that said, “Please, please, please, please, please hire me.”

And yeah, they called me in for an interview. It was crazy. Seriously, I started worrying that it was actually crazy, that I had put myself out there in a way that was abnormal. I pictured these people reading my note and thinking, did this guy actually send us a bouquet of fruit? I guess we should have him in here, just because, you know, he sent us the fruit.

I didn’t get the job, not even a callback. The whole interview was so awkward. When I got face-to-face with the editor in charge of hiring, I totally froze. I was sweating through my button-down. My answers didn’t make any sense, and I forgot to bring up the Edible Arrangement entirely. I mean, he didn’t bring it up, and I didn’t bring it up, and the next thing I knew, I was outside on the corner, little speckles of foam accumulating at the corners of my lips because I was so nervous and my mouth got really dry. And even though for a second I felt like I’d cracked some sort of code, like a “how-to-get-a-guaranteed-interview” life hack, man, those Edible Arrangements aren’t cheap. If only I had a ton of money, I could send you an Edible Arrangement. You and everyone else I’d like to work for.

Hey Bill, can I borrow fifty bucks? What do you like better, pineapples or strawberries? Can I please have a job?


Rob G.