Bill, I think I was coming off as a little too strong

Dear Bill Simmons:

I’ve been going about this the wrong way, I realize that now. And I’m sorry, for harassing you like this, constantly with the begging, “Please give me a writing job.” That was really annoying of me. At the time I thought it was gutsy. But now I’m starting to see that it was too much. You can’t just go around asking to write for Grantland. There aren’t any shortcuts to all of the sudden having your work pop up online. You’ve got to start from the bottom and work your way up. Right Bill?

Janitor in the Philippine Stock Exchange Building

Which is why, Bill, please, give me a job at Grantland, but at the bottom. I want whatever is the worst job available. Actually, no, I want you to consider the worst job at Grantland, and then I want you to make a position even lower, and I’ll work my ass off, OK, I’ll work so hard that I’ll earn that promotion to former worst job at Grantland.

And then I’ll keep climbing, turning heads as I ascend that ladder, one rung at a time. I’ll network and stuff. That’s a thing you’ve got to do, right? You’ve got to network. I’ve got to get in there from the bottom and I’ve got to approach men and women above me and say stuff like, “Hey, I really admire your work. Is there any chance you’d be willing to let me buy you a cup of coffee while I pick your brain about careers and opportunities?”

Actually, even that sounds like I’m coming on a little too strong. I should have just kept it to coffee, none of that opportunity talk. That reeks of networking. You’re supposed to network, I get that, but I also get that you’re never supposed to talk about networking or make it seem like you’re networking. Because otherwise you look like you’re too hungry. I’m hungry, but I want to come across as totally full. But secretly ravenous.

You have a pretty decent janitorial staff at Grantland? Make me the janitor’s assistant. Or even better, make me the janitor’s intern. I’ll do it for free. After we finish mopping the bathroom floors and changing out all of the hand soap in the hand soap dispensers, I’ll be like, “Hey man,” to the janitor, I’ll say, “I’m really learning a lot here. Would you mind if I took you out for a cup of coffee after work?”

And I’ll do the whole networking process from the ground up, it’ll be subtle, I won’t say anything about my aspirations as a full-time member of the writing staff. Do you know if the bathrooms at Grantland use liquid soap? Or is it that foam stuff? I only ask because the foam saves so much more space, like there’s a lot less waste. You know what? Forget I asked. I’ll save it for day one.

While I have late night access to the building, buffing floors, emptying out wastebaskets, I’ll start pitching in around the office, fixing the printer jams, straightening out the bulletin boards on the walls, stuff like that. I figure it won’t be long until the higher-ups get wind of my go-getter attitude. We’ll be riding up on an elevator, all of you professionals in your suits and me in my janitor’s outfit, maybe I’ll have like a bucket and mop.

One of you guys might say, “Hey, aren’t you the janitor that occasionally answers line three if the secretary is overwhelmed? The one that takes really detailed notes and passes them on to exactly where they’ve got to go? Do you have any interest in trying out the administrative side of this business?”

And while, no, I really don’t want to be involved in administration, I want to be a writer, I’ll still take the offer. Because up is up, right? The closer I get to you Bill, the more chances there are of you happening to come upon me right as I’m juggling like eight administrative tasks in a row. You’ll raise your left eyebrow as you marvel at my professional office skills, and then the right eyebrow will lift accordingly as you realize that not only am I handling desk work like a pro, but I’m simultaneously changing light bulbs and separating recyclables that have accidentally been tossed in the trashcan.

“Oh it’s nothing,” I’ll try to act casually as you congratulate my willingness to tackle any problem, “I used to be a part of the custodial team, so I like to help out wherever possible.”

Naturally that’ll appeal to you, as a boss, you’ll see some of you in me, maybe you’ll be the one asking me out for a cup of coffee. And that’s when I’ll make my move, I’ll slip in how I’m an aspiring writer, how it’s always been a dream of mine to write for Grantland. You’ll have to give me a chance. I’ll have already proved to you through my other duties and responsibilities that I’m up for the job.

So yeah, sorry for coming off as too strong. I just want it so bad, to write for Grantland. I’ll do anything. I’ll start from even lower if you want. You could have me standing outside getting coffee and running errands for those guys who hold up signs on the streets advertising discount-parking rates at nearby garages. Come on Bill, I’m super serious. Give me a call.

Venti with milk and five sugars,

Rob G.

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