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Sometimes I wish I could be a drama queen.You know like,’You are going to listen to me. Whether you like it or not!’ and just make noise till I get what I want. This has been my thought since morning today. I decided to wake up and do something once again after I had given up on all the newspaper houses I knew of. Well life is all about trying again and again,isn’t it?
I rushed into town with a very well plotted plan on how I was going to go into Nation media and approach the receptionist as confident as ever. I would look into her eyes with such a burn that she would get scared that I am just from murdering someone.I would ask for the editor and of course she would tell me he/she is not around. She would ask me what I need from the editor and that I can leave a message. I would lean forward and tell her in a deadly whisper,’I have a hot story worth your headlines. You better not let me go away from here because I am going to sell this story to the Standard and YOU (pointing at her) will be fired for letting a person like me not meet the editor. You are going to bite your fingers with regret and your editor will hit your head to the wall for making the paper go through such a loss. No other media house will take you in because everyone would have known how you let a story worth millions go to the competitor. Woman,you are going to be miserable forever.’ I would then walk away confidently and she would quickly pick her phone behind my back and whisper something before calling me out loud. I would turn as innocently as ever and ask,’are you calling me?’ and she would quickly nod before apologizing,’Sorry, the editor asks us to not let people in. They should just leave their message here.’
‘But I am not people did you notice that?’
‘Yes I did. Sorry once again. You can go in. His office is over there.’ She would say so apologetically as she shows me the way.
I would walk confidently into the office and give the editor an enigmatic smile.
‘I was informed you have a hot story. So i’m all ears.’ He would say after the greeting.
I would sit upright and cross my legs.
‘You are very lucky I choose Nation and if you are curious to know why then let not the suspense kill you. Do you remember ‘the falling star’ fiction story published 10 years back? I was just 12 years then but your paper declared me among the youngest best writers. Do you remember? Perhaps you don’t but I very well do. Let me show you (and I would hand him the well laminated piece of newspaper),this is why and how I’ve always considered myself one of you. When you declared me among the best writers, you gave me hope and this is when my writing journey started. This is when I decided i’ll be a writer for the rest of my life. So how dare you decide that i’m not worthy your newspaper now without even having a look at my CV? How dare you shatter my dream and of many other writers by letting secretaries deal with us instead of YOU deciding and listening to us and seeing our potential before declaring’THERE IS NO SPACE FOR ANYONE??! Please make me understand why things happen the way they do. Please make me understand why you let so many people give up just because of these boundaries? Someday I’m going to be the bestselling writer and I promise to remind you of all the CV’s I sent that ended to the secretary instead of the editor or HR’ *whispers ameen to that* Then I would courteously apologize for his time. The hot story was simply about the hundreds of talented writers who are never given the opportunities. I would leave my business card and my CV, just in case you know…he might still want the story…I’d say thank you and leave him as flabbergasted as never before. I wish it was as simple as writing it. See why I started with wishing I could be a drama queen? I would have spoken for so many other people who wish to do the same. But I am an activist by pen so this is what I can do best perhaps.
Well I was planning to make the editor as guilty as possible, ruin his ego and make him feel like the worst human being ever.Then after that I was going to go do the same at Standard,Nation, Star and all these newspapers I ever submitted my CV to and never got a response not even a humble one of,’We did receive your CV but unfortunately we don’t need a writer but we will surely consider it for the future.’ Isn’t there any etiquette left?
Well,being a drama queen was never going to get me a job or anyone but I needed to explode and when you have to,then make sure you do it at the right place;to the people who can change the course of things.
So when I finally got to Nation media house and as I adjusted my confident self,I got a face palm from the kind notice on the door,we have moved to opposite Pandya hospital.’ Aarrghh, my bubble burst right then. All that planning?! I console myself,’Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for some goodness.’I look ahead and see Coast Weekly. Let me try over there.
I go to Coast Weekly and the personal secretary to the editor explains to me that the editor is not around and that she has to deal with me first before sending me forward to the editor. I was heartbroken once again.Why do editors keep these barriers always? Why do they let secretaries decide and filter whom is worthy being listened to?I saw it in ALL offices I went to and I ended up believing that to get a job especially in media industry you need to have strong connections in the hierarchy somewhere so that they can fix you the job. I do understand that secretaries are important and that without them we would have mediocre people and jokers storming in to the editor for silly issues but haven’t people seen that so much talent keeps being kicked off? What if,just what if,this person you sent away without listening to may be the light in your dark tunnel? Just what if they push your company to grow?
Anyway,I decided I had learnt from experience and said firmly I was only going to talk to the editor and no one else. I wanted my privacy I insisted but this lady explained that these are rules for the organization and had to be followed. I understood,it is like that always.Everywhere.RULES and boundaries. She offered to help and so I spoke to her. I was really pissed then. Pissed at how editors are acting like mini gods. Even God Himself doesn’t keep such boundaries!! The lady then recognized me from when I used to write for Coast This Week and praised my work. Now that she knew am talking from experience, I told her of how secretaries keep making decisions on behalf of their bosses and she said she understood me and that in their office, all that is received is open to all the key leaders in the organization. This kind lady tried to console me before asking for my contacts, just in case you know…I calmed down a bit and left the office.
Many thoughts been clouding my thoughts since then. You talk to people about these problems and they just sympathize. But we don’t really need the pity! We; writers have worked hard,got our good certificates,have the talent required yet why do we people have to treat us like orphaned children who have nowhere to go yet we have oceans of wisdom to offer? I know this happens to many other people as well in other sectors where you have to force a connection with a superior to make it through. Do our CV’s even get past the secretary or the editor just asks’what is that? A job application? Just put it on my desk’ and it rots there forever. Or is it thrown in the dustbin? Are the emails even read after we get the automated responses? It’s really annoying and sad.
I’ve always wanted to become an editor and the more I meet these boundaries so I don’t get to talk to the editors or HR managers, the more I want to become one. I hope this dream comes true someday because I will employ these writers who have nowhere else to take their work. I will make space for them even if there is none.I will give chances to these very talented people whose work is just getting old in the yellowing books. I will look beyond the certificates because I very well know of degree holders who have zero zeal while there are some local writers with so much passion that when kept on the great wall of China,it would explode from it’s weight.. I will not let any secretary or anyone decide on my behalf whether they are worth the job or not. I will listen to them myself and help if I can. I will pay them well and not peanuts like they always get. I will give them the utmost respect because these people;these writers are the people who are making a difference,they are the people who can awaken humanity.Yes, I am going to be the best editor that ever existed. You good people keep praying for me;someday by God’s will we will all be working together and we will make the best team in the world! Ameen!