Being in this job has so far presented me with lots of opportunities to meet people from all walks of lives, especially like-minded mums. It’s not unusual for interview assignments to prolong into a chit-chatting session. You know how mums are; we can talk non-stop about babies, diapers, boobs, poops, milestones and the list never ends.
How did I land this job? Thanks to Lady Luck! I was (desperately) hunting for a job and applied for practically everything I could stomach. This publishing house was looking for a writer and pretending that I have a flair for writing, I applied! It didn’t occur to me that this would spiral into an opportunity I’ve always been waiting for, until the second interview when the publisher non-chalantly told me his plans to start a baby magazine. Second interview became third and fourth, and finally I decided to freelance with them. The job proved to be rather exciting because two weeks later, I joined them full time.
I’ve been with small companies prior to this but never ever started anything from scratch. Something new from somewhere small – this proved to be really challenging. Truthfully, I’ve spent the last two months convincing people more than I have ever had in my entire life. Potential partners and interviewees scrutinised us as if there wasn’t a tomorrow. It was a combination of being cautious and ignorant. I had to repeatedly assure these people that no, we are not a con job and yes, we are indeed in the midst of establishing a magazine. For instance, company A took me for a ride, insulted and criticised me before agreeing to the collaboration. Needless to say, we rejected them in the end. Relationships, be it working, romantic or familial, should be based on respect and that was obviously lacking. We’re new BUT not desperate.
Then there were companies who kept squeezing us for freebies – for their customers, then themselves, then their grandparents too. All of these just because we’re a budding publication.
The strangest part was my search for a freelancer to help me out with the stories, meaning we pay, you write. This lady who is unemployed and apparently “doing it out of passion” was so obnoxious when I called her, doubting my intention from the beginning until the end of the conversation. It’s perfectly fine to be curious and ask numerous questions but keep your arrogance in check, babe. If The Star is really paying you that well, why not go ahead and continue freelancing for them? I can’t stand people who think they’re too good or a class above everyone else. If you think you’re smart, there’s always someone out there who is smarter. To me, EQ counts more than IQ.
Throughout my entire career in PR, I’ve been trained with facilitating media with information, where generating a positive awareness for organisations were our key KPIs. Being approached by media and getting good editorial coverage were always a bonus to us. Now that I’m on the other side of the fence as a media, dealing with PR people from all sorts of industries was truly an eye-opening experience. While the last thing in mind was to be treated like a Maharaja, I would expect some decent response from these people who are supposed to represent and be the brand image of their companies. In fact, to think about it, I was a competent PR representative. I told my ex partner in crime Michelle the other day that, “Boyyyy…we WERE good!” 🙂
For the first two issues, I had to pull strings and get my contacts to contribute comments and photos. Then people whom you thought were your friends all along started demanding to approve our work. First of all, it’s not a publication’s policy to reveal what’s going to be published so if I do show you, it’s out of courtesy and respect. I would love to give in to every request but honestly, if everyone who contributed a single word in there asked to approve, my work would never end. I’m your friend and you should trust that I will do whatever I can to put you in a positive light, right? And in the first place, if you’re not keen in helping or commenting, speak up! No hinting or playing the snake game, please. We’re all way too old for games like this.
There…I just need to rant! It makes me feel wayyyyyy better. Thankfully, these are just a handful. Despite the glitches here and there, I’m glad to know that there are more trusting and cooperative people in this world. A great evidence to prove that kind people still outweigh not-so-nice ones, which is a relief. Oh, did I mention that I’m going for my first travel review this weekend? Yippeee!