Off-the-radar tip for finding a job in journalism: pick pickles

I’m sure nobody remembers but I called for tips from people with journalism jobs. The kind of tips that aspiring journalists could not get from their academic advisors. Nobody submitted anything. Either you’re all lazy fucks or you are hording all job tips for yourselves because the last thing you need is competition. I can understand both. Plus I promised to contact people I knew with journalism jobs to try to pick their brains. I did not do this.

To make up for my own laziness, and because I neglected my duties for Thursday’s 3 things, I will provide my first bit of good advice for seekers of jobs within a scared shitless profession. You see, I was the benefactor of a small slice of luck that got me a job at a small newspaper.

Here’s what I learned from this experience; what you should do right now to get a job: pick pickles.

She's going to land herself a prime gig, bitches. (Via)

Yup. Pickles. And don’t say cucumbers because that proves you didn’t learn a damn thing from your experience picking pickles.

This advice is related to the typical advice that you need something in your cover letter that sticks out. Well, applying to some papers in smaller communities, I gambled that describing my summers as a child spent waking up early every other day or even more often to pick pickles in my grandpa’s field for about four hours or so would demonstrate a hard work ethic that had been ingrained in me from a young age.

This worked.

Holy shit.

This little story stuck out to my now editor and I got an interview, which as anybody looking for a journalism job knows, is half the battle. All that time I spent picking pickles for my grandpa to sell to a pickling company actually did pay off for me in the long run. That’s good because he used to pay us kids one dollar for each 5 gallon bucket we filled up. Not a dollar each but a dollar total per bucket and we had to split the total at the end of the day. And then I spent all that money on die-cast metal cars that were totally badass but it became socially unacceptable for me to openly appreciate their badassness at a  certain age, so there went that pay. Growing up sucks.

Anyway, go right now and pick some pickles. It probably won’t look that good on a resume but it looks fucking rockstar on a coverletter. Just imagine some editor reading a shit-ton of boring-ass cover letters and then reading one where someone was either crazy enough or sly enough to actually say they’d picked pickles. Yeah. That shit sticks out. You’d at least call the person to find out which one it is.

Here’s a few things to know before you go and pick pickles:

  • Those little bumps that cover those delicious dills you love? Those have shitty little prickly things sticking out of them. These get rubbed off in the pickling process but not after you’ve enjoyed them in your skin.
  • Don’t let the pickers get you down. Your hand will get so thickly encrusted with dirt that the pickers will not be able to penetrate your hands’ dirt armor. Also, this dirt takes a full 24 hours to fully wash off, no matter how much you scrub with Lava soap. Apparently pickles are covered in magical dirt.
  • The best time for pickles is late June through early August in the Midwest. So hurry and get your asses out there now! It’s right about now that the pickles are growing so fast that you have to pick them every day, not every other day. Smaller pickles are worth more so you can’t let those bitches get out of control. Also, the smaller the pickle, the more prickly covered it is.

When I think about that godawful chore, I can see how my grandpa enjoyed it so much. I mean he had more than 50 rows of pickles. And I’m not talking about your mama’s backyard garden length rows. I’m talking farmland length rows. And when you’re 11 years old that shit might as well be Highway 41. Plus it’s hot and humid.

But having a tiny platoon of small boys doing your bidding is pretty sweet. The dude had minions, basically. And he knew this because he had made our parents do this. Having your own force is pretty sweet but I guess it falls upon each man to create his own army and good ole gramps definitely found his formula for his own personal army. I would like a small army of cat burglars. He probably had trouble with the training process for that but at least he had a tiny formidable force of pickle pickers swarming around at his direction. Lucky.

The bad part about having our parents pick pickles when they were young, however, was that we never got any sympathy. We just got laughed at if we ever complained. Lame.

Still, if grandpa didn’t make us take the pickles to the picklers with him we’d be left alone on their sizable rural property with a modified lawn tractor and a wooden trailer that we would drive all over with the others surfing on the back. I once rammed the trailer into the above ground pool and left a huge dent. Oh well.

Wow, that was rambling. The point of the tale is that you obviously have to pick pickles in order to get a journalism job. After all, 100% of my jobs have resulted from interviews I got because of my pickle picking history. That’s fucking math, something you stupid journalism students obviously don’t understand because if you did you’d study engineering and make some fucking money in your lifetime.


About Ken Harris

I like whisky. And whiskey, too. And I like you.
This entry was posted in bonding, how to really find a job, journalismish, that's life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Off-the-radar tip for finding a job in journalism: pick pickles

  1. Jeff Schorfheide says:

    >picking pickles


  2. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  3. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  4. FredDespain says:

    Well done. Thanks for the great post. Bookmarked

  5. Really love your post. Hope this blogpost will help other people.

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