Friday, December 09, 2005

I sent it where?

Considering I've only ever had two packages get lost in the mail (knock on wood), one coming and one going, I've had pretty good luck with the Postal Service.

At least, with stuff I would blame them for.

On the other hand, I don't always have the best luck with mail when it ISN'T the fault of those fine, heavily armed men and women in blue.

Today, I'm wearing a sweater/sweatshirt thing my parents brought me back from Alaska, cheerfully emblazoned "AK - Alaska."

It's probably their way of reminding me of my postal misadventures.

When I was a college senior, I was applying for jobs in journalism just about everywhere.

I got one offer. About three weeks before graduation. And seeing as how I was supposed to get married back then, I took it immediately.

"Don't you want to know what it pays?" the Easton Express-Times' news editor asked.

"No. That's OK. I'll take it."

"Are you sure."

"Well, why don't you tell me."

He told me. It wasn't much.

"OK," I said, "I'll take it."

"You don't want to think about it at all?"

"Well, OK, let me think about for a couple of days, then I'll call you back and say yes."

I hope this gives you some idea how desperate I was... a would-be sportswriter winding up on a news copy desk.

Anyway, I'd sent out another resume, earlier in the process, to a place whose ad for a sports-desk-of-one described it as "Ketchikan, AK."

How bad could it be to work in Arkansas, I figured. Yeah, it's the Deep South, but hey, a job's a job.

About three days after I put it in the mail, it dawned on me that "AK" isn't the postal code for Arkansas.

Michelle was aghast. "You applied WHERE?"

My father gleefully informed me Ketchikan, Alaska, gets more rain than Seattle, depends on the fish cannery for its industry and is on an island you have to get to by boat.

And wouldn't you know it, they called. Gave me a phone interview and everything.

I suspect one reason I didn't get the job was I wouldn't commit to three years there, which they were asking candidates to do. I offered two and a half years, the amount of time until Michelle was supposed to graduate from college.

They posted the ad again in six months. Guess whoever they hired didn't like the rain. Or thought they were headed to Arkansas.

The United States Postal Service
The Express-Times, which hired me
Visit Ketchikan, AK. Bring an umbrella
Arkansas, which, like Stewie, goes by "AR"

For the curious, the two packages I lost were a bunch of used DVDs I mailed to a reseller, which cost me about $125, and a cookbook my parents mailed to me, which had more sentimental value than monetary value and was easily and cheaply replaced via eBay.