As we drove out of town, I saw the newspaper office’s sign.
“I have always wanted to work at a newspaper. As a reporter or columnist,” I told Mama.
“You should call them and see if they’re hiring.”
“I doubt it.”
Upon arriving home, her encouragement kept coming to the front of my mind. Well, why not? It’s worth a try.
I guess I had just been so tired of places telling me that they weren’t hiring, or that they needed someone with experience, or that they’d give me a call back and never did. I was so tired of getting ‘no’ as an answer. But what I was tired of more, was the fact that I didn’t have a job.
So I called.
“Hi, I was wondering if the newspaper was hiring,” I asked in a breathless rush. Part of me was sure the answer would be negative, while the other half of me waited with hopeful anticipation.
“Yes, as a matter of fact. We are in need of a writer.”
My heart skipped a beat.
“Our editor just stepped outside for a few seconds, but I can have him call you back.”
My heart sunk a little.
“Okay,” I replied and gave her my name and number.
After hanging up, I didn’t know what to think. I told Mama that they were hiring, then went back to reading my book, trying to not get my hopes up that he’d call me back.
About fifteen minutes later, my cell rang.
“Hello, I’m looking for Raquel,” an older gentleman’s voice said. He had a soothing, kind, calm voice and I immediately felt comfortable.
“Yes, this is she.”
It was the editor from the newspaper. Calling to ask me if I’d like to apply for the position. After saying that I did, he gave me his email address (which I scribbled down and read back to him just to make sure I had gotten it correctly) and told me to send him my resume and a writing sample. I told him I would as soon as I got off the phone with him. He said he would look forward to reading them, and then hung up.
I was starting to get a little excited by now. Here was a job opportunity that had been a dream of mine for however long. Plus they’re actually looking for a writer. I wasn’t just applying on a whim. And the editor had given me a call back on the same day I had called them.
I quickly texted a friend (who has been very encouraging in telling me to apply for writing jobs) and he offered to read over my email, resume and sample writings that I was going to send in. I was so happy to have a second opinion on it, so quickly agreed to email everything to him. Instead of sending in a writing sample, I decided to send in two. And I also gave the editor details about my blog, and included the link after my signature.
I prayed silently as I hit ‘send’ and the rest of the evening was spent over-thinking. One of my many faults. Will he like it? Did I send it to the right email address? Did I miss anything in my resume? A typo would look horrible in an application as a newspaper reporter!
Thursday passed. Then Friday. I had meant to call in and follow up on my application that day but with our family’s annual bonfire and preparing all day for guests, I got too busy. Saturday, I was gone from home. Sunday, the office is closed.
But Monday morning, I called.
“Hello, my name is Raquel Duarte. I called on Wednesday and spoke with you about applying for the job position.”
“Oh yes, hello. I meant to call you this weekend, but my schedule got rather busy, I’m afraid. May I call you back this afternoon when I’m free?”
“Absolutely.” And again, let my name and number.
The two hours seemed to crawl by. I went to town, took books back to the library, came home, read devotions, ate lunch, read a book...and then, my phone rang.
I quickly said a prayer as I answered.
We talked for almost an hour.
“Well, Raquel, I have a really good feeling about this, and I really love your writing style and enthusiasm and command of the English language. I’m prepared to offer you this job. Do you want it?”
And that, ladies and gentleman, is how I got my dream job of being a reporter for a newspaper.
Glory be to God.
In honor of my new job, I wanted to show some respect to legendary journalists who I have always admired and who have been inspirations to me in my writings. Real life ones and fictional... ;)
- Ernest Hemingway
- Martha Gellhorn (later, Martha Hemingway)
- E. B. White
- Joseph Pulitzer
- Barbara Walters
- Skeeter Phelan
- Peter Warne
- Sophie Hall (well, she's technically a facts checker...)
- Clark Kent
- Babe Bennett
- Joe Bradley
Kudos to anyone who knows what books/movies those fictional reporters are from! Comment if you do!