I am presumably still on a Short List. The job was reporting for the Northwest Guardian, a newspaper distributed on and around Joint Base Lewis-McChord here in Washington, dedicated to military news.
This, I am spectacularly well-suited to write. Not only am I a Navy brat and military history buff, but I was born at Madigan Army Hospital, which is part of the Lewis/McChord complex.
So I get this e-mail saying I am on the “short list” for the job, and please send times when it would be good to call. Which I do, immediately.
It’s a McClatchy paper, and is published by the Olympian, another McClatchy paper about 30 miles away. The e-mail is from the publisher of the Olympian. Cool, I think, maybe this could become something bigger down the road.
A week goes by with no call. I send more e-mails. Should I send another list of times? Can you send me a time, and I’ll call you? I add the editor of the Northwest Guardian to the e-mail chain. Bueller? Bueller? No answer.
Two weeks go by. Finally I send an e-mail to the publisher at the Olympian.
“I am beginning to doubt my own sanity. I could swear that you e-mailed me two weeks ago to tell me I was on the short list for a job at the Northwest Guardian, asked for a list of times when it would be good to call me, and then received that list the same day. I could also swear that I e-mailed you a number of times to find out why no one was calling me. I also e-mailed the editor of the Guardian. No answer there either.
Was I just hallucinating? Are all my follow-up e-mails going straight to your junk e-mail box? Is this one of those weird M. Night Shyamalan movies, and I’m suddenly going to realize I’ve been dead this whole time? Are you seeing dead people everywhere?
If you haven’t seen “The Sixth Sense,” the references in that last graf will mean nothing to you. If my e-mails are going straight to your junk mail box, you won’t read them and it won’t matter anyway.
I’m still interested, for what it’s worth, in working at the Guardian. What’s the scoop on the job? Give it to somebody less interesting already?”
Almost immediately I get an apologetic e-mail from the guy; he’s been buried under other work, he says, but he’s still going to make those calls, Friday’s lookin’ good for that.
Two Fridays ago.