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The Adventures of Steve

Episode 26: Persistence

Thursday, May 20, 2004

I lead a charmed life, it seems. I certainly have no complaints.

I turned in my application for a Field Organizer position with the 21st Century Democrats over a month ago. This is the job where they place me with an important campaign somewhere in the country and I work my tail off helping the candidate out. It would be similar to the work I did for Dean in Iowa in January: gobs of hours, sleeping where I can, little pay, and completely rewarding.

So today, I learned that the reason I hadn't heard anything, and the reason they haven't called any of my references, is because they had lost my application.

I have been calling every day for the last two weeks. Every time, a woman named Alexis answers and then promptly shuffles me off to the voice mail of the deputy field director, Jeremy. I have done my best to sound upbeat and eager in every voice mail message I've left for him, but I will admit that by last night, I was getting impatient. From Alexis, I acquired Jeremy's e-mail address and sent the following to him after I came home:

Hi Jeremy---

I really must apologize for bugging you as much as I have been. It has not been my intention to be such a nuisance.

Steve Ransom's Top Ten Reasons He's Been Such an Ass in Pestering Jeremy:

10. Top Raman and sleeping on the floor: who can wait for that?!!
9. The owners of the car I'm looking to buy are getting uppity.
8. Secretly looking for reasons to chat with Alexis every afternoon.
7. Thanks to Bush, the Columbus job market stinks.
6. The blog is losing readership by the hour.
5. Needed to give a 30-day notice on my apartment, um, last week.
4. Am I going to Pennsylvania?!! Am I going to Delaware?!! Am I going to Michigan?!! Yeah?!!
3. Gosh, maybe I shouldn't have quit my job.
2. I gotta tell my mother something, man!
1. We can't wait until November.

Hope this helps. Let me know what's up when you have a chance.

So Jeremy calls me this morning and confesses that he had lost my application and that he never had a chance to contact my references. And he offered me a position. He said the top ten list won him over and he was impressed by my persistence.

So, just for the record, let's review the things that I've done that have won over my employers:

  • City Copy: looked through the yellow pages and sent out resumes to dozens of places I thought I'd like to work at.
  • CAT: wrote in my cover letter that I had never owned a car.
  • Bike Friday: heard from a friend of a friend that they might be looking for someone for something. Basically wrote the job description on the spot.
  • Comic News: left a raggedy piece of scratch paper marked "Steve Ransom's un-lucrative business card" with the publisher, who called me a month later.
  • BPA: sent a resume that looked like a ransom letter from letters clipped from a magazine.
  • 21st Century Democrats: bugged the hell out of them and made them laugh.

I've never had a normal resume and I've never done things conventionally. I think I need to write a book on my style of job acquisition. At the rate I'm going, maybe I should just give up seeking employment and just spend all my time looking for eccentric ways to apply for jobs.

Right, so time for a new chapter in the ongoing saga. On June 2, I wrap up my projects at BPA. On June 3, I hit the road in my automobile (the story of the upcoming purchase ought to make a good read) and arrive in Washington D.C. that afternoon. I spend four days enrolled in the 21st Century Democrat's campaign training seminar. I then have a week to get to my as-yet-undisclosed location, which could be right here, or it could be somewhere quite far away, like, say, Oregon. So I either have a road trip or a little vacation until the 15th, when I start up with my new friends.

So it looks like my 90-day mistake was exactly the right one to make. And coming to Columbus was exactly the right thing to do, because Gary wouldn't have tipped me off about this job if I hadn't.

As a thank you to Gary, I've promised him a Web site (why do I keep doing that?) for Democracy for Ohio. Between that and mopping up a few loose ends here, I have some work to do. In general, however, I am relieved that I have something to do for the rest of the year. Something a lot closer to my original intention!

165 days until November 2. 165 days to still make a difference.

Bring 'em on!


All of the Adventures of Steve

   Episode 1: In which Steve leaves Eugene and arrives in Rancho Cordova.
   Episode 2: In which Steve visits the Jelly Belly factory and gets a haircut.
   Episode 3: In which Steve gets a cold, a big box, and a seat on a train.
   Episode 4: In which Steve receives shiny new toys and loyal old friends.
   Episode 5: In which Steve departs for Iowa and rants a bit about why.
   Episode 6: In which Steve takes a trip to Des Moines.
   Episode 7: In which Steve gets really involved.
   Episode 8: In which Steve starts hobnobbing but is haunted by Arne Baker.
   Episode 9: In which Steve becomes a groupie and is informed that we all have love in our hearts.
   Episode 10: In which Steve becomes a media whore.
   Episode 11: In which Steve takes on Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine and Michigan.
   Episode 12: In which Steve is pitted against Fort Dodge, Iowa and seven vans of unruly Texans.
   Episode 13: In which Steve learns that all his hard work wasn't enough to put the candidate back together again.
   Episode 14: In which Steve does nothing.
   Episode 15: In which Steve reaches a decision and attempts to get virtually hired.
   Episode 16: In which we thank the good doctor for all he did.
   Episode 17: In which Steve suits up for a new life in the Cap City!
   Episode 18: In which Steve starts to realize he’s not in Eugene anymore.
   Episode 19: In which Steve switches from job seeking to home seeking.
   Episode 20: In which Steve starts to learn some things via the error side of trial and error.
   Episode 21: In which Steve experiences his first blizzard.
   Episode 22: In which Steve contemplates his next move.
   Episode 23: In which Steve prepares to switch gears... again.
   Episode 24: In which Steve spends a week in a hotel with four thousand teenagers and then gives his 30-day notice.
   Episode 25: In which Steve reminisces about his 10 weeks in Columbus while waiting in the wings.
   Episode 26: In which the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
   Episode 27: In which Steve changes everything.
   Episode 28: In which Steve finds Brood X, gets a teeny crush on a fellow trainee and learns where he's going, approximately.
   Episode 29: In which Steve starts to see how politics really works.
   Episode 30: In which Steve writes a letter to Kelly, executive director of the group that fired me.
   Episode 31: In which Steve spends a tentative week commuting to work in Maine.
   Episode 32: In which Steve learns he's just one piece on the board.
   Episode 33: In which Steve settles in for three months of intense campaigning.
   Episode 34: In which Steve is deep into the final countdown.
   Episode 35: In which Maine wins, the nation loses and Steve heads home.
   Episode 36: In which Steve doesn’t do much more than comb the classifieds and update his Web site.
   Episode 37: In which Steve slips into a normal life.

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