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Pet peeve - does this happen to anyone else?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Susan Slusser, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. Susan Slusser

    Susan Slusser Member

    I often get emails from young journalists looking for advice and also asking me to look at their resumes and clips. I always do so and try to take 20-30 minutes to look at the information and respond, even if I can't always give a lengthy critique during the baseball season.
    More than half the time, I never get a followup response. No "thanks for your time,'' nothing. The first time it happened, I was appalled. Now, I'm starting to expect it. I'd hate to stop replying altogether, because some do recognize that they're asking for a favor and some time and are appropriately appreciative, but it's disheartening that there are so many prospective young journalists lacking in basic manners.
    Is this a common occurrence for the rest of you? How do you handle it? I'm considering keeping a list of offenders in case their names ever come up as potential hires, because rudeness is a red flag as far as I'm concerned. Most of the job description is dealing with people.
  2. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I've had people ask me for advice here via PM and I've responded with a lengthy note. Then, nothing. Yes, it's extremely rude.
  3. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    You type a few words onto your screen, hit the [ENTER] key and then sift through the answer(s) that you get back.

    Do you ever send a thank-you to Google or Yahoo! or Ask Jeeves?

    That's how these kids have been trained, thanks to this Interweb.

    Jeeves was pissed off about it long before we were.
  4. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Susan: I have these kinds of issues a lot, although to be fair, I get a lot of nice responses, too.

    The one thing I have never agreed with is "red-flaggin" a young professional because of a mistake of this kind. Yeah, it's dumb on their part, but if every dumb thing I did when I was first in the business, or trying to get into it, disqualified me from a news career, I certainly wouldn't be sitting here typing this to you.

    So I hate lists like that, and rules. Somebody who might not think to send a "thank you" might still be a good writer or a dogged reporter. How many somewhat antisocial people have you known in this business over the years who were great in their jobs?

    There's also a generational thing going on. I'm not saying it's a blanket problem, I'm just saying that there is sometimes difficult understanding the importance of the amenities -- even among my kids.

    But that can be taught -- and we shouldn't be discouraging/counting out young people who want to do what we do over one thing. There's a need for people who aspire to work in this business -- print, web, or whatever -- and we need to give them some leeway.

    At least I do. :)
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    For some reason, given the collegial, supportive and often friendly nature of life within this board, I actually find this more rude than what Susan was talking about.
  6. Susan Slusser

    Susan Slusser Member

    Good point, SF. It's just so frustrating to take time out of a busy day and then to get.....nothing. But you're right, one mistake - well, we've all made zillions at this point ourselves. Tough to hold it against a kid, and that has always been my feeling in the past.

    However, the most recent request I had from a recent grad looking to break into the business also asked me to forward his information around to any place I thought might have openings - and that's sure not going to happen after having sent a well-considered response about his resume and never hearing back a peep.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Good grief.
  8. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    We've reached a point in our present day mores where rudeness has become almost acceptable. I'm surprised why anyone would find this shocking.

    These are the same kind of people who can't be bothered to RSVP to a wedding invitation and then show up with a date.

    What I would do is instill a little shame in them.

    Send them an e-mail asking if they received your response--because you didn't hear anything back from them. Or is that a little too passive/aggressive?
  9. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    My thoughts exactly. Maybe they thought Susan was their mommy
  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    I don't know, Susan. Maybe you gave them shitty advice. Ever think of that?? HMMMMM??
  11. Dickens Cider

    Dickens Cider New Member

    I sent my clips to someone I respect and hope to work for one day, and he gave me a two-part critique that must have taken him at least two hours. I think I said thank you three or four times in my response.

    Common courtesy is a lost art these days.
  12. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Maybe (and I'm only semi-facetious) you should CHARGE a fee for this service,

    Tell them that in addition to being a beat writer, you also run a career consulting business for upcoming journalists. Your rates are, say, $50.00 an hour with a minimum two hours. They'll receive back a detailed crique of their clips and resume.

    No such thing as a free lunch.
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