The internet is a powerful and empowering thing. As a result of millions of people's contributions, each with individual passions, the web has become chock full of just about everything you ever wanted to know and ten times more stuff that you never wanted to know about. Like it or not, this is not just a product of the Google generation, even grannies are blogging these days. This is the Google era. It will be taught in grade school history books, and after their final takeover, future generations will be able to Bing and learn all about it.

My particular passion is beer. I am not saying that my greatest quality is somehow beer related or even that my talents exceed that of others who share similar passions, but discussing and partaking in its malty goodness is my escape from my regular world of Engineering or Fatherhood. It provides a medium in which I can both speak intelligently and provide content that others actually read and find interesting (I could only fulfill one of those terms in an Engineering blog... maybe).

Since the launch of TheFerm.org earlier this year, I have been able to successfully work my way into the Kolache Factory World Kolache Eating Championships, laid down an educational rap about the science of condensation, dared to claim AWOL status from the Saint Arnold Army, and even bring in thousands of hits with a list of the top fifteen beer bars in Houston, TX. Such success can go to one's head, so when I got the idea one day that the Houston Press might be interested in someone covering beer related topics around town I thought it was one of my greatest ideas since TheFerm's Anything Mock Draft. The Chronicle already had its guy in Ronnie Crocker, why could I not apply myself and become the RC for the HP?

After an unsolicited tweet and an email went unanswered, I resigned to the fact that I am an Engineer, and that ain't a bad day job. But then... this. Within days of my life-changing fantasy and subsequent giving up on my dreams, the Houston Press foodie blog "Eating Our Words" posted a job opening. Certainly it was meant to be. Maybe this section of the Houston Press just never noticed my previous inquiries. The instructions were simple enough:

To apply, send a cover letter, resume and examples of your writing to [email address removed]

Cover Letter. Check.
Examples of Writing. Check.
Resume. Hmm.

Assuming you do not lie on your resume, resumes do not lie. Your resume is your list of accomplishments, your curriculum vitae. I was faced with an interesting dilemma. Submit my actual resume, which shows I would be uniquely qualified to develop energy savings projects for a facility of the Houston Press' choice, or create some sort of resume showing my writing accomplishments, which I guess are either what I have left behind on the web or some gripping energy savings technical reports. My choice was to do what all of you are probably thinking as well: Skip the resume and go straight to the interview portion of the screening process.

While it may seem pompous to assume that the Houston Press would want to interview me just because I inquired about the job, I had an idea.

I will have the real life me interview my blogging alter ego. [Picture me nodding my head in that kind of blind self-congratulatory way right now.]


Below is a reproduction of the exact pretend interview I had with my blog writing alter ego.


My Interview for "Eating Our Words"… with Myself

Day Job Greg = Norris
Writing Alter Ego = SirRon

Norris: What is your biggest regret, and why? Ha! Just kidding. This is not that kind of interview.

SirRon: Soooo... I took a look at your resume... pretty impressive, if you were looking to manage the maintenance department at the Houston Press facilities.

Norris: Thanks, I guess. I noticed that you don't have a resume. Tell me a little about your qualifications.

SirRon: I've had a few items published.

Norris: Wow. Really?

SirRon: Yes. Ever heard of the "National Written and Illustrated By" contest? I won that. Well, actually it was an honorable mention… in eighth grade. But the key word there is "National."

Norris: Oh.

SirRon: I also scooped up an English Student of the Year award that year from my junior high.

Norris: Yeah. Well. How about any writing accomplishments as an, um, adult?

SirRon: I sent a "deep thought" to Ruminate.com that got published online and distributed to their subscribers. Want to hear it? Hear it goes. "I always keep a smelly fish in my pocket in case someone ever walks up to me and says, 'I will give you a million dollars if you have a smelly fish in your pocket.' Who is the crazy one now?!"

Norris: Ok, got it. I think I understand your experience, but I'd like to ask some questions specific to this job opening. The Houston Press is looking for a foodie blogger.

SirRon: I'm a foodie... I'm a blogger... aaaannnnd I'm pretty sure there was not a question in there (good thing the Houston Press isn't looking for a reporter).

Norris: What I mean is that I understand your passion for food. I've seen all your RSS feeds of food blogs, the tweeps you follow, your Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen online subscription and TiVo season pass, and your outstanding gourmet-ish tailgates. But right there on the HP website, the appeal for a new writer states:

Are you a regular at those Houston "throw-downs" involving pork bellies and fried chickens?

SirRon: I would have to say no to that.

When a hot Houston restaurant has a special event, are you the first to sign up?

SirRon: Not exactly.

Do you go to Houston festivals and try one of everything from each booth?

SirRon: Yes!

Do you take pictures of every damn thing you put in your mouth?

SirRon: Ummmmmmm.

Norris: Focus!

Can you string together sentences in an entertaining fashion?

SirRon: Does a pig fly in the woods?

Norris: Huh?

SirRon: Anyway, I may excel in covering the minutiae of drinking topics, but I can write about food. Did you catch my "5 Reasons Why... Beaver's Ice House Changed My Life" post?

Norris: As a matter of fact I did.

SirRon: ...my coverage of the SAVOR experience in Washington D.C.?

Norris: Which was a beer festival...

SirRon: A craft beer AND food paring event, thank you very much. I covered all seven days (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) of Craft Beer Week this year.

Norris: Yeah, what was up with all that text before the beer reviews?

SirRon: Anecdotes are... eh, never mind. You don't really have something like that in your Engineering world I guess.

Norris: Back to my interview. Why writing?

SirRon: Someone around here has to be the yin to your yang. The Creative to your Project Manager. The fiction to your calculations of chilled water pump BTU. The right brain needs exercising every now and again.

Norris: What is your favorite thing about being a blog writer?

SirRon: Sharing my experiences... and the feedback.

Norris: Narcissistic much? I saw "Anonymous" doesn't think very highly of your "Top 15 Places to Get a Beer in Houston, TX" post.

SirRon: That piece was the feat of a whole lot of beer bar study. I gathered input from a lot of folks, but I forgot to get input from Anonymous before publishing.

Norris: Don't sweat it. Last question. Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball? Oops, wrong page. I mean, why do you want this job?

SirRon: Quite simply, to take my writing to the next level.

Norris: Cliché alert!

SirRon: I'm (we're? this bit is getting confusing) not ready to quit my day job, but writing for "Eating Our Words" would is the perfect convergence of all my passions: Food, drink, and writing.

Norris: SirRon, you are off the hot seat. Thank you for your time and good luck!


Blogger's note: I have not talked to anyone, before or after, that thought the faux interview was a good idea. Ah well.

4/4/10 Update: Interested in reading about more failure? Be sure to check out Round 2 of my Houston Press misfortunes.

3 comments
  1. Anonymous October 30, 2009 at 12:28 AM  

    I think that job went to a family member of someone who already works there. Dude isn't very good at it either.

  2. K Dub November 1, 2009 at 5:26 PM  

    That was quite brilliant, bravo cuz, HP definately messed up and didn't pick the right guy. BTW, Have you ever thought about getting professional help?

  3. Cynthia March 11, 2010 at 4:10 PM  

    Love it.