03 December 2008
I survived self promotion (and other stupid stories from the bad old days)
You may find this hard to believe but I turn into a wobbling blob of insecurity if ever I'm faced with the need to self-promote. Happily, at the grand old age of 39 I have found myself in the fortunate position of not having do it anymore... I have a job I like and, all going well, I won't need to hit the streets, trumpet in hand with which to impress a doubtful employer.
I have a husband I plan to keep, so as long as he's happy to keep me too, I won't be out trolling the clubs promoting myself as an ideal incubator for a 40-something nobody who's already been rejected by the majority of my peers.
No, it seems I've managed to all but wipe out the need to tell people what a great girl I am. But a girl will do almost anything when she's hungry... she'll even stoop to self promotion.
So I'm guessing it would have been early April in 1997. My job, along with those of a handful of my colleagues, had been made redundant in the previous January when the ad agency I worked for lost a major account. All I can remember doing with my redundancy package was buying a bikini, a bottle of Baileys and paying for fornightly visits to a tarot card reader called Annie at Orange Lane Markets. By April the money was gone.
I'd visited the two creative directors who didn't scare me to the point of peeing my pants and started to pick up a bit of freelance work but not enough to survive on. So to avoid any face-to-face time with Adelaide's creative directors, I wrote a headline, added a heart-wrenching story, a pic I'd hijacked from the newspaper and made it look like the lead the article on the front page of The Advertiser (Adelaide's daily rag). I then mailed it to every creative director I knew of and waited for the work to come flooding in.
Of course, it didn't and looking at it now, I realise it was really dumb to use than name of a real Advertiser journalist. Super dumb. Unbelievably dumb.
Anyway, last week I was preparing the spare room for a visit from my mother in law* and I came across my old portfolio; and in a tatty, yellowing envelope, I found my pitiful poverty ad.
Poverty stricken writer forced to eat her own words
By Scott McKenzie (aka the alias that probably did me out of a week's work) in Adelaide
A spokesperson from the Royal Adelaide Hospital has this morning told of the amazing survival of Tracey Linnell, a copywriter driven to survive on words alone after a prolonged dry spell in the advertising industry.
Tipped off by concerned neighbours, police entered Miss Linnell's home on Sunday; and while initially driven back by the stench of foul language, they found the woman in a room at the rear of the house, huddled unconscious over her thesaurus.
"When police found Miss Linnell, she was in a very bad way. Her condition suggested she had been eating words for at least a month, and tests showed no vowel movement for quite some time," the spokesperson said.
Asked of her current condition, he replied "Miss Linnell has responded well to treatment. Fortunately she chose her words carefully and the damage to her vocabulary was kept to a minimum."
It's expected Miss Linnell will be released later today and be fit to make an immediate return to work.
*Now that I know my mother in law's a reader of The Daily Boop, I'll refer to her by her first name (which is Lyn), refrain from swearing and blasphemy and not blame her for Georgie's wind trouble.