The Community Wire: A Resume

This is just pure lunacy, isn't it?

I was thinking of how I could get a job. Having been repeatedly denied employment for the last year, I have been driving for DoorDash as my sole means of income. It doesn’t seem to matter how skilled I am, how much I know, or what I can do. I don’t have a degree, and so, it seems, I have been deemed unemployable.

Having received an email that day containing the word “unfortunately,” I was wondering how I could convince someone I was worth hiring. I started by listing my skills.

I can code in C, C++, Python, and Assembly. I understand algorithms and data structures. I can design video games, and even write good stories for them. But no one has even bothered to offer me an interview for programming. It seemed that route was well and truly dead to me and had been a complete waste of my life. What else could I do?

I’m a hell of a newspaper designer. I’m fast, efficient, and can even make things look nice when I need to. I can design ads, write articles…I could probably publish the whole newspaper on my own. But, without a degree in journalism, or at least some recently published articles, I wasn’t going to be a journalist. Without a degree in graphic design, probably not an ad designer either. As for page paginator, well…I mean, no one expects newspapers to last another decade as is.

Fine. What else then.

Web design was a skill that I built off my newspaper experience, and I had managed to have a few interviews for that, but then never heard back. I could try to go for full stack positions, but my deep loathing of the JavaScript syntax informed me that I would be miserable, so I decided that wasn’t a viable option.

Next idea then. Video? Lots of places want video editors. And I’ve used Adobe Premiere at least once. But without any real significant projects to show, I wasn’t likely to get an interview based on that. I mean, I think software is just a thing that you learn to use after a few days, but other people believe it takes some four years to master. So again, without a degree or significant project, that was dead too.

I realized then that it doesn’t matter which skill I tried to get a job with. My future depended on either a huge project or getting a degree. Both would take a lot of time, but a project, even publishing a whole newspaper, would only take a few weeks, while a degree would take…

Hang on a second…

This whole project is lunacy

A whole newspaper. That’s a big project. That’s…well, that’s pretty much all my skills, isn’t it? I could design a newspaper from scratch. I could write all the articles. I could design ads designed around my skills. An ad for programming, and another one for type setting, and even one for video editing or story writing. Or both? Yeah, both. All of them.

And the articles could be a huge range of things. I could show that I could write anything. Features, news, sports, opinion. Maybe I could find some people to interview? I don’t know why they’d give an interview to a fake journalist from a fake newspaper, but maybe?

And I could design a news site! Make it look nice, unlike…virtually every news website there is (seriously, people, it’s not the 90s. Update your websites. Design matters). And I could make videos.

Videos that don’t autoplay.

But what about programming? How could I show that? It doesn’t really fit with—

SOFTWARE! Of course, I could just build some software that could display the newspaper on a screen without the use of the web. Websites are fine and all, but you’ll always be limited by the restrictions of HTML/CSS. I want to display my newspaper digitally, but in a way that skill looks and feels like a newspaper. Is that useful? Who knows! I certainly don’t. But at the least it would show that I could code. And it would just be like…different InDesign, so that shouldn’t be hard, right?

The whole project is nothing but lunacy at this point, so, I thought…maybe I could go even deeper.

Let’s do a capitalism

It would be easy enough to make the newspaper, export it as a PDF, and email it to some people as a portfolio piece along with a link to the website. It’s about three miles past the horizon of overkill for a portfolio, but it should get some attention.

But then I went full on big brain and thought, “Yeah….but what if we hit the accelerator.”

What if instead of a PDF…it was a physical newspaper?

It turns out you can just…do that. You can just call up a printer and be like, “Hey, I have a job for you,” and then you get to just…print a newspaper. I’ll be the first to admit that this is a wildly stupid idea. First, that costs money. Way more money than just emailing a PDF. Second, you must distribute it, which also costs money. And how could I even pay for this very expensive project which has no guarantee of—

Advertising.

Now, I, like so many of my generation, hate advertising. It’s a horrible plague upon humanity. One that I hope will someday find its way into the history books described as, “that time humanity collectively went insane and let marketing people control their eyes.” But ads are expected in newspapers anyway, and I am making a newspaper. I mean, not a real newspaper. But it will have news, and it will be on paper. So maybe that would be enough.

But you can’t sell ads if no one will see those ads. No one would spend a thousand on an ad that will be seen by six people. To have a chance of funding this through ads, I’d have to find a way to get this in front of as many people as possible.

Here I had a bit of a problem. If I just wanted enough money to print the paper, the ads would be enough. But shouldn’t I also charge for the paper? The audacity of having people pay me money to acquire my resume was to hilarious to be overlooked, so of course I’d charge for the paper. How much then? $1, maybe $1.50? That would most likely cover the cost of printing the paper. And then on top of that, I could charge for real advertising in it as well. With that kind of money, I would be financially secure, at least for a time.

The idea was becoming more appealing the more I considered it. It was absurd. Complete lunacy. Surely no one had ever done something so incomprehensibly stupid. Creating a newspaper as a resume? Charging people money for that resume? Selling ad space on a resume?! It would be a triumph.

But would it work?

We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we.

Initial front page template for the Community Wire