Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm a Hustler, Baby

I just want you to know.

No for real. I have become quite the hustler in the past 2 1/2 months (and don't worry Mom, it's all legal unless you count circumventing the IRS). Just this month, I've earned enough money from my side business, Amalgamated Missel Concierge Services, to pay for my upcoming flight to Costa Rica. It's also helping take some of the pressure off my bills.

Beyond being sufficiently scrappy to launch a personal services business using former donors as my largest client base, I've also put my gumption to work on various forms of public transit. Last week, I introduced myself to someone whose career in Jewish communal service spans more than 50 years while riding home from the City on the Midtown Direct line. He told me about the trip to a post-World War II orphans' home in France where he met Elie Wiesel and was inspired to work for the Jewish community. I discretely passed him my business card and dropped a few key names. Though his organization doesn't have any current jobs, their HR director now has my name and resume.

And as some of my closest friends heard, the creme-de-la-creme of self-aggrandizement came on Tuesday when I met a NJ-based reporter for the local NPR affiliate, WNYC, on the train. I overheard him leaving a voice mail for someone on the platform and watched him take a seat a few rows ahead of me. As the train pulled into Penn Station, I stood up and when he did the same, I put out my hand and told him what a fan I am.

We talked and walked over to the 1 Train and rode together, chatting all the way. I clearly mentioned my unemployed status, my journalism degree, previously-submitted application for a development job at WNYC and thrust my business card into his hand. I jumped off at 14th Street and figured I would go on their website when I got home to dig up his email address.

No need. When I stepped off the train at 11 p.m. back in Morristown, I heard, "Hey!" and saw my new best friend there on the platform. He told me he'd already sent me a few emails, one of which detailed WNYC's purchase of a local classical music station and the possibility of an expanded workforce. The next morning, I sent him my resume and cover letter.

For now, I'm just asking for all the positive energy in the universe to help me out here... and for a little more moxie.


SaraK said...


Jannah said...

OH YAY!! Good luck! That is such an awesome train story; I love public transportation for that very reason. I rode the bus religiously before I moved (new location not conducive to bus riding) and found it to be a great networking tool. Granted the 6:40 am bus from Mesa to downtown Phoenix is like a school bus in that it has the same people everyday but it has been so helpful. Like when I started a new audit and saw that my client was the smoker/Ann Rule fan who sat across from me everyday, or the person in charge of some City of Phoenix training I wanted to get into was the guy who's kids go to Mountain View, or my favorite yet, the person with free tickets to events at the Phoenix Convention Center is the guy who always reads religious study books except when he takes a break to try to explain cricket to me one more time!! Good luck with the job and you've made me want to get back on my bus!!