Back last century, when the public notices for jobs in the "classified" section of the local newspaper actually directed seekers to actual jobs, I answered one of those very advertisements. I'd answered a lot of them during my searches for some way to supplement the meager allowance grudgingly doled to me by my "36.5 hrs a wk" employer at the time. I helped myself to other income opportunities as well, including an even less attractive position as "copy editor" for a weekly rag.
For the thankfully brief period when I deigned to contribute to the final throes of their attempt at alternative press, I was required to -- without giving away ancient arcane print layout procedures -- count how many letters (and spaces) I could allot a story and devise a headline according to those specifications. I felt that it was my obligation to understand the gist of the story and craft a succinct and appealing come-on.
For instance: If I were given this particular story (from Curt Brown of the New Bedford Standard-Times)
DARTMOUTH — Four months into her tenure as library director, Jennifer Inglis has abruptly resigned, effective Aug. 27....I italicized what I felt was pertinent. I also would have also assigned the same headline -- without the "abrupt" part, which seems subjective -- that was in the paper:
"I just have found something else closer to home," the 37-year-old librarian said Tuesday in an interview with The Standard-Times.
She declined to disclose her new position or explain her reasons for leaving the $70,000-a-year job as head of the Dartmouth libraries.
Her formal letter of resignation, which was accepted by the Board of Library Trustees at an emergency meeting late Tuesday afternoon, also didn't shed any light on her reasons for leaving.
The resignation letter, which was shown to The Standard-Times, only stated she was resigning and that she had accepted a position closer to home.
Which he himself reveals in the secoind paragraph of the story.
Reporters -- and journalism professors -- will tell you "never to trust a fast answer." But really. How much "light" does one need to "shed" about a resignation without violating accepted tenets of professional courtesy?
It is a different world than it was twenty-five years ago when I could work at a "career job" and at any number of concurrent "bills jobs." The jobs aren't there now, and anyone who can find a better position -- closer to home, with better benefits, better pay -- has no obligation to be jealously loyal to one job, one employer, or even one career.
Or to explain "reasons for leaving" to one reporter. A reporter who, it might seem, is the only one in town who's even asking.