Please Call Me Back: Part #1


The email button lit up again on my work computer. Sweat was beginning to form on my forehead as I scooted closer to the screen. What I read did not help my current rate of perspiration.

The message said something along the lines of “We need those books by the end of tomorrow.”

Crap. I had one afternoon to call in 14 some books from large publishing companies, and yet possessed absolutely no contacts. Have you ever tried calling a publishing company? They're not exactly inviting, probably because of the number of crazy peoples' manuscripts the reject daily. Now how the heck was I going to swing this one?

Let’s back track…

My first day at the internship, I had been given a list of books to “call in” for a photo shoot. Instead of buying publications, most magazines contact a publicity department and get the books compensated, as well as delivered, directly from the publisher. We receive them at no cost; they obtain free press. Everyone is happy.

Except this little, worried intern.

Rule One: Never have faith in only one contact. An editor had emailed me the name and cell phone number of someone involved in a powerful industry-related company. Supposedly she could get us every book, and I wouldn’t need to play the telephone game all around town with separate (and hard to reach) publishing companies.

Do you think this worked? Do you think the book-drug lord of all contacts came through?

Well now, we wouldn’t have a blog post if she did, would we?

I grabbed a cup of coffee and forfeited my plan of going to the park for lunch. Lunch? Who can even eat lunch when you are about to fail as an intern! Had this ever happened before?

Just as my stomach was about to flip into that horrible knot, previously caused by public speaking, math test, and long plane rides, an ex-intern walked over to my desk. “Hi Britney!” she said, greeting me with a smile I didn’t think I deserved.
She probably never had such a problem getting hold of contacts.
“How’s the internship going?”
“Oh yeah, you know… It’s really great so far. I’m just, uh, trying to call in these books,” I said slowly - then added in a much more rushed tone, “But of course no one is answering or emailing me back.” It was hard to hide the traces of panic slipping into my expression.

“Oh don’t worry. You’ll get used to that,” she said, continuing to explain that these things happen and how quick deadlines arise constantly, but that you learn to complete the task at hand.

After thanking her for the bits of wisdom, I starred down at my coffee and then back to the computer screen. The knot subsided ever so slightly.

I had conquered public speaking! I was a Communications Major and university tour guide. I had conquered long plane rides! My Ireland trip was 7 hours on a plane by myself. I had conquered math test! Well, actually
no, I hadn’t really… but I graduated so you know…

Another email. “Have you heard anything about the books yet?”

Nope. Guess it was time to really get started. This project was not going to be some failed math test, and these companies were most certainly going to call me back. Check out "The Why" again tomorrow to see how it all plays out...

Worried face. This was actually taken after I ate someone's sandwich at a bar. Turned out it was the leftovers from the couple who sat at the table before us... not a person from our party. Ew. But so good.