Perseverance and Peter Gabriel

joy

Today, I got a job.

Today, I got a full time job in Social Media.

While this sounds like something simple, the point I want to make, if I teach the world anything, is not to give up. Don’t give up.

Remember that song? There’s a darkness in that song, sure. I mean, hey, it’s Peter Gabriel. But there’s that optimism (voiced by Kate Bush), that assurance, you can make it through the storm.

I frakkin’ love that song.

People on Twitter and at KrakenQuest’s Great Reveal all knew I was having a tough time at this job hunt, but let me give you the run down that only a few have heard…

October 2007

First, there was actually dusting off the resume. I realized straight away there was a problem: I hadn’t done this in nearly ten years. I had no real experience, apart from my skills in the classroom. It amazed me how many people thought that would make me a valuable asset because I had the mad skills. InDesign, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, and so on and so on. This was going to be a piece of cake.

I knew better. Even with two books in podcasting under my belt, I knew I had a lot of knowledge, but not the experience that people would want. Still, I gave the resume an overhaul with the help and encouragement of Paul Fischer & Martha Halloway, and began the job hunt.

In this proud land we grew up strong
We were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

February 2008

I was thrilled to connect with a headhunter that found me a client wanting someone knowledgable in Social Media. I went in for the first interview and made such a good first impression that one of the interviewers chased me to the elevator to say “Goodbye.” The headhunter prepped me, said I was close. One more interview. It was supposed to be with the president of the association. Well, okay then. The president and an associate? No problem. We set the time for a late afternoon, after a class; and I cut my class off early so I could make the 4:30 p.m. interview. I walk into the office and meet the president and two associates. Two? Well, okay then. Two. I proceed with the interview, the two associates just watching me and the president wanting me to regale her with tales of my theatre days. (Another blog post about that to come….) After being there for over an hour, the president of the association cuts me off and says “This isn’t going well.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

Before I could ask what was wrong, she said to me, “When I hold an interview, I should be asking questions. Not listening to a speech about numbers. You can leave.” Well, huh — guess I’m done. So I start to pack up to leave, and as it was the Podcasting II class I’d taught, I had a bit of gear in tow. I’m trying to get out there fast, and then I hear this over my shoulder…

“Maybe next time,” she said to me. Twice. The second time, she was smiling at me.

I had to get out of there. Fast. Otherwise, I was going to pop. Yeah, the “F.U.” was on the tip of my tongue. I’d been there for an hour, and she tells me after that long it isn’t going well? That evening, I got an apology phone call from the associates that I’d first interviewed with. I found out from the headhunter that the president felt I talked too much.

No fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my name
But no one wants you when you lose

March, 2008

On a longshot I applied for a six-figure job that happened to be looking for a podcaster. Imagine my surprise when I got the call. The bad news was the job was moving to Atlanta. Nope, I wasn’t going to make that jump. Then the interviewer, the woman who owned this small but awefully profitable company, was fascinated with my podcasting experience. She said “We were going to be hiring an editor from CBS News Radio to edit our podcasts. Would this be something you are up for?” I accepted the challenge and she said “Fine, send us a demo reel and we will be in touch.” So I burned a CD of my podcasting best, sent it off, and waited. A week later, I received an email from her saying “We went with someone else for the podcasting job, but he knows nothing about podcasting. We’d like for you to come in and train him. He’ll be in touch shortly.” That same day, the associate called. I said “So you have no experience in podcasting?” He replied, “None.” I came back with “Okay, here are my rates for training and I’ll need about three days.”

Silence.

“Ummm….I’ll get back with you,” was his reply. About an hour later, the woman who interviewed me called me back, and she was pissed. She wasn’t expecting me to have rates for training, and to ask for three days was outrageous. I asked “What were you expecting?” She replied, “We figured you’d come in here. Half-an-hour, two hours tops. Show us what you know, and that would be it.” When I tried to explain there was a bit more to podcasting than that, she huffed and said “Well, I was talking with my IT guys, and they told me we don’t need you coming in here. We could just download for free what we needed and do it ourselves.” I replied with “You could. In fact, I have a podcast that teaches you how. Your podcast will sound like it’s coming out of the basement of the Science building, but you can do that. You want your podcasts to sound like mine? It’s going to cost you.”

Silence.

“We’ll be in touch,” were her last words to me.

I’m still waiting to hear back from them…

Don’t give up
‘Cus you have friends
Don’t give up
You’re not beaten yet
Don’t give up
I know you can make it good

October 2008

I was fresh off a plane from a convention in St. Louis, and I was off to an interview with an environmental group, anxious to find someone who really understood Social Media. This time, I went for a different tactic and decided to drop them a copy of Podcasting for Dummies. This was, after all, my crowning accomplishment: a #1 book on the subject of podcasting. Come out of the corner swinging, right? The interview went great, and they even asked me to autograph the book. One of the women who interviewed me wound up following me on Twitter, and I started to feel positive about this experience. (Something else I loved about this place — the office. WOW! The group had apparently hired an interior designer to really pull out the stops creatively. It was also a Mac office. Bonus!) I did feel good about it…and then I was told via email that the position was being filled by someone else. Why?  I knew nothing about the environment.

Previous experience about environmental issues. Something that wasn’t in the job listing.

Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that wed be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

November 2008

I decide to start tracking my resumes. The applications were starting to become more and more frequent, and there was also the matter of applying to jobs repeatedly. This was a reoccurring problem as many of the jobs out there were all done through website interfaces that didn’t even send out confirmations. It was really frustrating because I wasn’t hearing anything in reply. Not. A. Thing. It also didn’t help that the economy was bottoming out. After months of being told by the President “The economy was strong…” the financial crap slapped hard into the fan’s spinning blades. I managed, though, to get two interviews in one week. One was with Ford’s Theatre, and I got a send off from my friends Thomas Gideon and Kevin Crosby. While talking about the job hunt, Thomas shook his head, saying “It’s ludicrous that you are struggling to find a job in Social Media.” I was humbled, and deeply touched, by his seniment. It was something I took with me to the interview where, once again, the interviewer was asking me — on hearing I was an actor — to perform for her.

It was no longer so flattering.

I wound up losing the job to someone else who was experienced in Social Media…and Drupal…and MySQL….and PHP….and had written his Master’s Thesis on Lincoln…and had read every book written about Lincoln.

But that sting was short lived as I was approached by another group — an Advertising/PR firm — looking for someone experienced in InDesign (check), Photoshop (check), Keynote (check), podcasting (check), blogging (check), and Final Cut (check). I was really optimistic about this one. So much, in fact, that I went on and gave a copy of Podcasting for Dummies to them, as I did with the environmental group. I followed up with them after several weeks and they told me “You have the skills, but no experience. We need both.”

This particular job posted three more times. On the third posting, I called and left voice mail. Nothing in reply.

Drove the night toward my home
The place that I was born, on the lakeside
As daylight broke, I saw the earth
The trees had burned down to the ground

December 2008

I then found a job that was an early Christmas present: a coalition of anti-drug initiatives, was in search of a Web Content Manager that also had a background in Social Media. What got me really revved up for this interview is that this coalition knew me. They had hired me to talk at their Regional and National conventions. On what, you ask? Social Media. This was a slam dunk. There was even a coalition rep there who told my interviewers about me, and raved about my knowledge and background. I spruced up the resume, created Social Media demo reels, and then…

The interview was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. I left my house in Manassas at 6:15 a.m. thinking two and a half hours would be plenty of time to get through the D.C. traffic to Alexandria.

What I didn’t count on was the rain.

I reached the interview at 9:45 a.m.

The good news? The interview went well over two hours.

I thought I had this one. The follow-up’s were replied to, and I was even given updates on when my resume was up for review and the progress of the decision process.

Then, nothing. Emails stopped. No updates. Never knew why. Never found out why. That was weird. Just plain weird.

Don’t give up
You still have us
Don’t give up
We don’t need much of anything
Don’t give up
‘Cause somewhere there’s a place
Where we belong

Rest your head
You worry too much
It’s going to be alright
When times get rough
You can fall back on us
Don’t give up
Please don’t give up

February 2009

The search has continued up to this point and in my tracking spreadsheet I’m on my 55th resume (but considering how long I have been hunting, it was probably closer to my 100th…#125, maybe?). I get a phone call from this place that is looking for a Director of Digital Strategy. As exciting as the job sounds, I am preoccupied on several fronts:

  • I am writing All a Twitter
  • I am watching Darth Bon Bon, working as a relief nanny for Paul & Martha
  • I have a talk coming that week: ANTI-Social Media

When they don’t call me back, I focus on my seminar, a seminar that goes over like gang-busters. It’s a packed house, and I capture fantastic video, prime footage for promoting my abilities as a speaker. During the congratulations and accolades, I’m approached by a representative of the group that was supposed to call me about the Digital Director position. “We thought, since we read on your blog you were doing this, we’d come and see you.”

They’re reading my blogs? Woah.

So I call her the next day, leave a voice mail, and within an hour I’m back on the phone. She cannot stop raving about the talk. “I want you to come in here and see if you’re a good fit for the group,” she tells me. “I’ll have HR call you on Tuesday and we can set a time when you can come in.”

Friday becomes Tuesday, and I get the call from HR. “We decided to go with someone else,” they tell me straight away. I asked why. “They had more experience,” was the answer. I was resigned with that until they continued with “That being said, we were really impressed with your background. Would you care to come in and train our people in Social Media?”

That was when I snapped. It amazed me how even my voice was when I asked “So let me understand you — I don’t have enough experience to work for you, but you want me to come in and train your people who know nothing about Social Media. Do I understand you correctly?”

Silence, and then “So, are you interested?”

“You have my number,” I said flatly.

They haven’t used it.

Got to walk out of here
I can’t take anymore
Going to stand on that bridge
Keep my eyes down below
Whatever may come
And whatever may go
That river’s flowing
That river’s flowing

March 2009

This particular shock to my system came when I hear from someone on Twitter, a job recruiter, say that she is in desperate need of a Social Media expert. Much as I hate the word “expert” I immediately follow the Twitter and start DMing her my details. Within minutes I get an email with the description you see. (You might recognize it from a previous Stranger on a Train entry.) This job post read as a checklist for who I was and what my skillset was geared towards. This position called for someone that was:

  • a blogger
  • a podcaster
  • a video editor
  • a public speaker
  • a trainer
  • a writer
  • a curriculum designer

I immediately got home from the job and sent in my resume.

Once again, I didn’t have enough experience.

This time, I took a step back. A change was needed.

Moved on to another town
Tried hard to settle down
For every job, so many men
So many men no-one needs

May 2009

The resume was given a hard reboot in the previous month. New job titles. New accomplishments. Items once downplayed were brought to the front. It was a far more aggressive showcasing of what I had accomplished as a podcaster and as a writer, and almost immediately I noticed a reaction from job hunters. One looked promising, but as it was a contractor (and his first impression on me was less than…hospitable) I knew it was just more of what I was getting as a contractor with EEI. It came as no shock to me when he did not win the contract for the job.

Along with the reboot of my resume came a reboot and redesign of my LinkedIn account as well, thank to Craig Fisher and Annette Holland. LinkedIn I was never wholly convinced was helping me in my job hunt, but I knew having a presence and connections there could not hurt. In fact, job hunting did help me appreciate what LinkedIn was all about.

However, I really appreciated the online resume site when a PR group reached out to me, wanting to have a meeting.

The position was for Vice President of Social Media Strategy and Training. Six figures. And they found me.

We met at a very fashionable restaurant in downtown Washington D.C. and the four of us had a terrific lunch. Not only did they ask me questions, but I asked them the tough questions as well. Questions like “Will you want me to come up with a Social Media initiative for you?” and “What are your expectations levels for me?” Perhaps I was feeling confident on account of the trip to New Zealand I would be setting off for in a few weeks, but I knew I was hitting the sweet spot with them as one interviewer immediately connected with me on LinkedIn and the president discussed with me the possibility of doing a webinar while I was overseas. What I knew about this particular job was this:

  • They needed someone who knew Social Media
  • They needed someone who had experience running workshops and seminars
  • The VP currently holding the position was not on Facebook, Twitter, or any other Social Media initiative
  • The VP was also running his own business on the side…an arrangement that wasn’t working out as originally planned by the PR firm

This job was mine. Seriously. The reassurances I received in the week were that I would hear from them soon.

I emailed them from NZ, asking if they still wanted a seminar. No answer. I emailed them after I got stateside. No answer. When I called the week after I got home, I was told “She’s got your email’s and will be in touch soon.”

Still waiting…

Don’t give up
‘Cause you have friends
Don’t give up
You’re not the only one
Don’t give up
No reason to be ashamed
Don’t give up
You still have us

August 2009

Yes, this blogpost is silly in size, but all this — all this — led to today, to my meeting with the woman who is to by my new boss at Intersections, Inc. in Sterling, Virginia. This was Resume #94, possibly closer to #200. And while there were those moments, I never stopped.

Social Media and job hunting have a lot in common with one another. It’s not about the shortcuts, but about the focus and the determination. There are going to be a lot of days when you don’t feel it, but you have friends that will be there for you. And with all the different things you succeed and fail in, there are lessons learned and faith restored.

There were moments I didn’t really have the heart to send in yet one more resume. I know I sent out well over 200 resumes over the past 22 months. Encouragement along the lines of “It’s such a crappy economy…” and “You just don’t have the experience…” might have kicked the wind out of me, but I never stopped. Some might call it stubborn. I call it relentless.

Today, I got a job.

Today, I got a full time job in Social Media.

No, it wasn’t easy, but it happened. It finally happened.

Persevere. If you take anything from my post here, please, let it be that. Persevere.

Don’t give up now
We’re proud of who you are
Don’t give up
You know it’s never been easy
Don’t give up
‘Cause I believe there’s  a place
There’s a place where we belong

Opening image courtesy of Kreg Steppe. “Don’t Give Up” written by Peter Gabriel

47 thoughts on “Perseverance and Peter Gabriel

  1. BIG Congrats! SOO happy for you!

    Good to know that employee-seeking Corporate America now knows what your faithful army of fans and followers never had any doubt in. :)

  2. I know you will do brilliantly. I know you will bring your knowledge, commitment and passion to this job. Stubborn is sometimes a maligned trait–but it is something that actors and writers have to have. I guess you got a double dose.
    Congratulations. Many men would have curled up into a ball facing the adversity and challenges you’ve had for years. I cannot express my admiration enough.
    Well done, mate. Well done.

  3. Tee – thank you so much for writing this up. I think this will be an inspiration to people looking for a job and being frustrated about not being able to find it – I think your story will really help people persevere in their search.

    I’m really proud of you that you didn’t settle for anything less than what you are worth. I think it’s tempting, when looking for a job, to just take what you can, to under employ yourself. In the long run, it’s better to find something more suited to your skills that is able to compensate you for what you are able to give.

    So well done there too.

    I don’t think this entry is too long at all. The only way it could be too long would be if you didn’t have anything to say, and there is quite a bit you have to say here, so I’m glad it long. I, for one, wish people wrote more long, detailed, blog posts, because I enjoy reading them.

    I’m so happy for you!

  4. Tee,

    I’ve been pulling for you since that first indication of trouble. I knew you had it in you even though the road has been a tough one traveled.

    My congratulations and admiration. Well done! If anything, this should prove that you can do anything you set your mind to.

    -Michell

  5. Tee,

    My man, you have succeeded against the dreary economy and you have won over the uninformed businessfolk who don’t really know what they need. You’ll take care of that, though, won’t you!

    Good show with the dogged determinism. Social media IS like a job hunt… it’s also like a support group: sharing your story helped give you support AND it’ll give others a punch in the arm when they need it (grin, or is that a kick in the ass?)

    Again, GOOD SHOW!

  6. It is refreshing to read your story Tee. In a world where there are so many “Debbie downers” about the job market and the economy, we finally see what it takes to succeed. I wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor. May it be long and prosperous! – Danny

  7. Wow. That was a fascinating and unbelievable read, particularly March ’08 and Feb ’09.

    Congrats on getting where you want to be by sticking with it!

  8. Tee,

    Congrats! Your frustration came across loud and clear in this post and I’m so happy that you’ve found that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    I hope everything works out the way you wanted :)

  9. As said by so many others, and probably much more eloquently, congratulations. For those of us that have been following your travails in job hunting, it has been so hard to see the door closed on you so often. Thanks for being open and sharing, and for being an encouragement along this road just in your dogged persistence and continuing enthusiasm. Some of us have been there, perhaps not to this degree, but to an extent. We feel your pain and celebrate your joy. Kudos buddy, you’re going to knock them dead.

  10. Tee,
    While I knew things were tough, I never knew how much so! Reading this was heart wrenching. Only knowing you well enough to know that you put your all in to your work, and that your a decent, great guy, hearing the hardships you had is tough. I’m glad that you have finally overcome this personal beastie and that you have fair skies on your horizon. You deserve nothing else but this! I hope it is all that you want it to be and more!

  11. I don’t think I can say much more than that they clearly have the best guy for the job. :) Great story, thank you for telling it.

  12. Tee,

    I’m so thrilled for you! I think it’s fantastic that you’re going to actually get paid to do what you do so well. I know you’re gonna blow ‘em away.

    It boggles my mind that so many people could say you lack experience, though. I kinda wonder what they consider “experience.” I mean, you’ve actually done what they want to do. And written (and had published) books on the subject. And taught others how to do it. The only thing, as far as I can tell, that you haven’t done in Social Media is put your butt in a chair in a cubicle from 9-5 while doing it. Strange definition of “experience.”

    But enough of that! You’re going to do an amazing job, and everyone else is going to be kicking themselves that they didn’t hire you.

    Congrats!

  13. Persistence, skill, and a determination not to let the fact that the world is full of buttheads make you feel like you’d be better off being one yourself.

    That’s what it takes.

  14. Congrats, Tee! I can’t think of someone more deserving of a job in social media, so I was constantly dismayed by your setbacks. I chalked it up to the fact that very few people get social media. Since that’s the case, it’s hard for them to see what makes someone supremely qualified for the space. Most likely, they want to see that someone worked for Coca-Cola in social media or some such thing, even if the person was clueless. Glad to see you found a company that was smart enough to hire you. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it!

  15. Wow, you had a really long string of bad experiences. It seems to me that the companies that passed on you all had a screw loose. Experience is *experience*, not “experience only if you were being paid specifically to do the thing you were doing”. That’s a crock of excrement. You have experience coming out your ears. The fact that you didn’t have a title given to you by someone giving you a pay check to embody that title is irrelevant, and they should get over that moronic notion.

    I’m glad you’ve finally found a company that recognises your value.

  16. Dude…

    Beautiful…

    Somebody asked me why I don’t become a Social Media consultant, and I answered, “Because I don’t want to have to keep chasing the business…” I, too, hope to be reaching that next step in my career of snagging a Social Media job… in that elusive “soon” time period… and if I do, it will be because I talk to people every day about what I think we should be doing, setting the example of what I think we should be doing, and because when I encounter people who *can* hire me… I *ask* them to.

    Your determination and persistence and quality of personality have been a shining example of how to continue to do what needs to be done to get where you want to be.

    I am happy to know you, and proud to tell other people I know some of the thoughts going on behind that grin :)

    Be safe, sir. Let us know when the first paycheck clears.

  17. Congratulations, Cap’n. In so many areas you’ve shown us How It’s Done…and now here’s one more. Thank you for the example of perseverence and level-headedness. (Not to mention self-restraint when auto-coital expletives would come so easily.)

    We knew you could do it–and it’s great to see that the workplace has finally gotten the clue also.

  18. Huh. And people wonder what that whole Balticon thing was about. You were a seriously stressed out dude. These previous prospective employers were… shall we say… less than professional in some ways.

    So relieved it finally paid off. So tell us more about the job!

  19. I have a feeling that within the next few months there will be a lot of people wishing they’d called you again. Or returned your emails. Or given you a second (or third) look. They will have a sick feeling in their stomachs, and they’ll deserve it.

    Congrats!

  20. Your struggles make me think that many of the businesses failing in our poor economy are doing so because they have no idea what they are doing. Good luck to you!

  21. well done and
    good luck.

    thanks for the update on what you had to endure. gives perspective.
    and thanks for being a bud while you had all this to deal with.

  22. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? I’m proud to know you and proud to see you succeed. Get out there and show all those who didn’t hire you what they missed out on having in their corner of the social media ring!

  23. Great read, Tee! I’m very curious what led to so many instances of people liking you followed by the decision to try to get you to train someone else for the job. Like something trailing you somehow….does googling your name bring up an ill-advised blog rant or something? :-)

    Sometimes not getting a job is good, too. I’m sure that of all the places, you’d have had a range of work experiences, from good to bad. Here’s to hoping that the one you did get is both fun and challenging. Best of luck!

    And keep up the great voice work. Don’t disappear on us now!

  24. Your brief trip to New Zealand may have been a whirlwind escape to afar off land. Whilst there you left no doubt as to what you were capable of achieving, to many of US you were our evangelist who opened eyes to something we had heard about but NOT yet experienced the future benefits of. Not JUST an American on a Marketing pitch tour, but A confident man whom others wished to ‘come on board with’ and become ‘followers’ of.

    For some the meeting may be brief in person, but your ‘presence’ has a longing positive and motivating inspirational effect on whom you came in contact with whilst In New Zealand.

    To arrive an unknown, make a presentation, inspire new directions for others to travel with you along [forever as long as they wish to follow], and lead a new wave of Social Media / Repatory scences in your wake, That is the lasting impression you have left for some in New Zealand.

    At Conscription, you were an unknown quantity to many, a breath of inspiration for others, an evangelist and ‘knowledged person’ in Social media .
    The brief Presentations were but an introduction of what we all knew is coming but were unsure how to become members without seeming foolish .

    Thanks for the past couple of months since a brief meeting and chance to dine together among a crowd of Conscripts.

    For Me personally, you have been an inspiration and respected evangelist of socal media.

    I can only Hope that one day we can meet again on New Zealand Soil, even if only briefly.

    Til that day, May I and many others continue to be worthy followers and lurkers to be inspired by so a talented man who did not once show he was not experienced in the skills he presented to this audience on the stage of life.

    Good Luck and Best wishes in your New Direction.

    Please dont forget the many whom you have helped along the way. They will Not forget you in a hurry.

    Dale

  25. Congratulation on the new job. You post reminds me of the PIXAR movie “Finding Nemo” “Just keep swimming”. Your determination is inspirational and your reward is truly earned.

    Best of luck

  26. Tee,

    Congratulations on the new job! I can’t believe how many people interviewed you, then gave your job to someone unqualified and tried to get you to train their choices for free. Madness! “No, we’re not giving you a job, but we would like to rob you before you go.”

    Good luck!

    Doc

  27. Tee, 22 months is insane. You had the skillz all along, we all know that. But to keep it up for 22 months, that’s beyond words.

    I applaud you, Mr. Morris. Sincerely, I applaud you.

  28. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Mega kudos for the perseverance for the far too long of a job search, but to not settling for some of the others. My 2.5 month search seems not so bad anymore. Thankfully that amount of continual commitment to searching for the job I wanted was not required of me.

    May you experience more joy and job fulfillment than you ever thought you could ever imagine.

  29. Congrats Tee! Holy cow. I knew things haven’t been the smoothest of seas for you. But you keep at it and you pulled it off. Great work. I am so happy that everything worked out.

  30. Tee, This was an incredible journey. I’m glad you made it through.

    Tell us more about the company you’re working for and what you’re going to be doing for them.

    -Paul

  31. Tee, Just read the post. This is awesome news and a real testament to your strength of character. I’ve been through two layoffs totaling 14 months, and I know how hopeless it feels at times. You should be proud of yourself for fighting the fight until you won.

    Best wishes for the new gig.

    Tim

  32. Having been going through similar issues since 2005, I can relate. Seriously relate. Unfortunately, my version is still ongoing. But after hearing your story, I am most happy for you. Congratulations and if you find something I’d fit well in . . .

    Anyway, good luck with the job, Tee.

  33. Hi Tee,

    I’ve followed you since the first audio rendition of Morevi. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s wonderful to see how you have stuck through it all and persevered. It encourages me in my daily trudge through life.

    Here’s to many more successful days!! :)

    Will

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  35. It has been a joy to read this chronicle! I have had the pleasure of watching your “writings” develop into novels. I treasure the small part you let me play in the birth of MOREVI. I watched with admiration as you dauntlessly and continuously sent out manuscripts to numerous publishers before you found someone who believed in what you had to offer. I was amused when you started writing your own textbooks for your classes because you felt your students needed and deserved them. So, it was no surprise when you started churning out non-fiction books. I have a great sense of pride in your success as an author of non-fiction as well as fiction! And now, you have a job doing what you do best! I had no doubt it would happen. Congratulations to a very talented young man whom I greatly admire!

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