J. Walter Thompson, a legendary ad agency, ran a famous ad (pictured at right) in the 1980s to discover young writing talent. Hundreds replied, ten were hired.
In the 1990s, Publishers Clearing House, in homage to Thompson (I hope), used the same headline in a Classifieds ad in the New York Times seeking junior copywriter candidates. Over 100 applied, three were hired. I was one of them, and it kicked off what became for me a rewarding 18-year career in advertising/marketing. (Although I only stayed at PCH for less than two years.)
Today, I'm looking for new part-time talent to work at Mountain Top Toys. And I want someone awesome.
While it's not a writing position, I'm asking any interested candidate who wants to join our team to do as I did - write if you want work. In this case, a simple one-pager covering the following:
What we're looking for MOST in a candidate: a desire to learn, smarts and passion. Experience is a plus, sure, but when my wife and I bought the business just over a year ago, I hadn't a single day of retail experience. We can train you on how our store works... but we can't train your personality. We can't teach you enthusiasm or passion.
Currently, we're looking to fill Wednesday afternoons, help out on Saturdays, and grab some hours when other staff members have schedule conflicts. But if that doesn't work with your availability, don't let it stop you from applying. Our work schedules change every semester, if not more frequently.
If you've previously filled out an application with us, please complete the above writing assignment along with your name and contact info and drop it off. If you haven't filled out an application in the past three months, please stop in and ask for one and return it with your writing assignment.
We will start interviewing qualified candidates immediately, but will accept applications/writing assignments on a continual basis.
Every blog has its initial "Welcome" post, and if the blog is done correctly - if it is updated with fresh content on a regular basis - very few people will ever see, much less read, this first message.
Because while it's the first post chronologically, it's also found at the very end. It's historic. Classic. But dead last. The Eddie "The Eagle" of blog posts, if you will. The Shasta McNasty of the Internet. Destined to be given a cursory look by my wife, my mom, my mother-in-law, and maybe someday by my daughters when they're older and searching for any tidbits as to why their father once chose the career path of toy store owner when he had previously been making a decent living as an online Creative Director. (It's because I could buy candy at cost, girls.)
If you are reading this and NOT related to me, you're either among the first to discover this newly hatched column while browsing online for toys, you've read all the earlier blog posts and are at the end (the beginning), or Google sent you here when you were double-checking how to spell "obligatory".
Whatever the case, welcome to "From the Back of the Store." (Or, good-bye.)
Patrick Holland, born in a Cabbage Patch and raised inside the Honeycomb Hideout, is a former Oompa Loompa. He is now co-owner of Mountain Top Toys (with his not-so-silent partner and wife, Joanna), and parent to two daughters, both of whom are beginning to realize their father is just plain nuts. .