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Boom goes the Dynamo

With the one-year anniversary of getting laid off from the GCDN approaching, I asked Santa to bring me a job this Christmas.

Instead he gave me the middle finger.

I thought I had a job coming my way. Not just a job, but a great job. A dream job.

In early November, thanks to some job links sent to me by Yeh-Peu-Dah, I stumbled upon a Communications Manager opening with the Houston Dynamo. The Dynamo are the Major League Soccer team based in Houston.

On Thanksgiving week, I got an email from the Sr. Director of Communications with the Dynamo. He wanted to interview me for the position.

Basically the position is a media/public relations position. Writing press releases, coordinating interviews and helping promote the new 22,000-seat stadium being built downtown were just some of the job details.

The next week, he took me to a fancy steakhouse downtown for a lunch interview. We talked for an hour and a half and I felt like it went really well.

We had a lot of similar ideas on a successful media relations campaign. We both agreed that feature stories are the best way to get the public to know the players off the field. I also told him I was excited about getting to travel with the team across the country for the games.

The SDC told me he was impressed by my preparation for the interview (I arrived early, had plenty of copies of my soccer stories and had done a lot of research on the Dynamo). Despite not having any public relations experience, he said I was an intriguing candidate due to my energy, which he said was higher than the other candidates he had interviewed.

The next week, the Dynamo had me come in to talk to the Sr. Vice President. I considered this a good sign.

Before the interview, the SDC saw me and wished me good luck.

“You are going to do great though, I’m sure,” he said. “I’ll be talking to you again real soon.”

At that point, I felt like if I didn’t screw up this interview, I would have the job. I thought it went well and I left knowing I had done the best I could.

I didn’t hear back from the Dynamo the next week, except for a reply from the SDC when I asked if they had made a decision.

“Nothing yet,” he wrote. “We’ll have something soon. I’ll keep you posted.”

I knew the SDC was going on vacation for two weeks beginning Christmas week, so when I didn’t hear from him before then, I figured I would know something right after the first of the year.

Unfortunately, I got an email from the company’s Human Resources Department on Friday night.

“Thank you for your interest in the Manager Communications; requisition # DYN1560. We had many candidates apply for the position and made a decision to fill the position with someone whose background and credentials best meets our current needs.”

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

A potential dream job was gone, as once again I was a bridesmaid instead of a bribe.

Obviously I was disappointed. Incredibly disappointed in fact.

If I had gotten that job, I feel like the one-year wait would have been completely worth it. It would have involved a lot of work and a lot of travel, but it would be an amazing opportunity.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

I still intend to email the SDC when he gets back from vacation thanking him for the opportunity for the interview. Maybe he will let me know why I wasn’t selected from the job.

+++

While not getting that job was an incredible disappointment, I have had another great opportunity come up.

Houston Community Newspapers (owners of several smaller papers around the Houston area) contacted me about coming in for an interview. I didn’t apply — they contacted me.

While I’m not sure of the exact title, I think it has something to do with being a sports editor in charge of online content for all of the papers.

I have an interview with the regional sports director on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of getting laid off. It seems like HCN wants to move fast, so later this week I could be off the unemployment line.

Originally I was hoping to get away from the newspaper business. However, with only a sports background, I seem to be immediately dismissed by most employers. While I consider myself play-doh, able to adapt to any job I get, many employers saw me as a square peg for a round hole.

The opportunity with HCN allows me to stay with what I really enjoy, though — sports writing in the Houston area.

Not everyone gets to have a job they truly love. I was lucky enough to do what I love for the past six years (this past year being with CMC Communications and several local papers). Now this would be the chance to continue working in the field I really love.

After failing to get jobs from a pair of interviews with great companies (Moody Gardens and the Dynamo), my confidence has taken a bit of a hit. Hopefully the third time is the charm, though.

Wish me luck!

Mad ramblings

• Is there any doubt how important Jay Cutler is to the Bears? Not in my mind.

• Texans fans are pissed about the loss to Indianapolis, but I think it is the best thing to happen to the franchise.

Should Indy win this week at Jacksonville, and St. Louis lose to San Francisco, then the Colts won’t get the No. 1 pick. That means no Andrew Luck.

Without Luck in the division, I think the Texans have a real shot at being the dominant franchise in the AFC South for years.

• If the Rams get the top pick, it is going to make for a fun NFL Draft. Does St. Louis trade the pick for a giant haul, or ship off Sam Bradford and take Luck? Decisions, decisions.

• The Cubs traded lefty reliever Sean Marshall to the Reds for three pretty good prospects. While I thought the trade made a lot of sense, I was sorry to see Marshall go. He was a class act, and was a really nice guy the two times I interviewed him.

• Broadcaster Joe Buck has joined Twitter (@Buck). He is surprisingly entertaining. I think his Twitter account could actually make him more popular. Great business decision.

• My brother Andy has been killing it with his blog the past few weeks addressing political issues. If you enjoy politics, I recommend you read The Adventures of a Confederate Buckeye.

• I hope everyone got cool gifts for Christmas. Yeh-Peu-Dah did a great job getting me a Farscape Graphic Novel, the Farscape movie, coupons for several professional massages and a gift card to the Flying Saucer. Clear she knows me.

I also got an Alabama checkbook (Yeh-Peu-Dah’s brother), a Texans division championship shirt and a neck pillow (Yeh-Peu-Dah’s parents) and a DVD (Yeh-Peu-Dah’s adopted family). Good times.

My family all gave me money. Gotta pay the bills, so checks were appreciated.

• I got Boogie a Fisher Price digital camera for Christmas. She is still learning how to use it. At some point, once she gets the hang of taking pictures, I may post a few of them.

• Finally, I gave myself a Christmas gift — the gift of sight.

Thanks to a sweet Groupon, I finally was able to go to the eye doctor. The doctor felt sorry for my unemployment, so along with the Groupon, I also got a nice discount on the best lenses available.

I had to use the Groupon on new glasses. I wanted to go for something a little more in style, so I went with the bolder black, plastic frames. They are Armani, so they are great quality.

Here’s what they look like. Thoughts?

Bear Down and Keep the Faith!

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About Joshua Buckley

I used to be a Sports Editor. Now I'm the Media Relations Manager at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.

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  1. Pingback: An end to my year-long vacation « Rebuilding the Franchise - December 27, 2011

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Cubs World Series picture and Red Robin. My girls know how to treat me on Father's Day. The sound quality wasn't too great at NRG last night, but the Metallica show was still amazing. Seeing them play so many songs from one of the best albums ever - The Black Album - was something I've always wanted to do. #bucketlist Ready for Metallica! Not gonna lie... I want this suit! Whelp, let's try this... #stopsnoring Linsey Alexander with a surprise cameo on the Blues guitar.
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