I'm going to go out on a limb here - because I know that in the business of public relations, which is my business - and has been for many years - calling a journalist on the carpet for misrepresenting your point of view, can cost a PR person valuable contacts. In a recent interview for Forbes magazine, I talked about my financial situation. My attempts to refinance my home--the difficulties of trying to make money after a job loss. I was candid. The writer tried to be helpful. He pointed out that were I employed at full salary I would not be entitled to tax incentives, scholarships, etc. Small consolation, I told him. I am looking for full-time employment. Ideally for a job that pays what I was making at my last job. Or close to that. And if that means high taxes, no incentives, and no handouts, it's fine by me. I believe in giving back to society.
I asked him not to make me look like I wanted handouts. I assured the writer that the "goodies" I am "entitled to" didn't matter. I prefer to be fully and gainfully employed. "If it means my daughter goes to a public college, that's OK," I assured him. At one point, I told him to find another person to profile. I sent him this email on September 1st:
"sorry to give you a hard time, but like I said,
priority #1 here is keeping myself out of the street and keeping my kids fed
and cared for...But just to whine about why
if I do get a job, Casey can't go to Pratt on financial aid...well, that's not
really my concern or situation at all.
I am not being defensive here - but this has never ever been a priority for me. Where is it written that every child deserves the opportunity to go to a name brand school? What makes a name brand school better than a no-name school? And who says that every kid that doesn't go to a name brand school won't be successful in life? And that every kid that does will have doors open for them?
I have a running trail that takes me past some of the most affluent and sprawling mansions in
Well, my protests went ignored. The person described in the cleverly-worded article in Forbes is not me! Instead of painting me as someone seeking an appropriate salary so she could support herself, it portrays me as someone who is torn between the prospect of being employed and being eligible for tax breaks, college scholarships and other incentives. It simply isn't so. It never was. In the online story, not a single quote of mine was published. My quotes would have painted a very different picture.
Here is the truth. I have been out of a full-time work, but freelancing out of my house, keeping myself afloat, and I will gladly take a job at my last salary or close to it - as long as it is enough to cover my expenses and give me benefits. It would be lovely to have some paid health insurance - and real vacation time - perhaps some sick leave. While I enjoy my work as a PR consultant - and I'm darn good at everything I've done and I do, I enjoyed a steady paycheck and the benefits of full-time employment.
I was raised with a strong work ethic and I love my work - always have. I do it because it's cool to do what you love and actually get paid to do it. And I am OK with giving Uncle Sam his share of what I owe him. And if my daughter doesn't get to Princeton on scholarship, there are other schools that I can afford. It's all good.