How I Insulted A Blogger, Then Asked Him For A Job

I hate networking emails. I despise everything about them. I hate getting them, and I hate sending them. I know that for some people there’s value in reaching out to people in your field, establishing connections and nurturing relationships. To me, they usually just read as really candy-coated attempts at saying “Hey, I kind of need a job, whatchu got?” especially if it’s to someone you’ve never met before. Blech. I’d rather get a beer.

I have had a few former colleagues and friends who have been kind enough to hook me up with people they know that have jobs I admire, and I’m always grateful for the kind gesture. But the actual correspondence with these people always gives me the heebie-jeebies. It’s no fault of the person on the other end; I just have this weird guilt thing about networking. I’m told “it’s just a part of the working world.” I guess.

A few months ago, my girlfriend, her friend and I were sharing a drink when I expressed my interest in finding a better job. My girlfriend’s buddy told me about her cousin, a guy who works for a comedy website that I love, and who, coincidentally, used to work for my current employer. And the name (which I’m changing for this story) sounded familiar: Rob A.

Rob A? Rob A. Where had I heard that name before?

She offered to introduce us via email; I immediately declined. “I could never,” I explained. “I don’t want to come off as desperate.”

“You wouldn’t!” she replied. “He’s super nice and I’m sure he’d love to talk shop with you.” I told her I’d think about it.

After a few weeks of being pestered by my girlfriend for passing up a good opportunity, I pulled the trigger and told the friend I’d really appreciate the connection. She emailed both me and her cousin by way of introduction, and I responded with a short (and, I thought, charming) note about how I really dug the site he works for, and if he had any advice for navigating the place he left, that’d be great too, since that’s where I was working now.

A few days went by with no response, and I figured he was either too busy or not interested enough to respond. Then he did respond, and I realized I would never send another networking email again for the rest of my life.

The letter started off pleasant enough, but about half-way through I noticed something was awry. The tone was off; it was succinct and pleasant, but almost unnervingly so. Then came the grand finale:

“Best, Rob. P.S. Good thing I never saw that blog you wrote in which you called me a vagina and a girl crying on her period. Boy would that have been awkward.”

It all came back to me in a sickening flash.

Rob, while working for my current employer, had written an article 18 months prior in which he expressed his relief that a popular television show was coming to an end, and he hoped that the constant fan chatter surrounding the show would also cease. I flexed my weak Internet Snark muscle on my personal bullshit Tumblr blog and wrote a completely unnecessary, heavy-handed, profanity laced hit piece of a response to this “Rob,” who I had never met. “Who the fuck does this ‘Rob’ think he is, anyway?” I thought. I was livid, personally offended, and this was my opportunity to hit some Internet big wig right where it hurt — right on my blog with a total audience of about 12. It was less a defense of fanboys like me, and more an opportunity to be “funny” at this guy’s expense. I went back and read the post; it was awful. In addition to calling him a “vagina” and “a girl crying on her period,” I also told him to “shut his goddamn mouth,” and that he probably looks great in his “Shirley Temple dress.” You know, really funny stuff.

Well, fuck.

So there I sat, staring at his perfect email. And it was perfect; the saccharine-sweet body was the prime set-up for the gut-punching postscript. I thought about how to respond. Not only did I insult this guy for absolutely no reason, but I also forgot his name and then proceeded to try and network with him! UGH.

I went with: “Oh, THAT Rob A. Boy, I am an asshole,” and hit send.

I figured, after everything I’d said, few words were best. TC mark

image – Ayelie


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  • Michael Koh


  • Stefanie J

    The title sounds like this all ended well for you and Rob A. but I guess it didn’t. Really funny/uncomfortable article though. Did he ever reply? 

  • Ryan Simmons

    Nope, I never heard back. Probably better that way, no?


    Ouch, dude. Cringing for you over here.

  • Anonymous

    seems bleak. 

  • Anonymous

    This is beautiful and a great example of how even what you say on your little blog matters.

    • Ryan Simmons

      Thanks Gaby! A shitty lesson, learned the hard way.

  • Stellie Cat

    i always thought all my faux-pas were bad in the arena of social/professional interaction….

    obviously you take the win :)

  • freddy

    This is why you don’t use your real name on your Smallville blog.

    • Ryan Simmons


  • Katgeorge

    I like that you owned it!

  • NoSexCity

    Yiiiiiiikes. A lesson has been learned, maybe?

  • Miriam Mogilevsky

    Eh, honestly, sounds like the guy can’t take a joke. For better or for worse, name-calling is normal in the blogosphere these days. It’s not personal. :)

  • Anonymous

  • Rodge Bucao

    And I thought it ended on a happy note. Well, happy enough.

  • Julian Galette

    Things like this are exactly why when I do my writing on comics I try to keep it pleasant. The industry is small enough that if there’s some asshole on a major site tossing shit at specific writers/artists/companies for long enough, word’ll get around to them (and this has happened in the comment section of our site before, it’s not pretty.) 

    And it’d be terrible if either I or another writer on the site tried to email a creator for an interview and they think “Hey, don’t these fucks write for the site where _____ wrote that vitriol about me? Fuck ’em.”Not that I don’t talk shit, I just always try and explain why I’m talking said shit and make sure not to call anyone a vagina. Even if they are. 

  • Anonymous

  • Kaya

    Haha! I really enjoyed this one and you couldn’t have responded any better.

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