I’d been at the Tampa Trib a couple years (think summer of 1990 if you can remember back that far) when I saw this ad in Editor & Publisher for a copy editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A few years out of school and full of piss and vinegar, I figured it was high time I moved up to a real Big City Paper.

So I sent my clips, resume and pageful of bold lies (that is, a cover letter) up to Cleveland. After a week or so I called up there and the kind folks said something the lines of “we’re still making up our minds, but don’t worry, you’re still in the running.”

I never heard back from them and was getting a little miffed when we got the word that our copy chief was leaving to take a new job — at the Plain Dealer.

It was the one time in my life when a hiring decision that didn’t involve me made sense: They didn’t hire me because they hired my boss.