Pay attention to paying attention

I never believed the stories told by career guidance fools at school (did their guidance officer tell them they were going to be in career guidance when they were older?*), or by employers, or PSE teachers or by anyone, really.

See I, while not the most perfect example of exactness and care, pay attention to things. I’m not the most insightful, I’m not the best judge of character (though I am up there with the best), I’m not the best at reading people or noticing the really small things.

But I make sure when I write a CV, when I write a letter, when I write a pitch to a website or magazine, when I send hate mail to celebrities – I make sure I get the facts right. I make sure I get the turns of phrase right. I make sure I spell names right.

I thought this was normal. Turns out I’m wrong. Turns out I was foolish and full of naivety for believing that surely nobody in the world would be utterly moronic enough to, say, email my magazine with entirely the wrong magazine’s name following the word “Dear”.

You’d think, if you’re thinking of emailing a magazine called a certain thing, you’d make sure you put the name of said certain thing at the start of it.

See I’m clearly of a different class. If I’ve ever emailed my mother, it has never began “Dear Darren Ambrose”. Why? Because I pay attention. When I ring up the boss of the local Best One to complain about their phenomenal lack of Pot Noodle variety on show (one complaint a week, every week) I don’t – knowing his name is Yannis – ask “can I speak to Frenzal Rhomb please?”

When I write a covering letter for a job I don’t put [insert company name here] for the name of the company – I have genuinely seen that. I don’t talk about how much I love the place, the magazine, the people, the whatever, then get a very basic fact about them entirely wrong – especially something you can find out about with the most basic of research.

But apparently people out there make these mistakes. And like Reno Raines, I’m going to don a sweet leather duster and travel the world, eliminating them all for the good of mankind.

That’s what he did in Renegade, right? I can’t be bothered checking.

*I can’t remember where I’ve stolen that from.


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