Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Rejection is a common, if not welcome, part of many a life. Last night’s CBS Evening News with Katie Couric featured a story on a new book, “Other People’s Rejection Letters,” that will amuse, or pain, you, depending on how thick your skin is. Here’s a link to the story:

After four years as a reporter with The New Haven Register, I was eager to move on. I looked up the name of the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal in the directory edition of Editor & Publisher and sent him a letter and resume. I did not receive a rejection letter. I heard nothing back. No matter. Shortly thereafter I began my 32-year career with Lebhar-Friedman, almost all of it with Chain Store Age.

I did, however, find out what happened to my overture to The Journal, courtesy of one of my former colleagues at The Register who did secure a job with the paper, owned by Dow Jones at the time. My letter was reproduced in Dow Jones’ annual yearbook of achievements and noteworthy events. Seems when I copied the name of the managing editor of The Journal my eyes must have shifted over to the adjacent column, onto a listing for The Daily Worker, the Communist Party newspaper. The Journal staff found it very amusing to have a communist as head of the nation’s pre-eminent capitalist business newspaper.

Have you stopped laughing yet?

All I can say, to save some face, is that I got a lot of satisfaction in subsequent years when The Journal quoted me in stories about retailing.

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