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Every Game in Town

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Screen shot from PIE Design + Marketing, the latest notch in a string of rejections from agencies.

Well, after not hearing from PIE Design and Marketing for almost two weeks, I made the call today. To see if they wanted me to work for them. They were gracious. They said no. Their explanation? They said they were unsure of how they wanted to proceed with their budget. They had decided to go with more of a junior designer. Translation=They couldn’t afford to pay me. I asked for $33,000. That was a 2.5K pay cut from my last design job in Boston. I was willing to take that dive for the job. I wanted the job. During the first interview, they said my work “is great”. They said my experience “is good”. Yet, even though they are so busy with work they can barely breathe, paying me less than the average designer makes was too much for them. Well.

Time is running out. I’m moving out in 5 weeks. I don’t have a job that can pay my bills. I’ve feel like I’ve whored myself out to the design community, the one place I have experience and potential. But no one wants a dirty old used up nobody, which is what I feel like. Read on to find out why!!!

Taking a little inventory over the past nine months, here are some other tries, but failures:

One11. An awesome studio in a kick ass district of town, the Holsom Lofts, right on the edge of the artsy First Friday area. They were my first interview. I thought I did ok, but to be honest, I felt a little in over my head. That didn’t stop me from crying when they told me. They were my first heartbreak. Reason for not hiring me? “Not enough experience.” Fair enough.

Then, There was V2. To be honest, this guy up front pretty much said he couldn’t afford another designer. But he still wanted me to come in. He said he would throw some freelance stuff my way and then if I did good, would consider hiring me down the road. That sounded promising, at the time. I realized later that’s what they all say.

Schadler Kramer Group. Number 2 ad agency in town. Gorgeous office, amazing staff. I nailed the interview. Why didn’t I get the job? I will never know. Said they would keep my portfolio on file.

Wicked Creative. A sexy, strip-oriented agency making pretty billboards with pretty people for fancy clubs. All the people running the show were from Boston. Thus, the cheeky name. They said that I didn’t have enough experience. But seemed to love my work. Alright. Next.

Zappos. Despite their chaotic website, they’re an amazing company, and an amazing company to work for. My friend Andrea works there, and can’t stop talking about how much she loves her job. She’s an assistant buyer. I go to Zappos parties (still) all the time. They’re fun and young and crazy drinkers. I thought I had a good shot at this job, cause Andrea’s worked there for a long time and has pull with the art director. I was hoping the nepotism card would work for me. Did not. I suppose it was because I have very little web experience. So it goes.

PLSN: A lighting and stage equipment company that needed a designer for their newsletter. I was perfectly qualified for this job. They said they needed someone immediately and would call within the next two days. Even though this didn’t pay a whole lot, I thought the job was good because it almost seemed in the bag. They never called. I said ok, and moved on.

This company seemed perfect. Had a beautiful office, paid their employees well, was a small, cozy environment and seemed relaxed overall. I got along so so well with the boss. I thought this job was in the bag, too, and I was so excited. I went for a second interview. Turns out they had another office downtown near the Flamingo, and I was meeting with one of their major clients who had almost reached partner status. The lunch with their partner/client was a little off. I knew I wouldn’t get the job after that, but I lamented it very much. It was a hard one to lose. To their credit, they later did make good on their “come in to do some freelance work and maybe we’ll hire you” bit, but I had just gotten the solid, steady job with Taylor and was reluctant to leave it. So, that one was lost.

Point Distribution; a skateboard company. Their website is no longer active, for some reason. So I couldn’t get a screen shot of their site. However, the place was awesome. Very young, very hip feel, a little industrial and filled with sexy skater guys silkscreening on skateboards. That job, although the interview felt a little awkward, mainly because I was way overdressed, seemed a little elusive from the start. I never heard back from them. But that would have been such a great job, sigh.

Had this interview and they went on and on about how talented they thought I was. Then they said I didn’t have enough experience and they flat out told me that I wouldn’t get the job. I appreciate their honesty, but I was frustrated that they lauded my talent but refused me the position on a nominal amount of experience. They too, offered me freelance work with promises of hiring me down the road. I even got home with all the information for the freelance project, but then they backed out the next day. Sigh.

This company’s website was questionable, but at this point, I felt like I was running out of options. Their office was alright, though, and the job seemed easy. The art director praised my portfolio and then brought me in for a 2nd interview test. Designing a–what the industry calls a–down and dirty (meaning quick and maybe not all that planned) ad. I aced it. ACED IT. I did SUCH a great job, of that I am confident. I didn’t get hired, and they wouldn’t tell me why. I felt indignant. I asked what I could have done better, they had no answer. I smelled a rat.

Brand. I had an interview here, but to be honest, don’t remember anything about it. Needless to say, no job.

Out of need of money, I applied to this job. A friend of my sister’s works here and makes awesome money as a pharmaceutical rep. I have no experience, but said friend didn’t seem to think that was a problem. I filled out a million pages worth of applications, and went through a phone interview only to be told I didn’t have the proper sales experience. Oh well.

Had this interview right before Christmas. This was the perfect company. PERFECT. An awesome glossy mag, with fun photos and great design. I met with the designer, and she was such a cool person. Awesomely cool dresser, great personality, the kind of person you want to be friends with. The job fit my experience to a T. It was perfect. I met with HR, and the designer chick made it kind of clear in the interview that I practically had the job. The company paid well, there were great benefits, and the office life seemed awesome. When I got the letter in the mail that I was rejected, I sobbed. Why? I asked the designer girl. She meekly said that they had found somonelse who had better qualifications. How was that possible? That WAS the job for me. I asked her what I could have done better. She had no answer.

When I did get reasons for not being hired for jobs, they usually said that my experience wasn’t thorough enough. I would be better as a production artist, but production artist “isn’t what we need right now.” So, when DRGM opened a position for production artist, I jumped at it. SURELY they would hire me, I had 5 years’ experience in production. Awesome company, too. One I had scoped right away while looking for design jobs in while still in Boston, in prepartion for my move to Las Vegas. The interview went well. I showed them my portfolio, told them about my experience in production.

And after all that, you know what they told me? That I had too much designer experience and wouldn’t be happy in a production job, that it was beneath me. They still had me do a little production design test, which, of course, I aced. But they didn’t hire me.

So, too much design experience for a production job, but not enough production experience for a design job? Go figure.

Then Christmas happened. I took a little break to do some freelance work, but was back out on the job scene in February.

CDI Studios. Awesome company, really nice designer guy. Fun work, fun atmosphere, encouraged outside creativity and even encouraged designers to do freelance work so they would stay “fresh”. How awesome was that? I was so calm, cool and collected. I felt so good about that interview. I didn’t hear from him for a week. When I finally did, he said that it turned out that they weren’t able to budget a new designer. That they were interested in me coming in for a few days of freelance. I couldn’t sacrifice more than one unpaid day from my temp job at the time, so I said no, because they wanted me indefinitely. Sigh…

Then, a couple of weeks, ago, I had the interview with PIE. The company that wanted someone with less experience overall than me. Can a girl ever win?

These above, of course, don’t include companies I tried but couldn’t even get interviews with, like:

R&R Partners (Biggest game in town. Can get anybody they want…that was kind of a shot in the dark, but, oh well.)
Crear Creative (not hiring)
Virgin Advertising (never returned my several emails/calls)
Brown and Partners (not hiring)
PR6 (not hiring)
Nevada Gov. Parks designer job (What? You don’t have your Master’s? Sorry, Charlie)
Fried Mutter (no reply)
PRA (seemed promising before the interview, a friend of Jay’s. It was pretty clear during the interview, however, that they didn’t need a designer. Hm. HOWEVER, I will say that they did make good on their freelance project. I did some work for them, of which the compensation for that work saved my ass around Christmas time when I needed money for gifts.)
and probably about 3 or 4 others I am forgetting

I could go on and talk about the 8 or 10 companies I have been working for through temp agencies but this post is already ridiculously long, so I’ll spare you that.

I’ve experienced a lot of rejection. Why can’t I get a job in Las Vegas? Sometimes I feel like praying, like holding on one more day. But dude, I’ve been doing that for so long. I am feeling like I should give up. Just keep my mediocre job at the Venetian and eek by on my wage of $12 an hour.


Thomas Edison, please help me. I’m feeling sorry for myself, and it’s getting the best of me.

“I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work”
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Currently listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


Written by pocheco

May 24, 2007 at 5:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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