While I was living in Victoria, I worked at Orca Book Publishers for about a year. Doesn’t that sound fancy? On subsequent resumes, and cover letters, I gleefully wrote that “after graduating from the University of Calgary with distinction in English Literature, I relocated to Victoria, where I worked at Orca Book Publisher as a promotions assistant.” Wow! I look like I’ve got my poop together! Really, I didn’t, and I still don’t.
All of what I said in those countless resumes and cover letters is true, of course. Some of you may be surprised to know that I do have a degree, with distinction, no less! But that isn’t because I am that smart, it is because I almost went out of my mind with anxiety during my time at school. I edited all of my papersfor about a week before turning them in. If I was smart, I would have earned a 4.0: instead, I got a 3.9. I still blame the course in Logic I was forced to take because of my lack of High School Math.
Anyway, I did indeed work at Orca Book Publishers as a “Promotional Assistant”. And while the title sounds exciting, the position was far from glamorous. I sent out advanced reading copies of every book Orca published to a long list of reviewers, librarians, and media people. I carried a lot of books up a lot of stairs, over and over. I drove the forklift into every wall, and I listened to Led Zepplin really loud with the other guy who worked in the warehouse.
All the staff at Orca were very nice to me. One of them even helped me find the agent who is now interested in my first novel! My time at Orca was a boon: I am glad to have worked there. I even met my very good friend and sometimes editor, Christi there!
As promotions assistant, I also had the opportunity to make buttons by the thousand. I was listening to a lot of Deerhunter at the time, so their music always comes to mind when I see a button. I got really good at making buttons, and while the skill didn’t really help me in subsequent work, it will help me in my new position as head of promotions here at Ding Dong Abroad. Let me know if you want one; they feature the incredible artwork of Ms. Freyja Zazu!