“In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes.” – Andy Warhol
When we think of the term “15 minutes of fame,” we typically think of one hit wonders like this THIS song or YouTube videos that went viral like THIS one. Yet, those 15 minutes rarely last for only 15 minutes. Most last weeks, months, some a year or more. I never necessarily agreed with Warhol’s sentiments, that we will all one day have our 15 minutes, and I certainly never believed I’d have mine. But last week something happened and I got my 15 minutes, except mine didn’t last weeks or months. My 15 minutes lasted exactly 15 minutes.
I’d spent the majority of Memorial Day weekend in bed, with something that made me sound like a horny brontosaurus when I coughed. On Monday, when I finally rallied enough energy to sit upright, I hopped on the computer and began writing. It was something about online condolence message boards but that quickly turned into something about old jobs I’ve held.
(As a side note: most of my blog entries start out as one thing and turn out to be about something completely different.)
I opened the entry talking about my stint as a 15 year old salad girl and the few weeks I spent slinging patent leather pumps while in college. The focus of my entry, though, talked about my time spent working for a local news website. I talked about my work as an inexperienced and undereducated reporter for the site, about my lack of knowledge in journalism and the ways of the business, and about my feelings that the ownership used the site to air personal grievances and covert agendas. I ended up with THIS entry, which I simply and appropriately titled, The Worst Job Ever. And, indeed, it was.
I posted the entry to my blog sometime Monday afternoon and like I always do, I posted the link to my Facebook wall. Following my normal schedule, I went to bed Monday night and on Tuesday headed into work, thinking nothing of the blog entry I’d posted the night before. On Tuesday, I went about my typical work routine and then around lunch time my phone chimed, letting me know I had a Facebook message. The message was from Will Folks of FITSNews.com. He was writing to ask if I was the one who wrote the Southern Pause blog and if I’d written The Worst Job Ever. I confirmed that it was indeed me. We exchanged pleasantries and I went on about the rest of my day, flattered to say the least.
Now, if you don’t know who Will Folks (a.k.a Sic Willie) is, think back to the 2010 South Carolina gubernatorial primary. Just weeks before voters were scheduled to head to the polls, Folks, a former spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford, claimed he’d had an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Haley. He made the claim on his blog, FITSNews. While many saw the announcement as a last minute political stunt, I happened to believe the guy. And still to this day I hope that “inappropriate physical relationship” means that he at least bent her over a time or two in the backseat of her Cadillac SUV. Folks also happens to be the most read political blogger in the Palmetto State.
But I digress.
I headed home that afternoon, calling my Mom on the drive (it’s routine). I got home and after changing clothes and catching up with The Kid, I sat down at the computer and logged into my blog. Immediately, I noticed my daily stats were through the roof. I checked where the traffic was coming from and low and behold, the insane numbers were coming from FITSNews. Folks had included Southern Pause and The Worst Job Ever in his daily WIRE, under the “Worth Reading” section.
Now, I’m pretty sure that Folks was tipped off by my friends at the Index Journal. Actually, I’m positive he was since Associate Editor, Scott Bryan tweeted the link to my blog to FITSNews and thousands of others that day. And that was totally fine by me because people were reading which meant I hadn’t written the piece in vain.
Although the entry shined a negative light on my former employer, my motives weren’t that at all. The real point was that when we are given a position within our communities, regardless of the nature of that platform, we should use our position for good. Whether we are in politics, medicine, customer service, or in the news; we should use our positions to inform, engage, to serve, and to strengthen our people and the kinships within our societies. When we have influence over people, we should use that influence to educate and to connect. When we have the ability to impact the lives of others, we should use that ability to heal, to make people laugh, and to make them think. Our weight shouldn’t be used for our own gain without regard for the people who count on us, the people who trust us; because that is self-indulgence at its finest.
So, for what it’s worth, thanks to Will Folks and FITSNews.com for the plug and thanks to the IJ’s Scott Bryan for the shove – for getting it out there. Thanks for my 15 minutes. All I can hope for now is that people get it, and that my message was heard loud and clear. And of course for someone to make me a really cool graphic for my blog that says “As seen on FITSNews.com.”