So, recently I spoke to my daughter’s class about my freelance copywriting job.
Sarah’s mum Kerrie, ahead of me, showed students human bones. (She’s a physio.)
Without the option of similarly exciting props, I had only my sunny personality to captivate the students. Eek.
I love freelance copywriting, so I had to nail it
Naturally, I did no preparation. How difficult can speaking to a group of seven-year-olds be?
The answer: very difficult.
Here I am, crapping on about writing
I’m using the old line, ‘find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’
But I’ve lost them.
These darlings have ants in their pants. Adult audiences listen politely even if they’re brain-dead-bored. Kids? Do not do that.
Kids aren’t subtle. They fidget. And squirm. They even yell “I’m bored!” Thanks for that, Evelyn.
They don’t care about SEO. They’re not interested in the pain-agitate-solve copywriting formula.
As my presentation grinds to an awkward halt, it’s time for student questions. The perky teacher gives stern prompts. Kids mumble questions while looking at the ceiling, chewing their hang nails.
Geez. Even I’m getting bored. Questions include:
- when did you start? (seven years ago)
- what do you like about it? (everything: writing, working with clients, getting paid for writing)
- where do you go to work? (I work from home – they failed to appreciate this fabulous bonus of the freelance copywriter lifestyle)
But then, one question brings a miracle
Jack fires me with this:
What was your first job?
My answer: “I worked at Hungry Jack’s!”
The excitement in the room. It was akin to hearing that Bluey has commissioned a second season.
They loved it. Loved it hard.
I decided to pivot to my now-captivated audience. What a good decision. They now know all about
- making Whoppers (get the toppings done while the cheese grills)
- better Grilled Chicken burgers (be skimpy with the ranch otherwise it’s soggy)
- serving French fries (scoop lightly to fill the box with fewer fries).
I explained how asking, “Would you like fries with that?” was imperative to the job—and profits.
While cleaning the sundae machine on night shift, when the boss wasn’t looking, I stuck my tongue into the flow of soft serve.
They hung on my every word and I was lovin’ it.
Sorry to use a competitor’s catchphrase.
But then, my ego suffered a massive blow.
It started innocently enough. Ethan piped up.
I was there a few weeks ago, were you working there?
Well, Ethan, did you not just listen to the past ten minutes? Remember, I was talking about being a freelance copywriter? Really, Ethan put your listening ears on.
To make the point that I worked at Hungry Jack’s ages ago, I asked the kids a question.
Who was alive in 1992?
Everyone looked around, scratching their heads. Of course the children were not alive in 1992 when I worked the Jack. (Crew member of the month, February 1994, thank you very much.)
Then the teacher piped up with a youthful giggle.
“In 1992? Not even me!”
Blimey. The teacher was not alive in 1992 when I was slinging Whoppers after school.
I felt about a thousand years old.
So I slunk out of there, defeated and wrinkly. Luckily, my freelance copywriting clients don’t make me feel ancient.