Weaving rejection into journalistic gold

There’s no shortage of rebuffs involved in being a journopreneur. Most of it is water off a duck’s back but sometimes a snub really sticks in your craw.

Take, for example, my dealings with a short-lived client I’ll call Michael. Michael advertised that he needed articles for a recently launched news and opinion website he was involved with. I got in touch and offered to supply articles. Michael and I exchanged some humorous email banter before it was arranged that I’d produce an article to his specifications. Michael said he liked the article and published it, subsequently telling me that he’d be interested to receive more pitches from me in future.

Then for reasons he never deigned to explain Michael stopped responding. He e-snubbed me, refusing to reply when I emailed ideas for stories. He never gave any hint as to why but the overarching message his cyber silence telegraphed was crystal clear – I hold all the cards in this relationship and I’ve decided it’s over. No further discussion will be entered into.

Anyway, while brooding about receiving the cyber cold shoulder, I got to thinking about the prevalence of e-snubbing and the strange fact that while it would be considered bizarre to fall mute in the middle of a real-world conversation it’s seen as OK to unilaterally terminate an email relationship for no apparent reason.

Long story short, I did some research into this widespread but little documented phenomenon and wrote an article about it that has today been published across the Fairfax broadsheets.

The editor of Fairfax’s Small Business section liked the article so much she’s already commissioned more work from me. So I guess I should really be thanking Michael for his boorishness.

But, truth be told, I still long for the day when I’ll be able to serve up a revenge e-snub to him.

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