An Eavesdropped Surprise

When life throws unexpectedness your way, it’s your job to somehow accept it, even if you’re caught off guard.

This past weekend while I was working at my part-time job, I was chatting with a former boss who came and sat at the bar to grab some lunch. He is an alumnus of Columbia’s journalism department, and I asked him for some advice for me, an about-to-graduate journalist. He continued to tell me stuff like “take anything you can get, even if it’s unpaid,” and “be patient.” After he left, I continued about my working business until my current boss approached me with a few pieces of paper. “The guy who was just sitting at the bar left this for you,” she said. Oh, I thought, must’ve been my former boss leaving a more detailed list of advice for me. I was surprised to discover that this list did not come from my former boss, but from another man who was at the bar, listening in on our journalism advice conversation.

I was completely surprised. “He said he didn’t want to be creepy about giving it to you,” my boss said. Who is this person and why is he leaving me a detailed list of “Top 10 Tips for A Journalism Grad?” Then, I read what he wrote underneath the list. His name was Andrew Groen, and he was not only a Columbia College alumnus but was also a former writer at Wired and a best-selling author. Holy schnikes! This was some weird universe workings that had landed at my feet, and I was pleasantly surprised by this luck. I had received a list of practical, actually useful and non-mansplained journalism advice, and simultaneously gained a professional contact in the journalism world. In this occurrence, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected and I re-learned that it’s a very, very small world.

Feel free to click the pictures to read all the tips!