I sat my daughter down for one of those heart to heart Dad talks that invariably begin with five simple words:
"Stop looking at your phone."
Mission accomplished I pressed onward. "Vacation begins in a month honey. Now that you're 16, have you thought about a summer job?"
"Absolutely," she replied, much to my amazement. "I'm going to be on television."
"Television, as in a TV personality? Are you qualified? I mean, you haven't done anything yet. Your resume is, for a lack of a better word, blank."
"That didn't stop the Kardashians."
" Dad I've got it covered. I've already been in touch with the local TV station. "
"Fantastic, " I said, admiring her tenacity. "What are you applying for? A summer internship?"
"No, the station is running a contest called 'Join Our News Team For a Day!' I just have to 'like' them on Facebook and then I'm qualified to win. I spent all night creating a bunch of alternate Facebook accounts to increase my chances."
"That's very nice but even if you, uh, win, you're still going to need to interview with the station manager. You know your Dad used to be a TV news reporter. The first thing you should say is..."
"Young lady, WHAT did you just say?"
" I said..."
"I HEARD you. Where did you learn to talk like that?"
"That anchor dude in North Dakota. He said those words. On the air."
"Yes, and they fired him."
"Right. And the next day he was on Letterman. And The Today Show. And Live With Kelly and Michael. Sounds a lot better than North Dakota."
"I won't argue with that," I said as memories of a week long business trip to Fargo came flooding back. "Still sweetheart, you can't talk to your prospective employer that way. Mark my words, in a week that 'anchor dude' as you call him is going to have nothing."
"Except a viral video. Do you have any viral videos Dad?"
"I haven't checked lately. Look, I'm just trying to help you."
"And I appreciate that. I know exactly what you can do."
"You have to run for president. And win."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Chelsea Clinton, Dad. And Jenna Bush. They both landed some sweet national TV gigs."
"And what exactly was their field of expertise?"
"I dunno. Does it matter? I just watch Jenna Bush 'cause her Dad was the Prez. And the whole time she's talking, I'm like, 'Girl, you lived in the White House. That is soooo chill.'"
"Please try not to say 'like' during the interview. Ditto for 'chill.' Okay?"
"Don't say 'like.' Don't swear. Got it Dad. Anything else? I'm pretty busy."
"So am I. Apparently I have a presidential campaign to launch. But there is one more thing. Don't expect to be hired right away. Most employers mull things over before making a decision. So let's talk about a follow up strategy. I suggest..."
"I'm already following the station on Twitter. After the interview I'll start tweeting them with hashtags like #hireme, #I'myourgirl and #freakinawesome."
"And you think that's better than calling the station and politely asking the general manager if he or she has made a decision yet?"
"Nobody talks on the phone Dad. Haven't we had this conversation before?"
"I seem to remember you texting me something about it."
"Dad this has been a great talk but I really need to get back to clicking 'like' on the station's Facebook page. I'm sure my competition is doing the same thing right now."
"You're probably right. When's your interview?"
"What interview? I just have to upload a 90-second clip to YouTube explaining why I want the job. Do you think I should include a music track? Dad? Dad, say something."
"I would but it's not repeatable. Unless you do news in North Dakota."
COPYRIGHT © 2013 GREG SCHWEM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.