070.5 Publishing (according to theLivingWeb® Virtual Library)

You may be wondering why I write for no money (you’re probably not). Answer: by the time my illustrious career in journalism ground to a halt, that’s pretty much what I was doing. The best I ever did in that racket was about $45K a year, but I was working about 80 hours a week, commuting 3 hours a day, working for idiots who all but told me when I could take a shit and when I had to eat it, and editing some of the most horrendous copy that ever got put in some sucker’s mailbox.

I did that for five soul-crushing years before my company kicked me to the curb. Then I ended up writing for the local ad rags around here, covering stuff like Mrs. Gertie Jones wiped her ass today and that kind of crap, for what amounted to about $5 an hour. Then one day, I just said, “This is over.” Well, no, actually, I came as close as I ever care to to slitting my wrists, and a few weeks later, I said, “This is over.”

But, you know, looking back over that wonderful time I like to call “Fifteen years of my life I’ll never get back,” I actually thought I was the only one who’d had these kinds of experiences. Well, no, not really. But I’d never seen anyone else put it all in writing until I visited my new favorite Web site, JobVent.com. Loyal fans of whatever name I’m calling my blog this week might remember this as the site that proves WalMart is NOT the worst employer in the U.S. It’s only in the quadruple minus digits.

Well, the worst rating I saw for any publisher on JobVent was -753, for the Journal-Register chain of ad rags in the Northeast. JobVent also has less-than-stellar reviews for AdWeek magazine, the Boston Globe, the Chicago-Sun Times, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.

My momma always told me publishers were the cheapest MFs in the world. A guy in college told me back in the mid-80s, “There’s no money in print journalism.” And then my first boss in the newsletter mills told me we were working in a poverty industry. But did I listen?

Like Amy Winehouse says, “No, no, no.”