‘You got my attention’

A little interview left a big impact.

I didn’t have a relationship with Mr. McCawley at all. I only met him one time. That was many years ago. He interviewed me for a journalist/cartooning position after I had sent him a letter requesting a job creating cartoons for The Republic on current local stories.

He told me he was impressed with my drawings and the decorated envelope I had sent my résumé in. My résumé was more of a letter stating I had no resume, no training, no degrees and in fact I had only a G.E.D. and was a self-taught amateur cartoonist.

He still took time to meet with me and treated me with much respect, I felt, equally to if I had had top honors. He said, “Do you know why you are sitting here? It is because you got my attention.” He pulled out my cartooned large envelope which held my letter. On it was written, “Don’t throw me away” with a harried-looking cartoon man with stacks of mail all around him looking at the trash can.

After talking a few minutes, he offered me the job of my dreams. I am sure he could sense I was nervous. He was down-to-earth and put me right at ease.

He explained although I requested to work from home, I couldn’t do the entire job from home. I would have to go out to interview people for stories. Then immediately, I decided to not take the job I was begging to get. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mother more than I wanted to be a cartoonist. It wasn’t my season. I embarrassingly told Mr McCawley this and told him I guess I’d pass on the job and in more detail why.

He stood up and walked around a large desk and shook my hand, placing his other hand on top my arm. He smiled and said he was proud of me and said I chose the better job and he wished more would if it was available to them. He assured me to call him when it was ‘the right season’ when the kids were grown and he would hire me on the spot. It made this homemaker feel even more proud of my career.

Even though I felt being a stay-at-home mom was best for my family, I do not judge others who have to or want to work while they raise their family. As Mr. McCawley discussed with me, it is what was right for me and my family at the time.

His message summed up “What is best can change over the years; what is right for you now is what is right to do now.'” His words have been a gift over many years.

Hopefully, he has reached his heaven and perhaps he will be asked, “Why do you think you are sitting here? It is because you got my attention.” He will smile and his eyes will twinkle and he can say, “What is right for me now is what is right to do now”.

– Barbara Batchelor Richardson, Columbus