I was just applying for a copywriting gig, and I had to answer this question:

If you had an opportunity to create/start whatever you wanted and were given 1 million dollars and six months, what would this thing be, and how would you go about making it happen?

Okay, if I had a million dollars, obviously I would buy 1/2 of a modernist house, give more money to NPR, and pay restaurants to cook me dinner every night. But because this potential employer wants to see a creative idea that sort of benefits humanity but also sounds like a campaign I might generate for a client (because that’s the business we’re in, people), I had to come up with something else. Here’s what I wrote:


I would trick out a bus with happy, feel-good (but modern and sophisticated) decor and tour it around the country, parking it in cities and towns and offering free 15-minute listening sessions to anyone and everyone. The bus would be staffed with people who had been trained in compassionate listening, and they’d all be dressed as manatees—big, blorpy, calm animals who just listen. Upon entering the bus, the customer/user would be greeted by one of the manatees, who would lead them to a private room. There, they’d be given 15 minutes to say whatever they needed to say. At the end, there would be a hug option. I’d also develop a bunch of social media apps where people all over the world could Tell-a-Manatee via website, text, iPhone, whatever — potentially resulting in a book of things people wanted to tell manatees. We’d make a music video of manatees singing about how much they want to hear everybody’s story and develop a plush manatee doll for people to hug. Probably by then Iā€™d be out of time and/or money.

Think I’ll get the job?

2 Responses to “Tell-a-Manatee”

  1. Claire Bailey says:

    I really hope you got this job!!!!! I would love to hug a manatee/just talk it out with one…or just someone dressed like one.

  2. admin says:

    Aw, thanks, Claire! No word on the job yet, but I want to hug a manatee, too! Or someone dressed like one. šŸ™‚

Leave a Reply