About Me

My photo
I am a full-time mama with a passion for writing and talking to fascinating people. I live in a one horse town with a Cowboy and my son. Thank Lord for cyberspace! I lived a colourful life in Sydney for a number of years. Working in advertising and journalism for FPC and the Sydney Morning Herald. During my time in Sydney I competed in a Dragon Boat race, choreographed a dragshow, used the Share Accomodation advertisements as a way to meet men and was told by Noiseworks frontrunner Jon Stevens that I was a bitch! Then came the decision to move back to country for 3 months to help out my Father with newspaper business while he was having treatment. Convinced I was a city girl I was caught by surprise when I fell in love with a farmer (and no, he didn't want a wife... still doesn't it seems!) convinced him that we needed to see the world, popped off to Vietnam to teach english in Saigon - before realising that the "food" in Nam didn't agree with me... turned out to be Monte - my son who is now with the Cowboy and I back in country NSW! I am in a wonderful stage of my life where I am focusing on the things that really make me tick. Including writing these chronicles.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Part two - from Cold Call to Dream Job

If you haven't read Part One this story might not make sense. Read it here

Months after the now infamous 'Staffie' presentation, things went South for me.
I broke up with the boyfriend I had been seeing, got some horrendous flatmates who did the 'runner' on me and had all but had enough of the fast pace of life in general.
- A quarter life crisis of sorts.
I took weeks off work and returned temporarily to Hay for some R'n'R.
In this time I didn't know where to turn, what to do.
I didn't feel like working for FPC anymore, didn't really feel like Sydney much anymore - - it was a transitional period where... I just didn't know.
Wallowing in self-pity and being waited on hand and foot by my parents was what I felt I needed.
Then, most unexpectedly I received a phonecall, at my parents house in Hay , from... Frank.
I couldn't mistake that posh english accent, but hearing it at my parent's house in Hay caught me offguard.
"What the bloody hell are you doing in Hay," the voice said " I wondered why no-one had rang me to harrass me for ad-copy?"
I explained to Frank that things were a bit crook for me.
Although he was my 'client' he had gradually made the transition to 'friend'.
I found myself opening up to him about an array of things - often only to get a rush of advice, laughed at, or told how ridiculous I was being.
Usually the latter.
On this occassion he sensed things were not so rosy for the Staffie and told me to stop wallowing in it and to get on with becoming his 'brush with fame'.
I shook my head and laughed.
Why did this man think I was so wonderful? He unnerved me a bit.
Two days later I received a phonecall from a stranger named Sonia.
She also sounded posh.
Said she was calling from the Sydney Morning Herald because her client Frank had said I was someone that she 'needed' to talk to.
Again, I was offguard.
I had been at my parents indulging in self-pity.
I didn't feel like being upbeat or trying to impress anyone.
What was going on?
Sonia asked when I was to return to Sydney.
I said "In a couple of weeks"
"Well, I would just love to meet you. Frank has told me all sorts of wonderful things about you and we have a job opening up. Could you come in for a chat?"
" Yes, yes - I would love to" I said - faking the happiness til I made it.
And so, without any effort on my part - I had an interview lined up at the Sydney Morning Herald.
Wow, thanks Frank!
He really was morphing from just the posh man on the phone to an absolute guardian angel.
A couple of weeks of self-pity came to a quick end and soon I found myself back again in the hustle and bustle.
Soon I found myself nervously pacing the foyer of the Fairfax building awaiting a lady named Sonia.
"You must be Sharni," a lovely Indian lady with an English accent smiled warmly
"Oh , yes, Hi" I said
"Frank has told me so much about you," she said as she lead me to the elevator.
The interview was so comfortable - I felt I didn't need to say much - my praises had already been sung - and Frank's company were one of the Herald's major advertisers - so they listened to what this man had to say.
Within 2 days I had a job as Advertising Account Manager of Spectrum in the Sydney Morning Herald.
I could hardly believe it.
I had no university qualifications and this sounded as though it would have been a terribly competitive job to get.
It all seemed so easy.
At the SMH my nick-name from Frank evolved from Staffie to Top Cat and Frank continued to be looked after by me and his business increased with the SMH by about 60%.
I put together another presentation for him.
This time, it seemed fitting to do it in the theme of Top Cat.
What fun I had with this presentation.
Again, the bosses thought I was mad - until the presentation came off and they were more assured that employing me on this man's recommendation was the right thing to do.
Never in my life did I think I would ever be given a job at the Sydney Morning Herald.
I worked there for about 3 years.
The vast amount I learnt during this time about the media, advertising, client relations, marketing - you name it - was absolutely invaluable. I also made friends that I will treasure for life.
The icing on the cake?
It had been my lifelong ambition to be a writer and from this job at the Herald I even had two stories published!
You can view them here and here
- The possibility of this happening for me had been beyond my wildest dreams.
An incredible line up of events were all made possible by this man's belief in me.
When I decided to leave the Herald, and Sydney - Frank invited me to his showroom where he allowed me to choose any piece of furniture to take with me as a parting gift...
Can this bloke get any nicer?
Well yes, it seems it is just part and parcel of him. Since being back in Hay he has donated furniture to the Drought Relief, advertised in our paper in Hay (probably thinking will I EVER escape this Staffie???) gave us a fantastic deal on our furniture which now proudly adorns our house AND continues to be my friend to this day - now as a Stay at Home Mum - with NOTHING TO SELL him he must be breathing many sighs of relief!
Oh - and he still says I will be his Brush with Fame -
so do me a favour and help me prove him right. He deserves it.


  1. Sharni, I got goosebumps reading your story. How amazing! I'd say Frank got a lot out of seeing you succeed as well. Don't despair about being a stay at home mum in Hay. I think Frank is right on the money about you. All your experiences get you to where you end up. I can't offer you any great jobs, advertising business, or furniture, bu keep writing and I'll keep reading.

  2. Sharni,
    what a wonderful experience to have. Isn't it amazing when people surprise us with such support right when we need it most. Frank's actions are a real testament to the beautiful person you are!

  3. This was a great personal story to read - you had me intrigued and wanting more the whole way through! Frank sounds like a rewarding friend to have. :)

  4. Thanks for your lovely comments gals


Lovin' your thoughts leave them here or email me direct.
Oh and Hi!