I was so right.
Here's the email I sent:
Hi Mr Davison, my name’s Michael D’Agostino.
I’m writing because I spoke to your on-field announcer during the finals series last month. He said you’re the person to approach for anyone wanting a similar job. I’d love to join your organisation in a hosting/announcing capacity. Obviously not at the expense of anyone else’s job, but maybe as a backup for emergencies or a next-in-line if a current announcer leaves. I’ve included a link to my LinkedIn profile which details in the summary section exactly what my experience is with hosting and performing. I’d love to hear back from you so we can get better acquainted.
Congratulations on running such a hugely successful finals campaign. Despite the result, baseball is certainly gaining recognition in Australia and we have people like you to thank for it.
Thanks for your time,
I sent that and forgot about it. It was five whole days (the following Monday) before I heard a response. But sure enough, I was casually checking my emails when I saw one from "NDavison Re:Announcer". My heart got lodged for a second at the surprise and I had to unjam it before I could read the email. But eventually, I read this...
Thanks Michael for your email and registration of interest,
I am always interested in speaking to people who have a passion for baseball and take the time and initiative to make contact with me.
It is probably best to sit down at some stage in the coming months perhaps over a coffee and see what might be available.
Let me know when you are available, be it in working hours or out of and we can go from there.
Excitement was the main word I could use to describe my demeanour for the rest of the day. But it was tempered with a bit of humility. I was embarrassed at being told I had initiative. It's not something I'd ever seen in myself. I was explaining as much to my Mum that night.
'I don't think that shows initiative, I only emailed him because that guy I spoke to at the game told me he was the guy to talk to.'
'And why were you talking to the guy at the game?' asked Mum innocently.
'Well... I guess I did make the decision to chase him down. But I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't doing this "fear of failure" thing.'
Mum didn't say anything, just kept making dinner with a knowing smile. It allowed my slow brain time to connect the dots.
'Oh, and this experiment is something I did off my own back too! Wow, maybe I do have initiative!'
Unfortunately, I didn't hear back again from Nathan for a long time. That Friday I decided to send a second email confirming that he'd read the first. It was Monday again by the time he got back to me. It basically said
9:30am Wednesday, Cibo on The Parade.
Done. I locked it in. This was happening.
No it wasn't.
Apologies for the late notice, he emailed again the night before our meeting. We've got our MVP dinner coming up and there's far too much to do. Can you do Thursday at 10:30 instead?
I rearranged my schedule and replied, saying it was okay. Thursday came around and I headed over to Norwood. I found a park and was ready to head to the cafe, but I had a feeling... Just call it intuition. I took out my phone and sent Nathan a text message (I'd gotten his number from the receptionist at head office). It read.
Hi Nathan, it's Michael D'Agostino. Just double-checking we're still on for 10:30? I just found a park.
Sure enough, five minutes later:
Hi Michael. Apologies again, I know it might feel like I'm giving you the run around. I'm still packing up from the MVP awards last night so I'm an hour away at least. Brett Marshall is the assistant GM, he's a good person to speak to. I'll give him a call to make sure he's in the office.
Okay as far as results go, there are worse ones than that. I'd at least be speaking to someone and wouldn't have to go home and reschedule again. I made the short walk to the Bite head office and was greeted by a short man with an American accent who was wearing a zipped-up parker and a flat-brim baseball cap. Both had Adelaide Bite insignia on them. He took me upstairs to his office while I asked him how the MVP awards had gone.
'Really good,' he said in a laid-back way. We held it at the SAJC, they've been really good with events. All the staff were very capable and the food was great. Here, have a seat.' He sat me down in a computer chair and he sat in a matching chair in front of me.
'And who won in the end?' I asked, a split second before realising that I didn't know any of the players.
'_______ _______,' he replied.
'Oh sweet,' I said, hoping I'd pulled it off.
'It's kind of like when you look at all the stats in front of you, who else was it going to go to? It was kind of a formality in the end.'
'Yeah, of course,' I agreed and shut my mouth before I could say anything stupid.
'So Davo tells me you'd like to join us as an announcer.'
'Yes, that's right.'
'What appeals to you about it?' He'd adopted that stance and tone of voice that bosses use when they're formally interviewing someone.
'I just love entertaining people. I love any job where one of the requirements is just to be as outgoing and personable as possible.'
'So you've had experience then?'
'Oh definitely. I host quiz nights, I work on radio, I do stand-up comedy...'
'So you're no stranger to public speaking,' he chuckled. 'I'm the opposite, I just feel their eyes boring into me.'
I chuckled back, but I'd become a bit nervous. To be honest, I hadn't expected this to be a proper job interview. The tone of the emails I'd had with Nathan made me think it would just be an informal chat just so they could find out exactly what I want to do for the team and whether they have a spot for it. In fact, having looked at the website, I wasn't even sure there would be a paid position on offer. They seemed to only have about eight staff members and there was a section where you could apply as a volunteer. One of the volunteering positions was in "On-field promotions & entertainment". Luckily I'd decided to wear a shirt and slacks, but I hadn't done any prep on what questions I might be asked.
We continued chatting and as the interview went on, I started to pick up signs that he liked me. Some of the language he used and the way he looked at me indicated that the position of the off-field announcer would become vacant soon and if I was capable, I'd be the one to fill it. He described how he wasn't too happy with the announcer they had now because he used too much jargon and it went over the heads of the casual fans who were there for the first time. Half way through, in walked the on-field announcer who first told me to email Nathan. He started contributing to the interview and I could tell he was interested in me too. He brought up that he also announces for the Adelaide Adrenaline (ice hockey) and that he needs someone to help out there too. Would I be willing to do that?
"Yeah, absolutely!" I said. Obvious question.
The interview finished and Brett told me he'd report back to Nathan and get back in touch with me.
'Can I ask when I can expect a call back by?'
'Oh, definitely within a week,' he said. 'Here, I'll give you my card so you can call me back if you need to.' I took the card and, studying it, said
'So if I don't hear anything by Thursday...'
'Even Wednesday,' he replied encouragingly.
The other guy asked for my phone number too so he could get in touch with me about the Adrenaline. Unlike the Bite, the ice hockey was already in preseason, so I could start there straight away. I walked out of the building feeling very confident that I'd made a good impression. But just to make sure, I grabbed two cartons of Lindt chocolate out of the car and dropped them off with the receptionist. I told her to spread it around the office and to tell Brett that Michael said thanks. Now I just have to wait.