Courtesy of Dallas Morning News

Politics & Government

Tristan Hallman Stole My Job as the Mayor’s PR Guy

No justice, no peace.

I was out of the office yesterday and away from the internet. Imagine my white-hot anger when I returned to work, checked in on FrontBurner, and learned that an editor at the Morning News named Tristan Hallman had stolen my next job opportunity (to its credit, the News broke the story). For now, I am going to ignore the fact that Hallman got the job before it was publicly posted. Similarly, I will ignore the conflict of interest that existed in the weeks that Hallman oversaw coverage of City Hall while he was simultaneously interviewing for a job at City Hall. No, what I want to talk about is how I was the ideal candidate for the job and got screwed. Let’s have a look at the job posting that was live for just four hours.

Under “position purpose,” the posting reads: “Plans develop and coordinate communications, media and public and community engagement activities for the Office of the Mayor.” So plans are developing? Or should that read: “Plans, develops, and coordinates communications, and media and public and community engagement activities for the Office of the Mayor.” Clearly I am good with verb engagement activities and comma coordination.

Under “essential functions,” the posting reads: “Organizes and facilitates media events, press conferences and related special events regarding Mayoral events and non-campaign related activities.” Naw, that’s not going to work for me. I think most of the media folks in Dallas don’t like me, and that includes a fair number on the D Magazine staff. When people make mistakes, I point them out, oftentimes in a snotty way. I’ve worked in this town too long. Too many beefs. If I had to organize and facilitate a media event or a press conference, no one would show up.

Under that same “essential functions” heading, the posting reads: “Prepares speeches, talking points, and other information material for Council members as assigned.” Out! I’m not going to name any names, but there are three council members I definitely ain’t writing any speeches for, and I’m talking about Lee Kleinman, Jennifer Gates, and Tennell Atkins. I’ve covered these people for too long. I’ve said some really mean things about their Christmas sweaters on the City Council’s Christmas Sweater Day. It would be awkward.

But hang on. Just look at what the job posting says under “work environment and physical requirements”: “Work is typically performed in both standard office and outdoor environments, with potential exposure to adverse weather conditions.” Dude, I dominate in adverse weather conditions! A couple years ago, I drove from Breckenridge, Colorado, to Dallas in a fully packed 2008 Honda Pilot, and during the nonstop trip, I hit three types of adverse weather conditions. In order: driving snow in Colorado, blinding dust storm near Amarillo (with hellacious tumbleweeds), and heavy nighttime thunderstorm as we approached North Texas. All three of my family members survived.

Also, a tree once fell on me, and I didn’t get a scratch.

No way does Tristan Hallman have a résumé that comes close to mine, adverse weather wise. Any hiring manager would obviously overlook all that stuff I’m not qualified to do and hire me based on meteorological considerations. And yet who got the job? Yet another guy from the Dallas Morning News.

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