Karly Pavlinac Blackburn posted her story on LinkedIn and it went viral, but it also brought attention to a Hillsboro Instacart driver that wouldn’t give up.
HILLSBORO, Ore. — Denise Baldwin has been delivering for Instacart for about six months.
“Orders come and go, so that’s probably the hardest part is just getting enough orders in a day,” Baldwin said.
On Sept. 8 when she opened her Instacart app, an order had just come in from a Hillsboro Albertson’s grocery store.
“It was just something that I was just a little bit shocked by,” Baldwin said.
She was shocked because the order was to deliver a half sheet, vanilla-flavored cake with a resume printed on it. The delivery address was Nike’s main Beaverton campus.
“I’ve always wanted to deliver to Nike, but I know that there’s a lot of security behind it,” Baldwin said.
OTHER STORIES: Iconic Nike waffle shoes worn by legendary distance runner Steve Prefontaine up for auction
North Carolina native Karly Pavlinac Blackburn ordered the resume cake. She was just laid off from a marketing job and had spent time sending out resume after resume the traditional way.
“I have gotten hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of ‘You’re not a fit for this job,’ emails and rejections and stuff,” Pavlinac Blackburn said.
But she was determined. She set her eyes on Nike’s Valiant Labs as her next career. There was only one problem.
“The problem was they weren’t hiring for a position on a team that day,” said Pavlinac Blackburn.
Fifty dollars later, and the resume cake was on its way to Nike inside Baldwin’s car. With her 8-month-old son on her hip and a half-sheet cake in her hand, Baldwin was not going to let Pavlinac Blackburn down.
“I had told her on the phone when I was at security, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to make sure that this gets to the right person for you because I know how important this is for you, and that means that it’s important for me,”‘ Baldwin said. “Talked to security and they were like, ‘You can just leave the cake,’ and I was like, ‘No, I need to make sure it gets delivered to Mac Myers.”‘
Baldwin’s unwavering determination paid off. As proof of delivery, she took a picture of Myers, a lead at Nike’s Valiant Labs, holding the cake.
“I was fully prepared to have the cake not get there or just sit somewhere in Nike. Sit at the security desk, no one sees it, have no idea if anyone got it,” said Pavlinac Blackburn.
Baldwin walked out of Nike’s Lebron James building and went back to delivering more orders. It was a little different than her typical order, but as far as she was concerned, her delivery was complete and that was that.
Then on Sept. 20, Pavlinac Blackburn posted the story on her LinkedIn page to share what she thought was a cool story of ingenuity and to praise Baldwin’s determination.
Pavlinac Blackburn thought it might get a few reactions. Instead, it went viral with more than 75,000 reactions and thousands of shares and comments.
“So many messages of going after what you want and people sending me job openings,” Pavlinac Blackburn said about the positive messages.
Not surprisingly, there was also plenty of negative comments coming in, too
“For those that are criticizing, what would they have done to a company that’s really hard to get the attention of?” said Jenny Foss, a Lake Oswego job search consultant with Job Jenny. “I am a big ‘fortune favors the bold’ person. While there are certainly people who would think that might not be a good idea, I guess my point is, if you did nothing, nothing would happen.”
OTHER STORIES: Nike focuses on sustainable sportswear with new line
The post has not only helped Pavlinac Blackburn get a foot and a cake in the door at Nike. Although she doesn’t have a job offer, it’s also helped give Baldwin recognition. People are praising the single mother of three with one on the way for how hard she worked to deliver the cake.
“She made me cry because it’s not everyday you get somebody acknowledging you for something like that. It was huge,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin added that she and Pavlinac Blackburn have continued to talk since that Sept. 8 delivery. Pavlinac Blackburn said she will mentor Baldwin twice a week and help her find a full-time job.
Baldwin said she too would love to work for Nike in retail or sales.
“If she can get a job and help her family, that’s like the coolest thing that could come out of this,” Pavlinac Blackburn said.
That cake was delivered to the campus on their ‘Just Do It Day’, a busy campus-wide celebration of their famous slogan that brought basketball stars like LeBron James and Sheryl Swoopes on campus.