Okay, so I'm not that bad, but you get the idea.
Anyway, the point of the matter is that this job was taken. Someone else had been chosen and I've known this for about a month. However, during some desperate Craigslist surfing today, I came across the month old ad again and decided to shoot the author a little email, just to check in with how things were going with the editing process. You know, making sure all of her editing needs were being met. Well, it turns out that her selected editor has gone a little AWOL. She was impressed with my initiative and pitched a bit of her story my way as an audition. If she likes what she sees, the gig is mine.
Valuable lesson learned today: Even when you don't get the job, that doesn't mean severing ties with the potential client. This can be applied to almost any field of work. Check in a few weeks later, be friendly (but professional!) and inquire as to how things are going. Most of the time, the client will not change horses like my potential one is willing to do, but even if they aren't, they will be sure to remember your initiative the next time that they are searching for someone to hire.