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I realize it’s been more than a little while since I’ve had to look for work.  It was – OMG – before the turn of the century, when I last performed a “cold call” job search.  Sure, I changed jobs during that time, but then I had an extensive network of insiders setting me on the fast track to employment nirvana.  My old contacts are just that now . . . OLD . . . retired to Tahiti, put out to pasture, or relegated to positions where their senility will cause as little harm as possible.  Boy, oh boy, have things changed.  Today the process of ferreting out a job has been electronified.  I know, electronified isn’t a word, but it should be ‘cause that’s exactly what’s happened.  Nothing can proceed in the real world until the requirements of the virtual world are met and there’s the rub.

SEO-type software is often the first obstacle to overcome.  My resume and/or application will be examined with an electronic eye to determine if I have the basic qualifications the potential employer desires.  In other words, no human discretion will be used in this initial assessment.  Stupid spiders can’t be dazzled with the brilliance of my writing skills and will send me straight to the shredder should I fail to satisfy their grubby, little appetites for repetitious goo.  I’m a smart gal and I can make the creepy crawlers happy by designing a masterpiece of “job duties” and “required skills” plagiarism.  Come on, it’s all right there in the job posting and I know how to cut and paste.  Duh.

Provided the insidious insects are sated, this compilation of mind-numbing glop is passed on to a real live human.  Worse, in the case of the technically-challenged organization, it will go directly to this poor schmuck.  This pitiable individual has already been tortured with reading the 50 piles of crap arriving prior to mine.  If those applicants have also provided the requisite spider slime, the unfortunate breather will doubtless be a blithering idiot at best and most likely completely comatose.  Let’s say, my maggot-num opus actually reaches the desk of someone still able to put three words together in a coherent sentence.  This tour de farce will – and rightly so – be delivered unceremoniously to the nearest trash heap.

So my struggle to create that perfect balance of literary luminosity and bug bait continues thus far with little-to-no success.  Did I mention this work of genius must be two pages or less?  I’m confident I have the experience and ability to exceed all expectations as well as the performance of any predecessors once I’ve secured a position.  We all know how wonderful I am.  Hey, you in the peanut gallery . . . we don’t need your disparaging commentary, so stuff a sock in it. 

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, I’m flooding the electronoverse with my perpetually-revised, self promotion and waiting for an opportunity to deal with the next hurtle.  What could possibly stand between me and the job of my dreams (read any flippin’ thing that pays the bills)?  How do I help some poor child – that hasn’t filled as many posts as I had before they were out of diapers – get through the interview process and recognize my virtuosity?  But then that’s another story.

This post was written for The Mindslam Write Wednesday prompt – What has been your favorite job so far? If you haven’t had one yet, what would it be?

  

Dear Hiring Monkey,

You have indicated only applicants providing a “custom” cover letter will be considered for the underpaid, dead-end position you are seeking to fill.  I am happy to comply.  Sure, I have a finely-crafted, informative cover letter I modify for use in conjunction with my professional and well-written resume when applying for employment.  I am, however, certain it would not provide what you need to assess my ability to perform your abysmal inventory of responsibilities or meet your incongruous catalog of qualifications.  I’m unemployed and have nothing better to do than write such a letter.  I will strive to use proper spelling, punctuation and formatting, unlike your advertisement.  Still, who am I to criticize?  You have a job and I don’t. 

It may not be obvious to you from said resume that I have twenty plus years of experience in my field as well as significant accomplishments and formal education.  I could do the job as presented in your ad half asleep with one hand tied behind my back.  Of course, I am unclear what “other duties as assigned” entails, but I’m confident I am capable of completing any undertaking you might require.  I will perform beyond your expectations as a team playing independent worker.  I have excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to work unsupervised, but would never dream of applying same without the expressed and written permission of a micro-managing superior.  I live to make my boss look good and provide great ideas that others will take credit for.

I believe in work – life balance . . . for those that have climbed your corporate ladder much higher than I might ever aspire to and fully expect to work late nights and weekends assuring upper management goals and objectives are met.  How else can your organization afford bonuses for those so much more deserving than I?  I understand my place in the hierarchy and appreciate the unstated obligation to drown if necessary so my manager can stand on my shoulders to keep his/her head above water.  I also make an exceptional scapegoat should the need ever arise.

I ask only minimal payment for my labors and have no need for acknowledgement of my contributions in the form of either praise or compensation.  I understand you cannot shoulder the expense of inconsequential perks such as medical insurance, paid time off or retirement and the cost for any benefits will be paid for by me plus, of course, a small administrative fee. 

I hope this letter gives you better insight for gauging my considerable talents and how valuable an addition I would be to the staff of your fine company.  Let’s get together and talk.  Over coffee perhaps?  Of course, I’m glad to pick up the tab.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Now that . . . what can only be called . . . my sabbatical gone bad nears an end, I have engaged in a search for gainful employment.  I crafted a personal sales brochure, otherwise known as my resume with cover letter.  It is a masterpiece of marketing, extolling the acumen of my past accomplishments, articulating the aptitude of my skills and generally eulogizing the genius of  . . . well . . . me.  My e-mail box should have been overflowing with offers, but not so much.  It seems the world has a surplus of out of work virtuosos in my field and I don’t seem to be “fitting” the exacting requirements of those in need of my particular expertise.

What to do?  Mass marketing is the answer I have come up with.  I decided to apply for anything I might have even a remote chance of being considered for.  And how is that working out for me?  I have been inundated with responses.  I’d have to say I’ve been hit up by every scam out there.  Beware Craigslist want ads.  Of the genuine businesses I’ve managed to contact . . . oh yeah . . . the computer-generated replies have been copious.  You know the standard . . . “Thank you for your interest blah, blah, blah and don’t call us, we’ll call you.”  As for real live people . . . I can’t be totally positive, but I think there has been ONE.

Can you imagine my joy in finding an e-mail from what appears to be a person saying a legitimate company was interested in me?  Oh go ahead, of course, you can.  Picture the sweet, young thing from the “go to college in your PJs” commercial.  Now age her significantly; replace the sexy, little pajamas with ratty yoga pants and a wife-beater; mess the hair into a frizzy, uncombed mass contained by a one of those clawed, clippie things; and animate that image dancing (badly) round a kitchen with dirty dishes in the sink and a pile of unwashed laundry on the floor.  There, you’ve got it.

The response came from the corporate office of a chain of . . . well, shall we say . . . naughty stores.  My brain went into overdrive with questions and scenarios.  Would thigh-high boots and a vinyl cat suit qualify as professional attire?  I was going to have to reassess my wardrobe.   Would I be permitted to whip my boss when he or she acts like a dick?  Bad boss . . . lick my boot.  Would I get an employee discount?  Massage oil, vibrators and cock rings for everybody this Christmas.  Instead of sick days, would I get sex days?  Okay, that may have been a little over the top. 

Seriously though, I was thrilled.  I have no objections to the retail sex industry.  The boyfriend even got me a preferred customer card from one of the more conservative chains.  (Yes, Babe, I got your message.)  If I were to land the job, Mum would get over it . . . eventually . . . and I’m sure her pacemaker would kick in before she suffered any permanent damage.   I’m not certain what she would tell her friends at Wednesday morning prayer meeting, but I know she’d think of something creative.

I was confident they only had to meet me to realize what an outstanding hire I am and what a stellar employee I would be.  There was but one obstacle in my way.  They wanted me to take a core values (CVI) survey prior to setting up the interview.  I consider myself a sincere, congenial person with integrity and a strong work ethic.  Without hesitation, I completed the questionnaire and e-mailed the results back to my one and only human-seeming contact.  What could I possibly have to fear?

So, you tell me . . . what does it say when a company that sells sex toys, videos and paraphernalia finds my core values not to be in line with that of their corporation?  Do you think I should be worried?

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