June 25, 2009

Your Assignment, Should You Choose to Accept - 6/25/09

It's time again for the weekly Writer's Workshop prompt from Mama Kat. Make sure you go over to her site and see this week's contributions! (Unpaid, non-celebrity endorsement).

Here are the prompts:
  1. Interview a child (Inspired by Quilao Triplets).
  2. How do you stave off boredom? (Inspired by Jenn's Pen).
  3. Write a poem for the little boy in your life (Inspired by Life with Kaishon).
  4. Describe a memorable interview or talk about your experience trying to find a job amidst this recession (Inspired by Lacey).
  5. Create a Help Wanted Ad (Inspired by Jenners).
I chose, for obvious and painful reasons, #4 right away. I also chose #5, it's below my job hunting saga.

4. Describe a memorable interview or talk about your experience trying to find a job amidst this recession.

I have been unemployed a long time, so long, it seems like forever. It's been 20 months since I got laid off from my last fulltime job.

I am so very tired of sending out resumes and not getting even one response. I got all excited a week or so ago because I got an actual REJECTION email. Woohoo, they know I exist...and they think I suck! I did a computer chair happy dance, I was so thrilled!

I'm not going to tell you about an interview today. I'm going to tell you about a brief email encounter I had with a recruiter last week.

Before I continue, let me say that I have fifteen years' experience in my chosen field. I am confident I have the skills to do the job I'm telling you about. It was a 3 month contract opportunity. A.Thirty.Mile.Commute.Each.Way.At.Twenty.Percent.Less.Than.I.Used.To.Make. In short, my dream job!

Here's the original email (*names have been changed to protect the ignorant):


Dear Applicant, (note the personal touch here. It made me feel so special.)

My name is Candid* and I'm a recruiter at Asshat* Services Corporation, formerly known as Arrogant* Technologies Corporation. Our records show that you are an experienced professional with experience in Dental Floss Braiding*. This experience is relevant to one of my current openings.

It is located in BFE*, MO.

Dental Floss Braider* Job Description

The position requires a self starter to update our floss*. [Boring details deleted] A trip to Hauppauge NY may be required for a week to obtain first hand information on some stuff* being turned over to the BFE* Operations staff.

If you are qualified, available, interested, planning to make a change, or know of a friend who might have the required qualifications and interest, please email me a copy of your latest resume, even if we have spoken recently about a different position. If you do respond via e-mail please include a daytime phone number so I can reach you. In considering candidates, time is of the essence, so please respond ASAP. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,
Candid Camera*
Arrogant* Services Corp.

Note: Please allow me to reiterate that I chose to contact you either because your resume had been posted to one of the internet job sites to which we subscribe, or you had previously submitted your resume to Asshat*. I assumed that you are either looking for a new employment opportunity, or you are interested in investigating the current job market.

If you are not currently seeking employment, or if you would prefer I contact you at some later date, please indicate your date of availability so that I may honor your request. In any event, I respectfully recommend you continue to avail yourself to the employment options and job market information we provide with our e-mail notices.

Thanks again.


First of all, note that he contacted ME about this particular position (and his email contained typos, which I corrected. That's not germane to the conversation here, I just like to point out obvious incompetence). At this point, I'm assuming that he has read my very informative and accurate resume, and thought I might be a good fit for this job.

I sent a copy of said resume to Candid*. It is important to remember that I have not worked in a fulltime position in my field since Oct. 2007

Candid's response:

Have you worked since Oct 2007?

Well, d'uh, Candid. I felt it was necessary to explain my absence from the workforce.

My response:

I had a short contract at the end of 2007, and had a job doing income taxes this year. I stayed home during 2008, to take care of my special needs son. In June, I moved to MO and got married. I have been looking for work here since June 2008.

Candid's response:
Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Nothing but the sound of crickets.

My reply (hoping not to sound desperate, I think it came across as just plain b*tchy - and I'm fine with that):

The economy was already beginning to tank in NY state in early 2008. By the time I arrived in MO last June, the slowdown had reached here, too.

I was fortunate to be able to spend this downtime looking after my son (who has bipolar disorder and an autism disorder). He is doing much better now, so I'm actively seeking employment again.

I took your question as being dismissive, meaning that you'd never submit my resume with that large of a gap. Am I correct?

Candid has not replied to my latest message. He must be too busy scrubbing my information from his hard drive and PDA.

The upshot? In this economy, four or five recruiters are fighting for this one position. I just keep responding to all of them, maybe one will be silly enough to give me a chance on this wonderful 3-month opportunity.

5. Write a Help Wanted Ad
When my daughters were younger, and arguing all the time about who got the biggest piece of cake or when they came to physical blows in the cereal aisle in the grocery store because I'd only let them buy ONE box of cereal, I would tell them that I was going to place an ad in the paper for GOOD KIDS, since I obviously shopped in the 'slightly irregular' bin when I got them (oooh, don't ya just love a long run-on sentence?).

I never carried through on my threat. Here's my chance:

Wanted: Obedient Children for Trade
Harried mom seeks 2 good natured girls. Must be polite, listen when spoken to, and have the ability to turn off light switches when they leave a room. Please be interested in cooperative play. Cleaning up after yourselves a big plus. All reasonable expenses will be paid. Must appreciate sarcasm. Must be willing to cut me some slack here.

Will trade 2 daughters who forget how good they have it in their current living situation.
If interested, please call 432 1234.


  1. I feel so bad how much I enjoyed reading the recruiter e-mail ... your "changes" were just so funny. But I seriously feel so bad for you ... it must be amazingly frustrating. Have you ever read Jen Lancaster's "Bitter Is The New Black"? I'm reading it now (very funny) but she writes about getting laid off and then her struggles to find a new job -- despite fantastic experience and success. Might be a nice read for you.

    And I looooooove your Help Wanted ad! I think my kid came from the irregular bin too!

  2. YOU are one talented writer...

    I thoroughly enjoyed that entire piece...

    Still no response from Asshat?

    Much Luck on the job hunt!!!

  3. Oy. What a jerk and very unprofessional.

    His email and your response reminded me of my favorite book, Save Karyn. There is a passage during which she is unemployed and includes responses that she got from employers. You might get a real kick out of it. Oh, and it's a true story, too!

    Love your blog!

  4. Hey I lived in BFE, MO for 2 years! Well St. Peter's anyway, but it felt like BFE!
    Loved the help wanted add, I'm sure I'll be writing something similiar in a few years for my boys!

  5. Ahhhh, I love how many people have enjoyed "Bitter." Because Jen clearly is brilliant.

    My writer heart hurts for yours in the waiting process for the next perfect words-related job. When you find it, can you hook me up with its younger, kinda cute brother? ;-)

  6. Thanks for all of the kind words and encouragement re the job search. I've pretty much given up hope for the time being.

    As an old fart, I think that employers are looking for the "bright and shiny" employees (code word: young).

    I've been practicing "Do you want fries with that?" in front of the mirror to prepare for my next career.

  7. You are hilarious! You could also get a blue smock and practice hello to yourself in a mirror ;)
    Good luck on your job search!!!! My grandparents have a fishing resort in BFE, MO (I don't know if BFE is an actual abbreviation of a town, but to me it stands for bumble f**k egypt, and that is for sure where they are)

  8. Sooo sad, really. This reminds me of the responses I get when I contact a help desk...usually in India! Do you feel like no one is...listening, or, rather, reading??

  9. How is it you don't have Candid Camera's job? How does that moron get a regular salary while you have to spell-check his work? Geez. Love the help wanted ad you posted and thanks for visiting my blog!

  10. Add to the age discrimination, no-response, no-reply frustrations the fact that many employers are now posting troll jobs - collecting resumes just to see what the talent pool is so they know which employees they can financially discriminate against without fear.

  11. Hey now, I used to clean up after myself!

  12. Good writing, as usual. You should just write a book. "My Life: A truly MOVING experience." Yes, I'll let you steal my title from my 5th grade autobiography.

  13. Yes, Erin, you did clean up. And I appreciated your efforts. thanks for letting me steal your title!

  14. Very amusing to us, probably not so much to you in this frustrating job market. I doubt you'll get any takers in the want ad. Most people prefer to keep the irregulars they know rather than take in someone else's irregulars. But, it did make me laugh.

    I’m sponsoring my first GIVEAWAY. Join in here:

  15. I guess I'm not a "bright and shiny" individual since no one has taken the time to see me yet for an interview....

    I'm waiting for my next letter:
    Dear Loser,
    Drop Dead.

    Trying to find a job just sucks!

    -The Gorgeous Cammy

  16. Cammy,
    You ARE bright and shiny. But be advised that in this economy, the average time to get a job is 120 days.

    Hang in there!


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!