Sunday, January 10, 2010

Letter of Recommendation

Dear Library Job-Seeker:

While it is a noble endeavor for you to seek out a position at the local public library, which you find to be an environment befitting your high intellectual standards, with complete disregard for your future financial viability, it behooves me to illustrate the many reasons why you would be better suited to seek a job elsewhere. Let me count the ways.

1. You have, as you pointed out, six years of experience in the US military, which can be excellent training for someone like yourself in fields perhaps not available to you as a civilian. In addition to the excellent discipline the Army taught you, evident in your sloppy appearance, poor posture, and long, shaggy locks, it seems your training is so specialized that it is not even applicable to any commercial field in the country you defended. The irony isn't amusing, is it? We didn't think so either. So all this experience you have really doesn't translate into any value I see before me, and that's only going to hurt you, I'm afraid.

2. You're tall. You're almost too tall. It's painful to speak with you because my neck hurts trying to make eye contact, and if I look straight ahead to give my neck a break, I find myself staring at the bottom of the obnoxious, silk-screened logo on your dirty T-shirt, right where the brown stain is that clearly won't come out in 20-30 washes. Unpleasant for me. Again, your loss.

3. The last time you were in, you requested books that were not only creepy, but you confessed a strange fascination with this creepy subject. This frightened me. There are enough frightening people in the world who I experience with a reference desk between us, but if you were to be sitting alongside me, I would have to cry. Often. And hard. And I'd have to carry a weapon. And that would lead to biological messes, which I want no part of, so, though it bears repeating, this isn't working out in your favor.

4. Remember the "monkeys" you referred to who install cable, who you felt might make you miserable to work with, what with your dazzling intelligence being so wasted upon such neanderthals? Those "monkeys" are precisely the people you would be dealing with at the library, in larger quantities. Instead of working mostly alone doing cable installation, having to check in or work occasionally in teams with the people you are so much better than, you'd be working mostly alone at a desk in a library, far away from the people you might regard as more your equals, and the "monkeys" will be counting on your help day in and day out, questions and services demanded of you numbering well into the tens, if not near one hundred in a given day. If you're trying to escape the working class, the blue collar folks, the ones without degrees, the people who don't think you're as superior as you seem to think you are, then this library is not the place for you. You would be surprised how many of us identify more with the "monkeys" than the self-proclaimed elitist numbskulls like yourself. While that sucks for you, I think it's probably to the benefit of not only the staff I speak for, but the community I am here to help.

Surprisingly, the number of reasons to reject you as a potential coworker number only four, but what they lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality, and qualities are precisely what you are blindingly lacking yourself. You, sir, are a pompous punk, and not only would you not fit in at our library, but you haven't the constitution to do a job like ours, and assuming you do proves how dumb you really are.

Keep on walking, Mr. Job-Seeker. We are sorry you don't want to disgrace yourself by attempting a laborious job that would pair you with someone you feel is beneath you, but perhaps that's exactly the type of job that would give you the skills you need to function in the real world. Confidence is dandy, but you have to have substance to back it up, and that is not something the Army was able to provide to you. Good luck finding a way to support yourself.

Though I have no say in the hiring of any applicant for any position at my library, you asked me, a total stranger, to put in a good word for you, and I feel that this letter is about as good as it will ever get. Do with it as you wish.

Sincerely,
Happy Villain

8 comments:

Cat. said...

Did this guy also mention that he wants to work there so he can "sit and read books all day"? I love it when people tell me that when they ask about open positions.

Bet the Army was glad to be rid of this guy. "Pompous punk" is a perfect description of people like him.

GeekChic said...

Actually - the guy sounds like he has a bit of PTSD and some reintegration issues. A lot of vets do (I did when I left the Canadian service).

Not that that excuses bad behaviour - but it does explain it a bit.

Anonymous said...

"Monkeys?" That's stunning enough but you do know that the Army has dropped standards so low that higher primates go straight to officers' training school? If job applicant was tagged as lowly grunt only, be kind, back away slowly, and keep that reference desk between you and wunderkind.

Happy Villain said...

Cat:
No, he didn't mention that, but I do hear that a lot too. And I hear stories all the time about soldiers who can't find jobs once out of the Army, but this guy whispered about how awful the monkeys were, as if he assumed I'd agree, and that made him much different from the read-books-all-day applicants.

GeekChic:
I suppose it's possible he has PTSD. I read that the Army could actually go bankrupt from treating all the returning soldiers for their PTSD issues throughout their lifetime, so I think of that often. If that's his problem, hopefully he'll receive treatment.

Anon:
I read about that too! That they're letting felons in and people who couldn't pass the ASVAB tests, and the rest of the military has to deal with the sub-standard recruits. Eek. Yeah, I was kind to him, nodded blankly and gave him my weak smile, and when he was gone, I had a lone, silent eyerolling, OMGWTF conversation in my head.

Leelu said...

When I was a callow, innocent 17-year-old, I applied to my local library under the assumption that library patrons would have to have some modicum of intelligence and civility—why else would they be there, after all?

I've been disillusioned. Hard. Curiously, I still enjoy it, more often than not. I'm still utterly baffled by applicants who think we do nothing but read all day, though.

In other news, I missed you today something fierce. It was horrible.

Mary Ellen said...

I just want to know what the creepy subject he was interested in was.

GeekChic said...

I had a bigger problem with reintegration than with PTSD itself. Civilian life just seemed... fake... if that makes sense (probably doesn't).

Even though some aspects of all military training are transferable to civilian life - it was hard to see that when life seemed without purpose (not suicidal - just didn't seem like I was doing anything worthwhile... sometimes still feel that way). Anyway... I'm rambling.

Lummox said...

HV: So, does that mean I get the job? ;)