Friday, February 20, 2009

I couldn't help myself!

This morning's post got me on a roll. Per my disclaimer earlier, if my sense of humor and cynicism aren't your style, I won't be offended. Kindly just don't read this post and wait for my next one. I promise to be in a better mood, soon.

In the mean time, for anyone who has ever gone through the grueling process of a year-long job search, please find the cover letter I WISH I could send below.

Thanks for letting me ramble and rant today. I feel much better and am excited for a fun and restful weekend.

Happy Reading


Mailing address here, even though you’ll never send me anything based on this address
Phone number and email here, even though you’ll still get it wrong and use the one from the on-line application to contact me

February 20, 2009

Employers name here
Employers address here (even though I am submitting this electronically so this should actually read something like: Computer on the desk of the assistant to highest-ranking person on the hiring committee)

Dear People Who Intend To Judge Me:

Please accept this letter and my resume as my official application for the job for which you are hiring. I learned about this position opening in one of two ways: either one of my colleagues sent me a posting or I found the posting listed on line at your institution’s website. If the former, when I received the email I felt a little twang of embarrassment that I’m still the friend and colleague who needs help finding a job. If the latter, when I found this job posted I likely felt simultaneously elated by the idea doing the job and overwhelmed by the idea of applying for it. Also, if the latter, send a note of thanks to your human resources department for making it almost impossible to find job postings on the web. That’s a real help when you are desperate to find work.

I will now demonstrate that, by this point in the cover letter, you are no longer actually reading the letter but rather simply skimming it. I will demonstrate this by typing for the remainder of this line using only the home row. Ready? Here goes. Asdfjk;asdfjkl;asdfjkl
That was fun, wasn’t it? It reminded me of a glissando on the piano. Don’t know what a glissando is? That is really too bad, isn’t it? Did you like how I made reference to the home row, too? That shows I have the basic computer skills of a potato. Don’t know what the home row is? Again, too bad. Hey, instead of judging me and round-filing this letter, why not be the bigger person and go look up home row and glissando? I’ll bet you’ll thank me later. Just think of how impressed they’ll be at the next administrative luncheon when you mention one or both of those in casual conversation?!

Oh, and by the way, I know I’m not supposed to use contractions in a formal letter like this, but I just can’t help m’self. It is just too much fun! Get over it.

So, about my qualifications: I have some. I started my journey in this field almost 10 years ago, but by your requirements, I have just over 1 year of experience. That’s a kick in the pants, isn’t it? Regardless of if you consider it qualification or not, here’s what I’ve done: student activities, orientation, career services, programming, advising, disability services, assessment, teaching, admissions, and leadership development. In addition to all that, I worked for a number of years outside the academy when I was putting my partner (notice my inclusive language) through law school. While you may see work outside of the academy as futile and plebian, I consider it some of my better professional development and I pride myself on being able to have meaningful, down-to-earth conversations with people outside of the educational community.

As you’ll note in my resume, I’m really well educated. I went to private school (don’t be fooled, I’m not rich and neither are my parents – I got scholarships and talent awards and I worked and am currently working my tail off to pay for school). I majored in psychology because it sounded good and I like the professors. When I wasn’t in class, I was singing or being involved as s student leader. My experience as a student leader helps me relate to the students with whom I work and helps me remember why the work I do is important. I also went to graduate school. While there, I proved I was competent in 9 areas that I am sure will translate into me being a useful and productive employee. Sorry, none of them was grant writing. No, I’m not bilingual. No, I don’t know how to program a computer. I’M GOOD WITH PEOPLE DAMIT! (Any fans of the movie “Office Space” will get that joke).

I am called to be an educator as a means to forward my equality-for-all-social-justice agenda. I’m invigorated by working with bright-eyed, idealistic, full-of-hope young adults. If and when someone does offer me a job, I am confident I’ll kick ass at it! My philosophy when working with students is to be genuine, transparent, and authentic. I don’t believe in sugar-coating things or in seeing the cup as either half-full or half-empty. In my opinion, the cup is a cup with liquid in it. What I am really interested in is if there is a coaster underneath it and about the person drinking it. And really, who really has the time to sit around contemplating cups with liquid when there is a world injustice to overcome and great television to watch. I’m reliable. I don’t do anything dispassionately. I’m a little crazy, but certainly you already know that from reading this letter. Oh wait, that’s right. You aren’t actually reading this letter. That’s how I can get away with all of this mumbo-jumbo.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience so we can meet. I’m well aware that your earliest convenience will be sometime in the next three to six months. No rush, I’ll just wait. I’m actually getting younger and wealthier waiting for you and the hiring process. When we meet, I will talk about my skills and qualifications. You’ll judge my outfit, choice of words, and whether or not I’m a “fit” for your campus. It’ll be a gas!

Very Truly Yours,


So Cynical!


With fear that some of you will never trust or read a single email that I send to you again, I post this for three reasons:

1) This blog was started as a way for me to nurture my mental health (meaning, I need a place to say what I think) and as such this is more for me than it is for you.


2) I think it is funny. It is honest and true, even if it is a hard reality it is my reality.


3) I've been an a rotten mood for the last few days (cause unknown) and I'm hoping this will help purge me of some of my crankiness before the weekend.

With that said, if my sense of humor or harsh cynicism isn't your taste, I suggest you skip this post. I promise I'll be in a better mood some time soon.

The Way To Read Between My Lines: What I'm Really Saying Via Email


I REALLY do hope this message finds you WELL.

In this first paragraph I will comment on you and your life in a casual but endearing way, in an effort to make you feel like you've been drifting in and out of my thoughts every day since last we talked or saw each other. I'll mention some small detail or piece of information about you that I can remember or that, more appropriately, that I dug through countless emails to find to make it seem like I just "know" this stuff and am really "that" good. I'll ask questions about you and hope that we can talk about you because, really, it is just so much easier to talk about and focus on you than it is to turn the focus to me. I'm a helper and a listener, and I don't like opening up or feeling my own emotions. THAT takes too much energy. THAT is too scary. THAT is too overwhelming. I'll likely crack a joke or make light of something to break the ice and remind you that I am fun and funny. I like being fun and funny. It makes me feel like people accept me. It makes it easier for me when people are laughing to know that they are doing it at my joke and not at me.

In this paragraph, I'll try to answer your questions about me and my life in the most positive but vague way. Even thought that at times I feel like my life is empty and meaningless, I'll write at least 2 paragraphs of fluff to make it sound like I'm important and living with purpose. I'll always mention my partner first (remember, easier to talk about others than me). I'll try to make it sound like he is the best man alive: working hard all day and yet still able to be a doting, loving, perfect husband. When, in reality, he is just a man. He's got a one-track mind, he's stubborn, he's forgetful. He is human. I'll fail to include how much he can drive me crazy or how we bicker and argue about the most asinine things.

In this paragraph I'll finally get around to me. I'll make it sound like I thrive on being pulled in the 42 different directions that I am pulled when, in reality, I'm exhausted. I won't mention that I feel entitled to do what ever I want, when ever I want to and that, as a result of these feelings of entitlement, I have a bit of self-loathing because I know I SHOULD be more mature, but I'm just NOT yet.

I'll keep talking about myself in this paragraph but what you don't know is that I've actually stopped and am now talking about my plans or goings-on in my life. I'll make it sound like we're being frugal, responsible, and level-headed with regard to purchasing our first home when, in reality, we're paralyzed with fear and trepidation over the cost, investment, and time it takes to buy and maintain a house. I'll casually mention our plans for family, likely spinning it to make it sound like we've chosen not to have children yet, either because we're considering adoption or because we think it might be more socially-conscious to abstain from bringing another mouth to feed into this world. When, in reality, I have a pretty messed up reproductive system and this month I, like an adolescent, celebrated my first "normal" period in over a year! I'll mention some plan we have for the future: hoping to vacation (even though we'll have to spend our vacation fund on taxes this year), visiting with family (even though we might not be able to take the time from work to do so) , or running a marathon (even though we haven't run in over a month). I like to talk about the future. It feels hopeful and light. I'll try to turn it back to you, here, and find a way to include you in my future plans. When can we get together? When can we hang out? It has been too long.

I REALLY do hope we'll talk again SOON and I REALLY do wish you all my BEST (even if I don't feel like it is all that great).