25 July 2006

The Follow-Up Letter

You are familiar with my handiwork, no?


We've been brothers for, oh, any number of years, right? But here's something I bet you didn't know about me. I interview for jobs, like, all the time. I think it's good practice. For instance, it's a good method for seeing what's really out there, knowing how much you're really worth, knowing what the market is really like and so on. In a way, it keeps me from becoming myopically negative about my current work situation every time it becomes frustrating. Every job on earth is frustrating some of the time. Don't get me started about when I was a jail guard. (No seriously. He really was a jail guard. Back in 1982. Why do people not believe that? -Ed.)

Don't get me wrong. I don't do it because I hate my current job. I don't. I really like my job. I love the bunch of silly nutbags that I work with and it would make me genuinely sad to leave. Besides, I love it when I'm talking to a recruiter at some company and they ask me why I'm unhappy with my current position and I tell them I'm not. I tell them that I love my job. And then they choke. (See, they're always counting on low-balling you because you're desperate to leave your stinkin' job.) And then they ask me what my "compensation requirements" are. And I tell them a bazillion dollars, a solid-gold rocket car (chauffered, of course), and a trilingual helper monkey (also chauffered). And then they tell me that's probably outside their compensation range. To which I reply that it's okay because I noticed a funny smell on the way in to their office that I probably couldn't live with, were I to get a job there.

Just for shiggles, I thought I'd pass along an actual follow-up letter that I actually sent to somebody that I actually interviewed with. (No really. He did. Why do people not believe that? -Ed.) One quick read-through and you'll no doubt see why these interviews seldom result in offers. Enjoy.

12 July 2006

Dear E~:

As I said at the end of the interview yesterday, I knew I'd think of something on the way home that I should've said then. And it happened. I remembered something.

You asked me a question about my previous work experience, and just last night I remembered a nationwide campaign that I spearheaded on behalf of the band Iron Maiden.

It was a simple plan, really: arm legions of surly teens with ball point pens and have them inscribe the name of Iron Maiden in bathroom stalls from coast to coast. The creative was concise and divided into three distinct messages: Iron Maiden ROCKS, Iron Maiden RULZ, and simply IRON MAIDEN. These messages were to be presented in the distinctive Iron Maiden™ sans serif block style ironclad death 'n' mayhem font in BOLD. The talent was recompensed on a pay per message basis. Each twelve messages fully inscribed were paid for in trade by one (1) Bud Tall Boy and a pack of GPC menthols. As most teens are wont to leave a job "half assed", the churn on my talent pool was something astounding. But that also means that the breakage on my payouts practically left me money ahead. In the end, I only had to cash out four and a half Bud Tall Boys, four packs of GPCs, and a couple drags off my last Marlboro Light for approximately four million seven hundred seventy three thousand nine hundred eighty one messages placed.

While a failure in my tracking mechanism – a simple stroke sheet that I carried from bar to bar during my tenure in the "high life" – stymied my attempts to fully quantify the impact of the campaign, I feel that I can take at least partial credit for a few of the current 300,000 registrants on IronMaiden.com. Likewise, the ensuing repetitive-motion injury class-action suit on behalf of the teens was dropped when none of them appeared to testify – point in my favor - and I have it on the best authority from Bruce Dickinson's roady's ex-girlfriend that Bruce himself thought the whole bathroom wall idea was "awesome". Therefore I number the Iron Maiden campaign among my most successful to date.

If you have any other questions regarding my previous experience, please don't hesitate to ask.


Thaddeus R Gunn

Auto Da Fe

Now this is my kinda heatwave!


The South has risen again, right on the west coast of Washington, where we are sweltering under an Al-Gore-nodding-his-head-with-I-told-ya-so-smugness heat wave of nearly Orleanean proportions. (And then the author was crushed under a falling stack of modifiers. -Ed.) I have been forced to leave my windows open each night, which has done a great job of welcoming in (and amplifying) the hoots and bellows of the sweating, gleeful Chinatownians. Somehow the 90-degree temperatures and giant flapjacks of 100% humidity falling from the sky bring out their best. Under such conditions, they are wont to expound loudly and at length upon their personal virtue, the size of their man-parts; the fecklessness and moral turpitude of their enemies, as well as their enemies' significant others, parentage, etc. - late into the steaming, acrid night.

Fawk. This is not just a heat wave. This is a trial - a trial by fire which I have failed egregiously. I have proven myself to be both a pisser and a moaner. Can you mail me something that I can stab myself with? They don't let me have sharp stuff because I'm "depressive", if you can believe that. I have to shave with a cat's tongue and cut my bread with that one magical word from Dune.

As you can plainly see, the heat has made me go completely mad. But it's not the heat, really. It's the lack of sleep. And the fact that I feel like an old man because I'm whining about the heat. Just last weekend, I was laboring - laboring, I tell you! - with a pack at nearly 9,000 feet at 87 degrees F. And did I whine? Nay. Perhaps because I couldn't summon the breath. But more likely because I was in the toolies, huffing the pine-rich air, frolicking with Don Lagarto and his pals by the shores of Crater Lake. I've found that stunning natural beauty can make you choke down a shitload of heat without complaining.

So that is why, dear brother, I have decided either to a) stab myself in the whoknowswhere (not likely) or b) purchase myself a piece of dirt somewhere up in the high pineys whereupon to swelter joyfully in the summer months. The heat has driven me to it. Spending summers withstanding blazing sciroccos of dumpster stench is not as appealing as it once was, and the tonic effects of nature are too self-evident on my heat-knackered corpse to ignore.

To that end, I have alerted John L. Scott Emerald-Award-Winning agent Gloria Lee of my intentions, and am arranging viewings of 20-acre parcels within the Olympic National Forest. I've found one that seems to be unbelievably cheap, so she is going to do a little research to find out exactly how much nuclear waste is stored on the premises, exactly how much anthrax is still living in the soil, and whether the ancient Salish curse in those parts applies to this particular piece of land. Those issues resolved, I plan on first completely freaking out, and then second, crapping out the largest stack of $20s I can muster for a down payment. Then I'll march up there, throw down a double-wide, and subscribe to Guns 'N' Ammo.

I'll let you know how this one turns out.

Cheers, and give my best to Marie.