Friday, May 01, 2009

Dragon-taming drifter seeks cubicle work

By Jacob Bennett

I just can't click "send."

I've been staring at this cover letter for an hour now, desperately wanting to be done so I can get back to my busy schedule of taking online quizzes to determine which plastic army man I am (“bazooka guy”) and brainstorming names for fantasy football teams (“Legal In Sweden,” “Infant Sorrow,” “Dos Equis Guy”).

But unlike the Dos Equis Guy, who could disarm you with his looks or his hands, I’m terrified of sending this correspondence onto its journey into the ether. I would be perfect for this job, and getting it could literally change my life--leading to more money and new, preferably attractive office friends. But if this letter contains so much as a misplaced comma, that’ll put a period on the whole deal.

When there are so many other people like me, out of work and living off your generosity, I can’t afford to blow a good deal.

According to, the Chicago Tribune recently laid off another 20 percent of its staff, despite just hiring a spokeswoman, who declined to comment.

The few places that are hiring post ads like this:
Are You The Next Great Writer/ Blogger /Journalist Of Your Generation! - (100 Positions Open).

And on, if you search the media/arts section, you get results for “sandwich artist.”

Ah, well, unemployment has its perks: three days in New Orleans, three weeks in Florida, two big chores done at once (cleaning the house and washing the car—get it?).

I’ve finally got time to write that terrible novel that’s been knocking around in my head, and I often did so at a bar on the Florida shore.

The bartender recognized me. “What kind of job do you have that you can just hang out in a bar on the beach all day?”

“I’m unemployed.”

“Me too! I’m a realtor. This guy over here’s laid off too.”

Good times. To keep them rolling, I might go to Vegas next week, if everyone would hurry up and tell me they’re not interested.

But Mom says that’s crazy, that I should just go ahead and get me a job that pays well and has steady hours, full benefits and the opportunity to advance.

I’ll get right on that — maybe they’re hiring down at the Unicorn Farm.

If so, I’ve got just the cover letter.

It uses anecdotes to demonstrate my awesomeness, such as the time I had to get an astronaut on the horn moments before liftoff and the time I tamed a wild dragon and rode it into battle to save some orphans from an army of mutant wildebeests. It also includes references.

I bugged ex-co-workers to read over the letter for the 50th time, just to make sure I didn't miss anything. We tweaked the beginning, middle and end, but each fix brings a potential mistake that could move me one step closer to living in a van down by the river.

But my homeys said the letter looks OK, and I think it looks OK, so I’m just gonna slap on the salutation and send it along. With any luck, I’ll be up to my ears in benefits and discounted unicorn meat.

Deep breath, here goes…click.

Aw, geez.

I hope I spelled her name right.