Friday, June 15, 2012

Letters of Total B.S.

I wrote a letter of recommendation for a friend this morning. Boy, am I full of crap.

Let me rephrase that. I wrote a letter of recommendation for a friend this morning. Boy was it a waste of time filled with exaggerated gibberish and five-syllable words.

But then again, aren’t they all like that?

For full effect, download “Would I Lie To You” by the Eurythmics and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Let me clearly point out that the person who I wrote the letter for is a very cherished individual, and someone who I value and respect immensely. But she is just one of thousands of Americans caught up every day in the entangled labyrinth found in employment offices all throughout the entire country. And the sad thing is that every single one of us at some point in our lives has been, or will be, a victim of this fraudulent form of personal portrayal.

For example, when writing a letter of recommendation, filling out a job application, or writing a shortened essay on work experience, we all are over-thinking the possible exaggerations that we can detail into how good we are at what we do.

Self: “Wait, good? Good doesn’t sound nearly as fancy as commendable, excellent, exceptional, favorable, first-rate, honorable, marvelous, pleasing, reputable, satisfying, shipshape, splendid, stupendous, super, super-eminent, super-excellent, super-good, super-favorable, superb, tip-top, valuable, or wonderful. I’ll use one of those ones.”

For the record, half of the adjectives used in this blogpost were found by monopolizing How else am I supposed to please you as a reader?

Self: “Recherché? That sounds good. I have no idea what it means, but I’m betting my potential employer will be impressed if I use that one.”

And there I sat, writing some of the most decorated paragraphs of praise that I have come up with in a long, long time. My words were like French poetry being read while the hiring committee sucked back on delicate chocolate pudding and were entranced by the grammatical fragrance that I lured them into, all while giving a summary of her work ethic and tough as nails leadership skills.

Yes, I am that talented at formulating a gold-plated, butt-kissing cover letter.

You see, when someone is hiring another person, they don’t just want someone who is good. They don’t want someone who is simple. They want some of the most articulate vocabulary ever created to describe who you are. They want the best of the best. The cream of the crème de la crème de la crop. They want someone who could on paper, name reasons why The Most Interesting Man in the World came to them for advice.

Barney Stinson: “Possimpible. Dynamism. Linketivity. Connectitude. Transformitation.”

We all talk a big talk, but can we back it up once the handshakes have happened and we are tossed over that new parking sticker? You dang well better back it up. I know that the girl I wrote for today can, despite every flattering word I put down about her. And even though I have a boastful arrogance exhaling out of my own keyboard, there’s nothing I put down on an application that isn’t 100% accurate. Can you say the same?

Self: “Visitivity. Yeah, that sounds awesome!”

What do you think?


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