Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reviewing My Suitability

I radically altered my opinion of Donald Trump on hearing that, if he wins the Republican nomination for president in 2012, he will ask Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the celebrated White House party crashers, to be his co-running mates. Then Beth Orton materialized, smaller than I’d expected, and far deeper into middle age, and brassy in the way of people who are trying to hide vulnerability. I asked if she might enjoy singing her sublimely languid “The Sweetest Decline,” which is on my iPod, and which has been a favorite of mine from the first time I heard it. She began immediately to sing, but angrily, not at all as on the record. I was having a devil of a time accompanying her, as paper serviettes were held loosely around the fretboard of my guitar by rubber bands. Then I woke from my dream and came in here, the study, and learned that I had been passed over for the design job in Manhattan for which I was interviewed last Friday, in spite of having devoted last weekend to working up a lot of stuff intended to demonstrate that I wasn’t only the best designer they’d seen, but also the one most eager to work with them.

Their email read as follows:

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to review your suitability for our recently advertised design position. We regret to advise that we have chosen a candidate whose skill set more closely conformed to our expectations.

BTW, did you honestly imagine that we would consider offering the job to someone your age? Oh, that would have been smart, wouldn’t it? We give you the job, and get an important new client, and halfway through your work for them, you get prostate cancer, or dementia, or some other geriatric infirmity, and we’re left holding the bag. Or maybe, because you quit smoking before most of us here were even born, and eat reasonably well — though you’ve been pretty lax about the five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day — and work out daily, you won’t get prostate cancer or dementia, but just lose continence, and won’t the smell of your adult diapers be a treat for the rest of us here in the confined space we share. Or maybe you’ll have the presence of mind to change them frequently, in which case you’ll be distracted from your work, and someone else will have to pick up the slack, and the festering resentment around here will be even worse than the stench would have been.

Honestly, don’t you think it’s time, instead of coming in for job interviews, that you went gentle into that good night, or at least checked yourself into one of those mesmerizingly beige assisted living centers, the magazine advertisements for which invariably show fantastically attractive over-60s in polo shirts playing golf and tennis and grinning at each other at cookouts with their perfect straight teeth? (You probably imagined that you’d be that sort of person yourself — one who looked at 60 pretty much exactly as he had at 35, but with thick white hair, rather than thick black. But it didn’t work out so well, did it, old-timer?)

As for your…creative, maybe it looked really slick to the rubes in south central Wisconsin (though we notice you weren’t able to get a job there either), but you’re — or at least we’re — in the Big Apple now, sunshine, and drop shadows and layer masks don’t thrill us so much. And what’s with the relentless retro? Ninety-eight percent of your stuff looks exactly the same. And the copy! You’re trying to sell to average, harried people here, sunshine, and not college sophomores. Maybe you should save your wordplays and self-described “sparkling wit” for your blog, at which we had a long enough look to get really tired of trying to plow through sentences that seem never to end. We notice it’s attracted a whopping 18 subscribers in the 11 months you’ve been writing it; does that not tell you a little something?

Again, we thank you for interviewing with us, and wish you the best of luck in the future.

1 comment:

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