Ack! It's my deeply recessed alpha male/breadwinner gene!
GENE: Hello, Gen-X slacker and friend of failure.
UNCOOL: Hi, Gene. Ha. "Hygiene." That's a dirty word.
GENE: So is "unemployment," you half-wit.
UNCOOL: Hey, I'm self-employed.
GENE: Yeees. You love to work at nothing all day.
UNCOOL: "And I'll be takin' care of business -- every day! Takin' care of business --"
GENE: Spare me the Bachman-Turner Overdrive, you unproductive sloth! Now feel guilty! Guilllll-tyyyyy! GUILLLLL-tyyyyy!
UNCOOL: Jesus, I suck!
GENE: Excellent. Now, scratch your balls, spit and swagger. Think more Christian from Nip/Tuck than Roseanne singing the National Anthem.
UNCOOL: Jam it, a-hole.
GENE: Ha! Now that I likey!
After these pep talks, I often feel compelled to scour online job boards, call old contacts and pound the pavement in search of big bucks for hard work. Unfortunately, my efforts usually end not with paychecks but with the pangs of rejection and remorse over my general lack of skills and talent. Frickin' liberal arts education!
In one of my recent "gotta find extra work" jags, I found what sounded like a promising telecommuting contract gig writing copy for a catalog selling stuff for babies and children. It promised possible future opportunities such as news releases and other types of one-off projects.
The more I re-read the ad, though, the more I became convinced it was yet another Internet posting that essentially wanted a writer on the extreme cheap which pretty much describes all jobs for writers you can find online. This ad just didn't have the balls to flat out say it, instead asking applicants to submit their "salary requirements" -- code for "ask for peanuts and maybe will offer shells."
As it seemed I was destined to get rejected again, I figured at least I'd have a little fun with it. So here is the cover letter I sent in:
As a professional writer (at least that’s what I claim on my “income” tax form) and father of two grade-schoolers, I think I’d be a perfect fit for your business. Why? Just look at these bullet points:
- I’m used to working on tight deadlines because most of my past bosses were poor planners;
- the "factual, yet lighthearted, flowing and conversational" writing you desire is my mainstay because I’m fairly shallow; and
- I’m more than familiar with children’s products as my boy and girl, ages 7 and 9 respectively, love to spend what little money I do bring in.
As for salary requirements, I’m looking for the minimum equivalent of $40 an hour. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a reasonable price given my experience (see attached resume). Also, I’m sure your outfit is more reputable than the zillions of companies that think they can pay telecommuters and online writers a pittance and a bag of Circus Peanuts for their craft. I have that kind of faith in YOU!
Attached with my resume are some writing samples. Please contact me if you are interested in my services or at least if you found this e-mail entertaining.
As for their reply, well, I'm still waiting ... along the interstate on-ramp with the rest of the day laborers.
* * *
Speaking of people who need real jobs, please read "Jon & Kate Plus 8" Must Die -- my thoughts on the most annoying of reality show couples who are seemingly headed for divorce while the TV nation and their eight kids look on. It's only on DadCentric!