Eric Rushton: Job Application
I am writing to apply for the position of [insert vacancy here].
I’m not going lie, this covering letter will be going out to dozens of employers and it seems like an unnecessarily laborious task to personalise each one. It’s quicker this way, and I’m sure [insert company name here] value efficiency just as much as I do.
However, just to add a pseudo-personal touch and foster a sense of connection between us, I’m gonna call you Steve from now on.
I’ll level with you, Steve, the world of work isn’t for me. I’ve tried it on-and-off since leaving university and… nope. I don’t like it. The main issue that’s hampered me thus far is my incompetence. I drop things. I daydream. I don’t really like following orders, and I don’t seem to get things as quickly as other people. Also, I’m really bad at identifying animals: I’m not sure I know what an armadillo is. What does a goose look like?
I have been fired many times in the past. Most notably, for “potentially threatening behaviour” when I was working at a school as a teaching assistant.
It’s not what you think.
It’s no secret to people who know me that I am extremely partial to a particular mind-altering drug: caffeine. During one of my many attempts to wean myself off the good stuff, something terrible happened. My decaf coffee was taken from the staff room. Robbed. Stolen. Purloined. Call it what you want – one minute I had a ready supply of coffee, the next it was gone.
Like any human-being would, I reacted to this situation by sending out a mass email to every member of staff at the school.
I have attached a screenshot below, so you can judge the contents for yourself.
Shortly after that email, I was pulled aside by the Deputy Head, who reprimanded me for what she deemed an inappropriate use of the school’s email system. I was aghast. Expecting her – as my superior and therefore someone who had a duty of care towards me – to come to my aid and help get to the bottom of the Decaf Coffee Incident, she instead reversed the script and pulled the rug from under my feet.
Sadly, I suspect the huge gap in our salaries played some part in this. From her Ivory Tower of senior management, she was unable to identify with the struggles of the common man and his need not only for decaf coffee, but to be treated with the same dignity as everyone else. This individualist attitude, I hypothesise, has its roots in the Neoliberal turn of the 1980’s. However, I will not bore you with the details of my hypothesis here! I mention this only to demonstrate I am deep thinker with a firm grasp on political theory and its applications to the modern world of work. I hope this will be a quality that [insert company name here] can utilise.
After my scolding from the powers that be, I went back to my work-computer and got busy trying to fix things.
A follow-up email was sent as an olive branch. Injected with comical details including a statement from my fictional lawyers, I was sure I had struck the right balance between formal and conversational. Clearly management disagreed, and by the following Monday, I was gone.
Another issue I have, Steve, is that I’m prone to bouts of depression that will absolutely affect my ability to work. Arguably the stigma around mental health is justified and if [insert company name] are looking for a poster boy to show that one can have mental health issues while maintaining high standards in the workplace, then I’m not your man. I do, however, make a mean cup of tea – decaf or otherwise – to offset my tendency to bring others down and infect the workplace with a kind of depression-virus.
Speaking of viruses, this is where you come in, Steve. As you know, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to a screeching halt. The economy has taken a hit and employment opportunities are hard to come by. My landlord – also seemingly an advocate of neoliberal individual-comes-first thinking – still requires a monthly payment in return for me occupying his property. Likewise, I still need food in order to meet my basic biological requirements; and, unfortunately, I’m down to my last few tins of ravioli. In short, I need some cash moneys, soonish. Selling my labour to [insert company name here] could well be my best bet going forward.
So, whaddya say Steve?
Give an old bugger a chance.
Eric “Beast Mode” Rushton
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