#35 - 'Please accept my apology, and the assurance that I will send no more letters like this to companies.'
November 27, 2004 9:27 PM   Subscribe

Overqualified: A new letter every Tuesday
Joey Comeau wrote cover letter after cover letter, listing the same store bought traits in the same wording, day after day, hoping to find another job. And then one day he just snapped a little. He sat down to write a cover letter, and something entirely new came out. So he sent it anyway, but also publishes them on the web. (Or at least he used to.)
posted by anastasiav (19 comments total)
I would really love it if he posted any answers he received from the potential employers. It sounds right out of my daily life, as in screwing with normals. You should've seen the McClean Giant grocery store on Thanksgiving. Anyway, truly amusing stuff from Joey.
posted by Captaintripps at 9:35 PM on November 27, 2004

"Using equipment purchased on your web-site, I have begun to construct my own post office in the basement of my house. Your company has provided me with the finest in mail-room furniture and high volume sorting and folding machines. The newest addition is, of course, a 30kg digital scale, for weighing mail and determining the rate. It's interfaced with the mail machine, and I have named it Susan because that was my youngest daughter's name."

[this is good]
posted by quonsar at 9:41 PM on November 27, 2004

Previously discussed here, but of course, it's good to be reminded. One of my all-time favorites.
posted by Aaorn at 9:56 PM on November 27, 2004

I did the same thing. Except I sent them out. I even threw in the photos I included in the articles. Except the French one and the nuclear one.

Talking Dog Seeks Entertainment Work

Brain Surgeon seeks employment

French / English translator be need to job

Criminal child lawyer seeks career

Accomplished lab assistant seeks work

Ex Starbucks employee seeks QC nuclear career

The replys are in the comments if i got them.
posted by joelf at 10:08 PM on November 27, 2004 [1 favorite]

Except I sent them out.

The FPP guy implies that he sent them out, and as this is the Internet, I see no reason to doubt his vaguely-alluded-to actions. Also, [yours are good]
posted by jenovus at 10:17 PM on November 27, 2004

A friend of mine saw an opening at CSIS (the Canadian spy agency). He sent them a resume and a letter that said

Dear spies,
I would like to be a spy too. I have my own raincoat.

Oddly enough, he got the form rejection, but a friend of his that sent a real resume got nothing.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:17 PM on November 27, 2004

Be sure to check out the comics too. A Softer World is a long time favourite.
posted by digifox at 10:20 PM on November 27, 2004

Didn't realize he'd sent them. I'm glad I never had to write to apologize for sending the cops. I did have to apologize and explain that I wasn't actually a bored millionaire to one guy though. he really wanted me to invest my millions into his fledgling company.

I felt pretty bad after that and sort of let it trail off.
posted by joelf at 10:30 PM on November 27, 2004

Yeah. It seems universal that it's fun to screw with people (especially people you've never met) until they fall for it completely. Then you feel like a dick when finally telling them the truth. I guess I am too sympathetic a figure to be a real hooligan.
posted by jenovus at 10:43 PM on November 27, 2004


A fine homage to Faulkner.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:29 AM on November 28, 2004


What is that supposed to stand for? "Oh Fuck My God"? I have a feeling it was OMFG you were going for. (I'm not trying to be snarky; I just though that my guess was funny.)

By the way, these are all so great; Oh how I crave the luxury of being indefinitely unemployed.
posted by donkeymon at 2:37 AM on November 28, 2004

A few months ago I saw an ad that said something like: "Assistant Opinion Page Editor: if your friends say you should be on Jeopardy!, you're ambitious, and you can say a lot in few words, this is the job for you. Apply now with resume and clips, we'll discuss the grunt work later." The same paper also had 3 other jobs posted on journalismjobs.com at the time.

This is the actual cover letter I responded with - and now I have the job and love it, for those wondering.


I noticed your ad for an assistant opinion page editor and am actually amazed at myself for writing this letter. You're farther away than I'd generally consider relocating, and I'm sure that if this is a quick hire, I'm farther away than you'd generally consider hiring.

Let me tell you a bit about why I responded to your ad, though, and maybe you'll get a better feel for who I am. Maybe you'll even be interested in hiring me. The worst that could happen is that I'll have wasted ten minutes writing this and you'll have wasted thirty seconds reading it.

As a matter of fact, not only do people say I should be on Jeopardy!, I've tried out several times, starting at age sixteen. Every time, I make it all the way to the contestant pool, but haven't made it on the show yet. But I'm remarkably persistent about the entire thing, so I'm sure you'll see me there sometime in the next few years.

Insofar as ambition goes, I'll tell you something no one else knows who's ever hired me. At this very moment, I am still not old enough to legally drink. But I've got four years of professional writing and editing experience. I was running a newsroom at a real, honest-to-god daily at age 17, and no one knew my age, and no one ever guessed it. Competence wins over age every time (and being six feet tall never hurts, either). When that paper was devoured by the local Gannett rag after the recession hit, I found that it was near-impossible to get a journalism job anywhere, anyhow, without a college degree. Since then, I've had some of the most godawful temp work imaginable. Ask me about it sometime - I've got stories that would make your ears bleed.

So anyway, I never got my degree. But if I'd gotten it, I'd just be getting out of college this year. Instead, I've gotten to hold incredibly interesting journalism jobs, do things very few people my age have done, and I've traveled all over the United States and Canada. I've learned to deal with just about any kind of person - even idiots. Especially idiots. The one thing I miss, now, is having a job I really like to go to in the morning. And I think you might be offering that job. I have experience, I'm willing to learn, and I'm the smartest person you'll meet this month. And at age 20, I'm no old dog. You can teach me all the new tricks you'd like.

So, Florida's a long way from Illinois. But then again, I've moved further, for less. I do have one question, though: why would a relatively small newspaper be hiring four people all at once? Bubonic plague in the newsroom? Did hurricane season blow them away?

You wanted to discuss grunt work.

Feel free.
posted by u.n. owen at 5:00 AM on November 28, 2004 [1 favorite]

"Oh Fuck My God"?

Yes. Yes, that's exactly what I meant, thank you.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:13 AM on November 28, 2004

u.n. owen, did you receive a reply? Well done.
posted by emelenjr at 9:51 AM on November 28, 2004

emelenjr: I received a reply less than two hours later, which led to a sequence of emails, which led to my flying down to interview, which led to my getting the job and moving here about a month ago. :)
posted by u.n. owen at 12:07 PM on November 28, 2004

MetaFilter: Fuck My God? Fuck your God!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:08 PM on November 28, 2004

Crank calls were my hobby. So when the boys at school began to talk about sex in hushed tones and I began to feel left out, it was to the telephone that I turned. Calling people for information was the same as making a crank. When I was a kid we didn't have caller ID, and so I was safe, anonymous. I called a number at random. A woman answered.

"Hello?" she said.

"Hello, is your refrigerator running?" I asked.

"It is," she said.

"What's a clitoris?"
posted by swift at 1:01 PM on November 28, 2004 [1 favorite]

Great post, anastasiav! And Civil_Disobedient, I loved that linguistics one so much I had to blog it.
posted by languagehat at 2:40 PM on November 28, 2004

apparently he did send them out because his latest letter was an apology letter provoked by a visit from the police. he refers to his suicide letter for a warehouse assistant position, apparently they thought he really was going to do it, or at least wanted to cover their asses. apparently someone doesnt share our sense of humor.
posted by sophist at 10:09 PM on November 28, 2004

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