Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Application for a Job

This one got put in the wrong file: Someone saw the word "application" and put it in the publisher's file as a real job application. I hope they publish it sooner or later because it is brilliantly funny. Just leave it undated.

Application for a Job

Martin Cody, Publisher

Havre Daily News

Dear Mr. Cody,

I’m writing about your ad for a freelance writer for the new lifestyle magazine. I know I am perfect for the job. In my experience writing a column for your newspaper over the last two years, I have written about people, home and garden, decorating, remodeling, food and wine, home furnishing and a plethora of other topics. In fact, I can write about any subject. I am not sure I have written about real estate in my column, but I can. I know I can. We have met so I am not including a letter of introduction. You already have my story portfolio in your files.

However, I do have some concerns and questions.

Your ad mentions writing “personality profiles”. As I understand it, a “personality” is someone who is famous for being famous; those whose pictures grace the tabloids one scans while waiting to check out at the IGA. I write about my friends and other people I know. Most of them are “characters”. Or they have character. Or they live life fully, often in strange ways. Characters abound on the Hi-line, but personalities are rare. Personalities tend to live where the weather is better, like Hollywood or Kalispell. But, I am sure I can make the transition to “personality profiles”. I will write it like I see it. Will that create a problem?

The home and garden stuff is easy. I took many of my interests and skills learned growing up in rural Montana and melded them into a viable business that fed me and my family for many years. I am a whiz at decorating, remodeling and home furnishing. You should see my house. But if you need an urban pitch, I have also lived in Salt Lake City , Portland , Denver , Santa Cruz , Chicago , Seattle and Great Falls . I can urban with the best.

You must want to know about my education. I have degrees in history and political science, neither used. Those two topics make me so mad I could spit tacks. In my business, spitting tacks is an old and valued skill. However, if my mouth is full of tacks when current news upsets me, I am dangerous. I don’t want to see anyone impaled. Would you please have somebody else cover politics?

I have a concern about writing food and wine articles. Food is easy. I can do food. Unfortunately, I will have to rely heavily on research for the wine. Just this fall I sipped an expensive wine that my friends raved about. To me, it tasted like kerosene. While I don’t make a habit of sipping kerosene, it may take me a while to get the hang of wine connoisseur-y. I can make up things like “this is a full bodied wine, with a hint of sagebrush and soupcon of cowflop”. Does the job include an allowance for food and drink? This is important if you want me to develop a discerning palate and be able to discriminate between kerosene and the nectar of the gods.

I also wonder about the time commitment. Will I have to show up at the office at zero dark thirty like everyone else? I live in Harlem . In the summer this is not a problem, but winter tends to overwhelm with snow, wind, and dangerous temperatures. I also am on several community committees, such as the land-fill board. I would hate to have to give that up.

I am confident I can shoehorn this freelancing job into my busy schedule and will do a bang-up job for you.

Eagerly awaiting my first assignment,

Sondra Ashton

HDN: Looking out my back door

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