I Don’t Find You Very Funny

Put Me on A Pedestal, and I’ll Only Disappoint You

Hello.

I have just graduated from my program. You might find this impressive. I’m fairly certain my entire sense of self depends on what you think of me. Please accept my:

-Job application
-Grant application
-Program of study proposal
-Book proposal
-Material for review
-Summary of Twitter followers
-Digital platform

I look forward to your prompt response.

I will get up every morning and check my email to see if you have replied. I’ll double check your voicemail message to see if you are in the office this week. You are? I wonder why you haven’t responded. Maybe I’ll just have a quick look at my analytics again – no, no sign that anyone in your city viewed my pages. I wonder if my [application/proposal/self summarized in set of statistics and likes] ended up in your spam?

Finally. Oh ho! Today we have a response.

“Thank you for your [application/proposal/self summarized in set of statistics and likes]. We are intrigued by the bundle of skills you have offered us. You have accomplished quite a lot in your short time on this earth! You stand far above your fellow applicants. Perhaps we could offer you a sense of a potential opportunity, upon receipt of more evidence that you are indeed the candidate we are searching for? Please send additional materials at your earliest convenience.”

“Hello. Thank you for your swift reply to my initial email. I hope this finds you well. I have attached here evidence of my flexibility. You see, I am everything you need: ‘the business, the raw material, the product, the clientele, and the customer of my own life,’ I am the ‘headline star and enraptured audience of my own performance.’* I’m quite sure you will agree. I look forward to your reply.”

“Dear applicant,

Thank you. We have found someone not as intriguing as you, but they are more flexible, have social media training, and they are quite a bit cheaper. All the best in your life endeavours.”

Tell Me I’m Exceptional and I Promise to Exploit You

Hello.

I’d like to send you this material for consideration. You see, I’m trying to “make it.” I can’t “make it” without you. In particular, I’m in need of “good reviews.” I understand you are normally a paid reviewer, but I am young and in the beginning of my career, and as such have nothing to offer other than good thoughts.

I’ve heard that in the past, you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation. My paid publicist would contact your editor and I would not have to cold-email you. Seems like a time when people had no self-motivation, if you ask me.

Evidence of my own work ethic is contained within this enclosed offering. You can’t deny my ability to entrepreneurialize my self. I worked on this thing from start to finish, including the Go Fund Me campaign that paid my rent for the time I worked on it.

I promise to pass your good name on to anyone else who requires a “good review.” Many thanks in advance! Please let me know if I can send you additional materials.

Give Me All Your Money and I’ll Make Some Origami, Honey

Hello.

I know you think I’m lazy and entitled. Quite the opposite: I’m not in this for the cash. That is what we in the biz call “selling out.” If it is not evident from my [application/proposal/offering], I’d be pleased to do this thing for free. I mainly do this for the “love of it” and if that means cleaning toilets to pay the cell phone bill, so be it.

I heard, actually, that you might have a small cash offering at the end of my service for you, though that this is contingent on “available funding” and a “review” of my work. Fair enough; I mean if you’ve got it and you’re willing to offer it to me, I mean, I could perhaps with it purchase a new self via office-appropriate attire. After all, the loss of this job will require I tailor an entirely new persona that is pleasing to other employers/reviewers/granting bodies. I will have to “forget my past and become a different person.”* I will be without paycheques, and all I have to blame is “some immobile attribute of [my]self.”*

I will have to alter my online self in order to appear ready for the next cash-free offering, thus ever destabilizing my identity. My Facebook page, a “jumble of unexplained tastes and alliance, the melange of which requires the constant care and management by an entity that bears some tenuous relationship to the persona uploaded, but who must maintain an assured clear distance from it,”* will change. I’m already planning it.

I Think You’re a Joke

Hello.

I come home from a long day in the self-management-online trenches – oh wait, I’m already at home – and I make fun of you. You dangle importance in front of me: you say you can make me “someone.” That “persistence pays off.” That you too worked long, hard, insecure hours before you “became someone.” And god knows, all I think about is how to become you.

I cook spaghetti. I will not tell you about this meal tomorrow, when you are describing the new “bistro” you went to with our colleagues, where you left half a bottle of $200 wine on the table, because you all “had to work” in the morning, and anyway, your expense account is covering it. You tell me “I’ll understand” someday when I’m as “important” as you, and I too must get back to the grind in the am. After all, the only thing I’m doing right now is altering my quiddity “in an ongoing adjustment of agency to the requirements of social and physical adaptability to shifting market forces.”* That’s not real work.

I tell you that I’m trying very hard.

You laugh. “Tiny little thing,” you say. “You’ll understand someday. When you’ve reached the magical age I’ve deemed old enough to allow for some sort of shaky alliance between us. Only then, I’ll be accusing you of refusing to understand my newly vulnerable position as an elder. I’ll be expecting you to pay for my inability to pay for myself. After all, I left the world in good shape for you to flourish.”

But I Don’t Find You Very Funny

*From the Book Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste