Recession or not, it’s a hard world out there in general, and there are few things I hate more than turning away eager job applicants.  As a sub-middle-management type (more like the hiring front lines), I am inspired with a great deal of pathos on a regular basis.  I’ve placed a few Monster ads seeking administrative support in my time, which basically makes me a combat veteran (never again).

I’ve suffered the Walmart cashiers applying for highly-specialized technical roles, and the desperate immigrants with PhDs applying for janitorial jobs in a pitiful bid to stay in-country.  Having all these people call you on the phone to plead their cases will make you want to claw your soul out, as you have no lifeline to throw them; your false words of encouragement ring in jaded ears, and you reveal yourself as yet another, seemingly heartless, dead end.  Never include your contact number, for your own sake.

I don’t often find mirth in poorly-written resumes, or people battling for positions above or below their qualifications.  Mostly, it makes me feel sad, and then lucky to have a job, whether I like it or not.  In times like these, a good friend and I sometimes turn to a certain resume that made its way to our inboxes some years ago, and I have decided to share it with you here.

It goes without saying that names and locations have been changed to protect the witless.  However, the content remains unchanged, and so does, I hope, the enterprising spirit of one Miss Petunia Alexander:

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

PETUNIA ALEXANDER

OBJECTIVE:

To utilize my skills to maintain and expand my computer, phone, office skills, and still interact with people.

EXPERIENCE:

March 2003 – Present                  City Club               City, State

Phone Answerer

  • Answer Phones
  • Greet Client
  • Talked
  • Pass out uniforms

April 2001 – March 2003              Donald L. Crumpet                  City, State

Part-time Person

  • Worked hard

September 2000 – April 2001               Muppet High School               Suburb, State

Worked in the office

  • Worked in high school attendance office two hours each day.
  • Duties include filing, answering phones, copying and word processing.

June 2000 – August 2000                                    Pool Place                Suburb, State

Lifeguard

  • Saved peoples lives
  • Interaction with all ages

EDUCATION:

September 2001 – Present                     Small Town State College               Suburb, State

  • Working on getting a degree

September 1997 – June 2001               Suburb High School                   Suburb, State

  • Full-time student

INTERESTS:

  • Running, dancing, parties

SPECIAL SKILLS:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Excel
  • Powerpoint
  • Access

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Why does this make us so happy?  Is it the complete absence of awareness of present versus past tense?  That she is both a “Phone Answerer” and a saver of lives?  The fact that the resume was, actually, more professionally formatted that resumes I’ve reviewed of executive management candidates?  That she was apparently paid for talking and cites partying as an especial interest?

It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, as so many elements have become a go-to source of enjoyment over the years.  Maybe, for me, it’s that she’s been a part-time person in the past, which strikes an unexpectedly relatable and philosophical note (I have also Googled the real name of Donald L. Crumpet and come up with nothing to glean any more perspective on that particular job – I only know she worked hard at it).

Upon multiple re-readings over the years, I’ve come to view this resume less as poke-fun hilarity, but a relevant artifact of absurdism and modern uselessness.  I find something poignant about Miss Alexander and though I never met her, I hope she’s saving some more lives out there, for all our sakes.

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