…I Still Move Imaginary Fat Around

Dear reader or two. The following post contains a substantial amount of recreational profanity and runs slightly longer than the attention span of a typical online reader. Your indulgence honors me.

But as I watch PBO deliver his Farewell Address, I can’t avoid this fact. POTUS44 made my Day Job possible, and Day Job saved my life.

I’ve always said that if I found a better place to go, I’d go there. Same logic applies to what I do with my day. Somehow someone retweeted something and this utterly faithful paraphrase was staring me in the face:

Bla bla bla Exciting Opportunity bla bla Business Decisions bla Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel bla bla bla at our facility in Mason Bla Bla bla benefits package bla bla bla

And this, my friends, is the ACTUAL inquiry I sent her today. Yes. I really sent this.

Dear Recruiter,

I normally chose not to respond to job advertisements, but your ad flies more red flags than I’ve ever seen outside of Pyongyang.  Purely as a display of curiosity, I feel compelled to respond.

Let me just state right off the bat that I have no interest in submitting myself to some sort of ridiculous Kabuki-Theater exercise in the form of a “Behavioral Interview,” where you’re going to ask me about a “difficult struggle at work or at home.” I’m pretty much going to just improvise and cite “That time at Girl Scout camp everyone thought I was a lesbian.” as the initial response to every question and then just make it up as I go along.  I chose instead to humbly set my qualifications before you and trust you to do the responsible thing.


Specifically and non-negotiably, You will engage me as a proud member of Generation X. I will arrive at work, as I am wont to do, at a time conducive to my sleep schedule and overall level of interest. I will enter the workplace in diaphanous oversized hoodies because I’m still paranoid about the body issues induced from the stress-eating at my previous job. I will while the morning away listening to early rem on my little headphones and let my head sway back and forth in moments of quiet non-office related rapture. I do not need anything so gauche as a rock-climbing wall or a foosball table, but you WILL have a fridge to place my lunches and a freezer to house my ice cubes (Pagophasia is a cruel mistress) and you will have a grounded electrical outlet near my desk so that I can plug in my electric kettle because any goddamn coffee pot setup you have going is decidedly inferior to the joe I can make in my sleep.  So if this screening process represents some sort of gauntlet of flair and enthusiasm, I hereby play a Milton.

And, while we’re at it,  I used to be a job coach.  I know I’m not supposed to broach the benefits during an initial interview… but it’s my party and I’ll sigh if I want to. I have it pretty DAMN good here, thanks to PBO and the ACA, which allows Humana to offer a kick-ass low-premium high-deductible health plan – perfect so that when a stress-eating fat dude finally caves in and has a motherfucking stroke, he doesn’t have to make future career decisions based solely upon paying off absurd medical debt.  If you can’t beat that, go f*** yourselves.

I mean, My salary needs are, ironically, rather modest, but they do allow me to enough flexibility to solve cash-flow issues and let me celebrate my birthday at absurdly expensive restaurants when i chose to do so. [Regular Readers: store this moment for future reference. The link takes you to the web version not the printed version or the draft version] But  I do not motherf***ing drink motherf***ing Cool-aide. Got it?

I guess that brings me to the substance here.  Why, oh, my dear lord why? WHY is this job all the way up in MASON? Tri-county I could understand and I’m even willing to forgive the casually insipid reason – that you’re an outfit too chintzy to afford office space within the city proper and therefore have no freaking idea how difficult it is to navigate public transit in a metropolitan area.

Short course: It’s excruciating. Like Indy or Nashville or Tulsa or Atlanta, The modestly blue inner core finds itself engulfed in deeply red suburbs, and not by accident, public transportation is typically a COUNTY matter in these states, so carless people are perpetually anxious and insecure, which leads them to work thaaaat much harder for any crumbs of economic stability you might casually flick at them.


But this cluelessness is common, and forgiveness will come, albeit slowly. But I get a read with you guys that the superficial problem belies a more insidious  evil: The reason your job is out in the burbs is you WANT in your workforce a culture of timid, underpaid cool-aide drinking “Normal people.” who eagerly crave these crumbs. People who operate new, safe automobiles and live in drab tickytack apartments dotting the rim of 275 and proudly hang motivational posters on their walls.

I have this.

But you know what?  MOST people are NOT normal people. The novel I’m going to be wasting hunks your valuable time to write involves a minor character for whom post-dated Instagram pictures are a serious trigger… implying that many people… have to self-curate these false outward lives to cope with their own human weakness. And I cannot help but observe that these sorts of sensibly curated “normal” people form the base of your employment pool. Fuck no.

So then, that brings me to the obvious. Why? Why the Gods Honest Fuck. WHY are you using Excel and Access as actual mission critical record-keeping tools?

And you know what, here’s another point of rage. It’s not even about ME at this point. It’s about the people I love. I know a talented huge-hearted graphic designer who was hospitalized for anxiety attacks in 2015, borne of interviewers begging for free advice and then stealing “sample” artwork to proudly claim as their own. Or bakers that get goaded into providing free samples just in the hope of eventual “recognition.”  I can’t shake the idea that you’re interview process is basically a free way to assess out how to move your heads out of your asses.

I’ll offer you this analogy as a hopefully enlightening show of good faith. I have another close friend, and we travel out west together every year. She and I play this odd little game –  by which she will call me and ask me how to make a dish she has already started making. She’ll want me to, say, teach her how to make caramel sauce when all she has is honey and parsnips, and she’ll insist that all shopping is complete. With her, it’s fun. She is a joy and has saved my life on roughly three separate occasions. I’m happy to indulge her.

But this courtesy is not extended to you. Access is not a database, it’s a dirt-cheap non-solution that  cat ladies use to keep track of which other cat lady received an embroidered “Best Grandma at Gatlinbug” sweater last year so that the clip-art mail merges can continue unabated.”   And don’t get me started at the annoying way people use Excel as a record-keeping tool. Just as shopping is essential to cooking, work process and flexibility form a crucial element of sound analysis.  You know who knows this?  FUCKING PROFESSIONALS. THE FUCKING GROWNUPS IN THE ROOM. Which I’m not sure I see.

WHAT YOU NEED is a custom SAP install and an experienced data-miner who has honed his actuarial craft long enough to know juuuust enough actual ab-ap and SQL to be dangerous. It so happens he also complexities of an international supply chain. and that how a series of random rational decisions can easily lead to mass chaos and job stress for people who have to clean up the kind of messes that shitty thinking spreads all over the cheap carpeting. Hi.

Yours Most Warmly,

Sure enough, I Received an auto-response email inviting me to complete an online profile if I’m interested. Fuck that.  I’ll be the one crunching on the ice.



2 thoughts on “…I Still Move Imaginary Fat Around”

    1. Hi Lan! I thought of you a lot as I wrote it, and my rage was certainly tempered by the fact that “you lived on the other side of things.” Please trust me enough to know that this really wasn’t about you. (really). It’s about Job Coach-me who watched people endure a ridiculous process of and Carless-me who lives within walking distance of his Day Job but the crazy way the busses run make mornings a chore and solid friend-me who hates seeing his loved ones get jerked around – and ultimately how awesome it is that I finally figured out where i belonged.

      Also, I have entered “Catch up with Lan’s life” as an event on my calendar, and I plan to stick to it. I saw your mention of Burmese cuisine and it reminded me how Naiomi Dgulid had a long debate about crossing into Burma during their travels. (And that Shephard Fairey has a killer aung san suu kyi mural about a mile away – literally on my jogging route.)

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