And how to not: endear yourself to someone; make a favorable impression; forge collegial relationships; win friends; favorably influence people; et cetera. Think of this as a blue print.
So, um, hey everyone, got a response from Mr. X about my cover letters and resume.
As you may know, I’ve been sending a theme cover letter and resume to Mr. X, whom met in passing this fall, about a job that did not exist. See blog entry 1 about this for the background information then entry 2, entry 3, and entry 4 to get you up to speed if you haven’t been following; I’ll wait.
After sending my 4th cover letter and resume on Sunday night I received an email from Mr. X first thing Monday morning. The moment I saw it I thought “Oh my god, he read my email. YAY!” then, “ooh, this is not good.” Why? When you get an immediate response from someone you don’t know or met briefly it is either “Holy Crap! So great to hear from you!!” or “Fuck OFF!” This was my fourth email to him; were he excited to get something from me I would have heard from him in January or February. This was not going to be good. I clicked to open the message.
When I first read the response I was: 1. still shocked to get any response at all, after the first two letters, I didn’t think he was reading anything I sent. (I had wondered but didn’t believe so). 2. Surprised at the overall tone of the short missive.
It made me feel like a jerk and an asshole for even trying to take a shot-in-the-dark attempt at a non-existent job; then I thought he was a jerk for making me feel like a jerk and being condescending and blowing me out of the water. “Didn’t need to be a jerk by writing a rude email, jerk. A ‘thanks but no thanks’ would have sufficed, double jerk.”
Then I started to think about his point of view. Yes, his email managed to be both passive aggressive and bitchy in a few short lines (also, he could have nipped this in the bud with a response in February.) But let me review what I was doing and how it may have been viewed by Mr. X who, it turned out, was reading these cover letters and resumes. Repeatedly.
I sent Mr. X my first unsolicited cover letter (in the body of the email) and resume (as an attachment) to him in January. I thought it was creative, clever, funny and showing interest in his company. Off it went.
Me: “He trashed it.”
***Turns out, he read it. I have no idea what he thought about it or even if he remembered who I was. I even put my blog address in there if he wanted to get an idea of what my sense of humor was like. (He works for his own company–why hire someone whose personality you can’t stand?) So he got one resume and one cover letter. Hey may have even thought the first email was creative, earnest, funny, etc. I’ll never know.
After a few weeks of hearing nothing I though: 1. he filled it away (and my “filled” I mean the virtual circular file that exists everyone’s computer desktop) or that he didn’t actually answer his emails but an assistant did–an assistant under strict orders to delete anything that looked job request-y. 2. I had put a lot of thought and work into them, someone should read them, so I’ll put them on my blog. I was careful to get rid of any identifying information about Mr. X or myself as to not piss anyone off just in case he did take a look.
After a month or so had passed I tried again. “Why not? Maybe it will get through this time if it hadn’t before, or he can ignore it again, or my email address is already on auto-block from his account at the server level.”
In my second unsolicited cover letter and resume I think I attached my resume and the first cover letter while using the second cover letter in the body of the email. So this time he got two cover letters and one resume a month or so after the first one.
“Not a problem, I don’t think he’s reading these things anyway. But if he is, it will show that I’m eager and serious in a fun way.”
Off it went.
Me: “I’m blocked or he trashed it.”
***But he read it. Again. Who knows what he thought about the content or if he liked them etc. However, he received two unsolicited cover letters and a resume this time.
Me: “I’ll keep posting these cover letters on my blog. They’re clever and fun and my friends/readers seem to like them. Hey, I know! I create theme cover letters each month–until I get some kind of response or I get bored. It will be fun.”
March passed by without incident, but I thought I would do an April letter for April Fool’s day. Also, since April was poetry month I did it in all in haiku. This time I thought, “Pretty sure I’m blocked by him or he’s just deleting these or he maybe doesn’t open any attachments sent from strangers. This time I’ll put everything in the body of the email, the newest cover letter at the top then the other cover letters and my resume at the bottom. Oooo, I just had a great idea! I’ll also send this to his work partner, maybe I’m not blocked there, and she’ll be able to read these from the beginning, find it witty and wonderful (how could one not?) and will want to talk to Mr. X about me and wish to hire me for the summer. Why not give it a shot? What’s the worst that could happen? I may sneak through. But let’s be realistic, these are not going to be read by the company’s owners– it’s going to cyberspace then I’ll get to post it on my blog.”
***But Mr. X was getting and reading these, a real person. So, on April 1st this lucky man received another unsolicited job request consisting of THREE cover letters and one resume (hey, no attachments this time.). But wait, there’s more! Remember, I also sent one to Mr. X’s partner. She had the joy of receiving this too. (For the life of me, I don’t know why I thought this was such a great idea. “Hey, why only irritate one person when I can annoy two with the same email? And who wouldn’t want to read something I’ve written??” Ug. What is wrong with me?) So, in total, that company received six cover letters and two resumes from me in the month of April. April Fool’s indeed. Reflecting upon this move, this was a probably a seven out of ten on the Obnoxious Scale. (The Obnoxious Scale, like the Richter Scale goes up logarithmically with each whole number.) I have no idea what their reactions were. Maybe Mr. X thought “Ug, are you kidding me lady? This is getting ridiculous.” and his partner may have thought “Who and what the hell is this?”
At some point in between cover letters, Mr. X may have even visited my blog, saw that I had posted the cover letters and my resume and thought “is this a joke? Is she really looking for work or is this just funny for her.” Pure speculation on my part. I don’t think he’d visit my blog. Even if he had, I don’t think he would have read much beyond the home page. Then again, I didn’t think he was reading anything I was sending.
Anyway, with attempt number 3…
Me: “I am so blocked from everyone there. Not even a ‘thank you but no thank you’ email. Oh, well. What to do next month?”
“Hey I’ll do rave reviews for May, like they do for movie ads in magazines. This time I’ll use real quotes then add a couple that are witty because I am soooo clever. Oh, also, since no one is reading them and I’m probably already blocked from Mr. X and his partner’s email inboxes, I’ll send the email to their general inbox! Maybe someone will see it, see and understand the thread via all the cover letters, read the resume and like it. Then again, no one is going to read these, unless, this time, it gets through via their general email account.”
***But, he, and probably she, was getting them, getting all of them.
So, brilliant, clever, funny me sent, his company, not one, not two, but THREE emails containing 4 cover letters and 1 resume each. a grand total of TWELVE cover letters and THREE resumes. I buried them.
Obnoxious Scale? This one goes to eleven.
What an idiot.
Would I hire someone who clogged, not only my inbox, but most of the inboxes of my company on a monthly basis? Not so much. Is someone that constantly clamors for my attention and that of my colleagues someone I want to have around helping me and maybe even representing my business to the outside world, even for “one week free?” Not on your fucking life.
So, I got a response. And a reaction. Now his response, while still a bitchy, makes more sense, in this context. In fact, I’m starting to see it as quite restrained. I may have just sent “Fuck off. Just go away now. Really. No, really.” He wanted this crap to stop and for it to stop NOW. Thus, the above email.
Yes, I’m clever, fun, funny and a hard worker and the cover letters were fun and creative. However, in my effort to come across as “really eager and enthusiastic.” I came across as overbearing, obnoxious and more than slightly crazy. Getting his email was a shitty way to learn an important lesson. (Perhaps I was staring out the window or writing the lyrics to Beatles’ songs when how-to-not-come-across-as-a-crazy-pesty-twerp, was being covered in class.) Could he have sent a quick note after the first email? Yes, but he has a business to run and probably not a lot of time to answer every random, unsolicited email he gets.
Anyway, I’d send Mr. X, and his partner, an apology for being a first-class twit, but I’m afraid that my email would now bounced directly to their lawyer. A person from whom I do not wish to hear. I don’t actually relish the idea of getting “cease and desist” order from anyone.
I’ll say “sorry” into the ether and hope the universe gets it to them.
If Mr. X and/or partner is/are reading this, please don’t sue. I have very few assets and the best you can hope to get from me is a pair of used snow-tires from an ’89 Corolla.
So, in the mean time, I’m still looking for a job this summer. Anyone interested in hiring me? I can throw together a couple cover letters and and email you…
Thanks for reading.
~The Sassy (and humbled) Librarian.