The economy is imploding! And today's New York Times is here to tell us people are so fucking desperate for work they are resorting to insane cover letters. "I will give you more than a million dollars for a well-paid sales job," one guy wrote. A PR lady wrote a David Letterman-style Top 10 list. User-generated content idea time! See, I personally am something of a master of the desperate cover letter genre, having had approximately 93 jobs and the obsessive need to tailor them ever-so-specifically to the job at hand that I rarely even end up sending them, hence the desperation emanating from the ones I actually do, because by that point I am fucking broke as fuck. So readers, if you would allow me to take the unseemly step of commencing a series of other authors' works by a few paragraphs from my own great cover letter canon (and the unseemlier step of allowing how I'm reminding myself of Norman Mailer in the process), I'm sharing with you my Jezebel cover letter.
It's not as hilarious as the one I appended to my Starbucks application of 1996 or the Valley girl voice I adopted to apply for a job at TheStreet in 2001, but it's in my inbox and it did the job, so to speak. [I would like to say that when Moe's letter was forwarded to me on February 6, 2007 I about creamed my panties in excitement. Best pre-Valentine's Day present ever. -Ed.] Send yours! Bad, good, insane, inane, presumptuous, whatev! It's the least we can do in this era of endless downsizing.
————— Forwarded message —————
From: Maureen Tkacik
Date: Feb 5, 2007 5:08 PM
Subject: your job
Dear Lockhart Steele,
I fucking love women's magazines, almost as much as I love trend stories in the NYTSSS. Here is an anecdote: while at work one of the latter loves, hoping it would tide me over while I toil over a book on what I call the Nothing Based Economy, I paid a call to Teen Vogue's publicist, asking if maybe she could get an editor to weigh in for my story on the hot new trendlet of photogenic teenage interns who double as arm candy. (AKA the "I MADE Cory Kennedy and all I got was $900" piece.) In true Styles style, the eds had chained me to my desk from 9 a.m. till 12 a.m. the week before the piece ran, demanding I call more demographers, headhunters, stand-up comedians, cultural theorists and esp. quotable friends of Styles editors making sure the story was, you know, "bulletproof"; Skype and cell were both ringing off the proverbial heezy.
And soooooo, when one "Amy Astley" caught me unawares with her call and I asked for her title, one Amy Astley, "editor-in-CHIEF," paused for a few seconds, and then uttered, "I'm sorry, I think you'll have to get someone else to talk to you. I just think this interview has gotten off to a really bad start." I couldn't have agreed more, and hung up accordingly, but just because I am so nice, I emailed [redacted], a friend at Conde Nast, to extend my "most heartfelt and sincerest apologies" for the gaffe, explaining that I was swamped/brain-farting/whatever. [Redacted] promptly called Amy, who said, and he quotes,
"I'm glad she realized something needed to be fixed,"
"She'll learn from this."
And that was the moment that I realized that I have more to learn from women's magazines, Mr. Steele, than I could ever learn from composing trend stories for the Times, but alas, I'm afraid I've been shut out of the industry now. This is my chance, and I would be honored if you would give it to me. I think there are things I could teach them, too, such as: I lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks on the Poverty Diet (dollar menu chicken nuggets, Marlboros and no subway card) while I waited for that NYT check; Pond's cold cream works better than all 47 of the anti-aging eye creams I have purchased variously at Sephora, Saks and duty free carts; every single hipster girl I have informally polled agrees that "Can This Marriage Be Saved", adapted for friendships, live-in relationships and difficult jobs could alone, if resurrected, make us buy women's magazines again.
Seriously, I love women's magazines because they take themselves seriously in that way only the manufacturers of truly insipid drivel with no conceivable social value other than the perpetuation of frivolous longings that keep same-store sales and the economy of the superficial motoring along. I also have dozens of good friends who have found employment with them. Because that option is no longer open to me, I am perfect for this blog.