Suburban Snapshots

An Open Letter to the
Hiring Manager

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Dear Human Resources Personnel and Supervisor of the Position to Which My Husband Has Applied:

I know that we're lucky my husband is currently employed. We're lucky that our house isn't in foreclosure, that our oil tank has at least a puddle in it to get us through until the next paycheck, that we can put our daughter in preschool a few days a week so that when he comes through the door as the rest of the coast is just waking up, my husband can collapse into sleep after collecting Anna's cold-shouldered rejection or squeals and kisses, depending on her mood that morning. I know we are not bad off.

Still, while he slept off his shift on the guest bed in my office, I arranged his résumé to make it clear his experience matches the requirements you seek to fulfill. I spent three hours editing his cover letter, spell-checking, and dropping your application PDF into Photoshop in order to type the information clearly and neatly. With Steve asleep behind me, covered in dogs and dead to the world, I added three references — good ones — and emailed the résumé to your office. After that I slipped out, bought ink for my printer, and printed out a hard copy to hand-deliver (I hope you appreciated the printed envelope, because being unfamiliar with the fickle nature of my printer you might not know what a colossal b-curse it is to get it properly aligned).

We both understand that with these kinds of openings there's usually a brother-in-law or friend-of who's got some of the qualifications and all of the connections to be a shoo-in. There's a guy who submitted his application for show, though his DNA and a handshake could easily land him the job. Knowing Steve as I have in all his jobs and roles, I can guarantee you this: no one you're considering will work harder than he will. No one will be as meticulous, or reliable, or as willing. Chances are other guys will be bigger, but they won't be stronger. They'll know what they're doing but they won't be smarter. They'll get the work done but they won't do it better.

All I want for my husband is a break. I want him to sleep when regular people sleep, and be able to take time off sometimes or call in sick or travel with me for work once a year — he hasn't had a non-lay-off-induced vacation since our honeymoon seven years ago. He needs this. He deserves it.

So please, when the supervisor's cousin sits down to interview, or the mayor's nephew's best friend hands you his résumé, remember there's a guy who's relatively new to town, who's got grease permanently embedded in the cracks of his hands and a rock-solid work ethic, and he's years overdue for a break.

His Wife

Update: On Thursday, September 29th, Steve had a third interview for this position and was sent home with the job.

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