The volatile economy and high unemployment rate has necessitated job seekers to tap into their creativity to find work. In December, Occupy Wall Street protestor Tracy Postert decided to take a more proactive approach to her job search by wearing a large sign listing her professional qualifications and handing out resumes to any passersby in a suit. A few weeks later, she was hired by a brokerage house on Wall Street.
That same month, Bennett Olson, an unemployed twenty-something, decided to purchase advertising space on a Minneapolis billboard that simply read 'Hire Me!' along with a gargantuan headshot and link to his website. His ingenuity landed him a job with a design company the following week.
Such methods led me to ponder whether similar tactics could be applied, but in an effort to land one specific job -- a job that doesn't post want ads or have a typical application process, to wit, a busboy position at the Golden Corral. Could one simply ask (nicely) for a job via a public forum? Such an effort might require acts of shameless self-promotion. But shameless self-promotion is about as American as apple pie and celebrity sex tapes these days, so why not give it a shot? Let's start the insanity...
What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?:
When I was four-years-old, I informed my babysitter that I wanted to be a Malibu Ken when I grew up (that's an exact quote). The motivation behind such a dream had much to do with the attention being paid to Malibu Ken dolls by the girls at daycare (not to mention Barbie). Being showered with attention by the opposite sex -- Malibu Ken was a babe magnet for both humans and inanimate plastic dolls -- and lounging around all day in the sun seemed like a pretty sweet gig, and I wanted to be a part of it. But, alas, such whimsical dreams fade away with age.
In first grade I wanted to be a zookeeper, but by second grade I was responsible for feeding and tending to the kennels of my family's two Golden Retrievers. Halfway through my first day of this newfound gig my career aspirations experienced a dramatic shift. By the fifth grade I was set on becoming a homicide detective, specifically Frank Pembleton from the Homicide: Life on the Street television series. But as the series went on and the perpetrators kept firing more and more bullets in Frank's direction, it occurred that, career-wise, there might be room for improvement on a civil servant risking one's life daily.
By the sixth grade I had become an avid viewer of Saturday Night Live, and decided that, rather than clean up animal feces or dodge bullets in South Baltimore, one day I would write for the show. I proceeded to jot down inane sketch ideas on scraps of paper and keep them in a shoebox, awaiting the day some clairvoyant SNL producer would call and implore me to share the brilliant ideas I had penned over the years. "I've been expecting your call." I would say. "What the hell took you so long?". "And since I have you on the line, how about that Sinead O'Connor tearing up a picture of The Pope, eh?" Astonishingly, that call never came.
Which brings us to present-day, and the notion of creatively soliciting one specific job.
An Open Letter to SNL Creator/Producer, Lorne Michaels:
Dear Mr. Michaels:
How's your day going? I'm writing to implore you to hire me as a staff writer for Saturday Night Live. We obviously don't know one another, hence the need for this ridiculous letter, so I will begin by providing some persuasive reasons for why hiring me would be a prudent decision on your part.
1. You're from Canada. I attended a Canadian university (we're getting to know each other already).
2. Hiring me will provide a much-needed boost to the economy, bringing you one step closer to that Nobel Prize you've rightfully deserved but wrongfully not yet received.
3. I just might have a relative who owns a Nielson ratings box (I'm not suggesting an overnight ratings surge, but every viewer counts, am I right?).
4. I live downtown -- just a hop, skip, and a jump from Rockefeller Center -- which means I will be able to focus on writing rather than a grueling commute to work.
5. I'm a team player, willing to augment a potential writing position with additional responsibilities. If the Zamboni driver is out ill, I'm more than happy to smooth the Rockefeller skating rink surface for the tourists. Or, if you need me to give the occasional studio tour a la Kenneth the page from 30 Rock, I'm fine with that as well.
6. I'm asking nicely, and I think we all know how rare manners are in today's modern world.
In 1976, you propositioned the Beatles to reunite on the show and play three songs in exchange for $3,000. In the monologue you quipped, "you know the words, it'll be easy."
Similarly, if I may, you've hired (and fired) plenty of people over the years. You know the drill, it'll be easy. Have your people contact my people and we'll set up a lunch. I'll buy, provided you're agreeable to Arby's or the Golden Corral.