Department of Human Resources

“The Declaration of Insufficiency: Getting Quality Work Out of ‘The Jeff'”

(Dedicated to David L. Williams)

by David Atkinson

To Mr. Thomas Jefferson,

Monticello,

Virginia

From Edna Baker,

Society for the Advancement and Conservation of Trees,

Boston, Massachusetts

Dear Mr. Jefferson:

Propriety would restrain me from being quite so blunt, but your response to my recent inquiry leaves me no alternative.  I do not expect you will have cause to blame me, given the outrageousness of your conduct.

Your reputation for producing quotable materials is well known and we at the society sincerely believed you would be the most appropriate person to generate words in support of our cause. In reliance on this sincere belief, we entered in good faith into the agreement that you would produce arboreal-themed thoughts of a lofty and enriching nature.

The resulting work: “Trees … I guess” was both shocking and appalling.

Nothing in heaven or on earth could make me understand why you might attempt to foist this drivel upon us. If our monetary terms were unsatisfactory, then I cannot imagine why you would have accepted them. Regardless, there is no possible way you expect that we would use the above. This material is both insulting to our cause and to us, simultaneously in the slapdash workmanship and in the suggestion that it would satisfy our standards.

In short, Mr. Jefferson, we do not consider the provided quote as fulfillment of our contract. If you would still like to provide an actual quote, we will examine that as if this original had not been provided (though be assured that we will examine it closely).  Otherwise, we will assume that you have repudiated our agreement.

Regards,

Edna Baker

To Mr. Thomas Jefferson,

Monticello,

Virginia

From Edna Baker,

Society for the Advancement and Conservation of Trees,

Boston, Massachusetts

Dear Mr. Jefferson:

I find that I must write to you again in displeasure. Though I do admit your most recent attempt to complete our agreement is an improvement over the last, it is clear that we are still far from attaining a meeting of the minds. I still have hopes that you can be persuaded to perform the work for which you were contracted, but I must inform you that your most recent submission does not hearten me.

After all, “Trees: you can do stuff under them” is neither lofty nor enriching. Point of fact, this quote is only the slightest level above the doggerel of your initial attempt to obtain the price we graciously agreed to pay for your work.

We do understand that you are a busy man and have many obligations for our young and brave country. However, we simply cannot do as you suggest and “cut ‘The Jeff’ some slack.” Our comprehension of the importance of your time to our nation still does not allow us to accept this kind of substandard work for our purposes.

Nor, Mr. Jefferson, are we moved by your plea that “Tommy Boy needs some beer money.” We will complete our end of this agreement immediately upon you living up to yours, and not a moment before.  Nothing will satisfy us other than that for which we agreed. No other justification will be heeded.

In short, Mr. Jefferson, send to us a suitable quote or you will not be paid.

Regards,

Edna Baker

To Mr. Thomas Jefferson,

Monticello,

Virginia

From Edna Baker,

Society for the Advancement and Conservation of Trees,

Boston, Massachusetts

Dear Mr. Jefferson:

Though I am far from completely pleased with your third attempt at providing us our desired quote, I am grateful that this one is at least acceptable enough that we can transmit our payment and wash our hands of you. Frankly, Mr. Jefferson, I am weary of dealing with this matter, particularly with you personally.

Certainly, this is the best work you have turned in so far:

I never before knew the full value of trees. My house is entirely embossomed in high plane-trees, with good grass below; and under them I breakfast, dine, write, read, and receive my company. What would I not give that the trees planted nearest round the house at Monticello were full grown.

However, I do note that this is actually a mere expansion of the previous attempt, rephrased and elaborated to a small degree in lofty and uplifting language.

After all, what are you really saying in the above? What is the value of which you speak? All you seem to reference is that trees have been present while you engaged in various activities. One cannot help but realize that you mention both breakfasting and dining, as if you perhaps ran out of ideas and had to mention eating twice. This is not too far a cry from your original “Trees … I guess.”

We will not even address the fact that this is lifted verbatim from one of your letters to Martha Randolph.

In any event, this will at least do for our purposes and the society has instructed me to not waste any more time in hopes of obtaining better. Payment will be forthcoming, but do not consider us happy with this transaction.

For certain, do not consider asking us to provide a reference for your future work.

Regards,

Edna Baker

“My Résumé Says “Jeremy Humbert,” but Ladies Usually Call Me the J-man”

by Jean-Luc Bouchard

Thanks so much for taking the time to see me today. I really appreciate it.

I guess what first interested me in the position was the chance to expand my role in the finance world. My current position involves a lot of administrative duties, but I have extensive experience with data analysis and mapping industry trends that I’d love to put to use. Basically, the J-man’s a ticking testosterone time-bomb, and I’m dangerously close to bringing some metal folding chair justice down onto my dough-bag supervisor’s spine, you know what I mean? I feel like I’m at a turning point in my career and your firm seems like the perfect place for me to gain hands-on training while also making an immediate contribution to the team.

As you’ll see on my résumé, I graduated from Williams College with a major in Math, focusing on statistics, and a minor in sniffing out the ripest campus pussy I could find. I was awarded departmental and general honors. Yes, thank you. I think my background in statistics would be ideal for the kind of candidate you’re looking for. Also, the J-man benches, like, 700 pounds. On a bad day. And the J-man doesn’t have bad days, just bad roids.

Mhm, mhm. No, sure, I have a ton of training in Excel, obviously, and I know C++ and enough Java to get by, haha. I’d also like to note that when the J-man’s in town, farmers lock up their daughters, ladies begin to heat up like a German Shepard left too long in the car, and so-called “men” cream their panties in abject fear of yet another pounding from these bad boys. I mentioned C++, right? Cool, good.

Oh, definitely. I work great with strict deadlines. When the J-man sets his sights on a target, no creation of God or man can stop him. I was an Assistant Editor on my college newspaper for two years, and we worked with tight deadlines every week. I know what it’s like to give people a kick in the pants, if need be. I promise you, I will kick every fucking ass in this building if I have to, starting with the CEO and ending with the CEO again because I’m kinda OCD about stuff, haha.

My best qualities as a worker? The J-man doesn’t solve problems; he attacks them, mercilessly, and with zero regard for collateral damage. The only thing that matters to the J-man, in the moment of assault, is to punch through the pain and wait for the sweet sound of gurgling final breath. I have also been praised by past managers for not being afraid to ask questions.

Oh gosh, my worst quality? Haha, that’s an interesting question. The J-man’s been told that, sometimes, he can come off as too straight. But the J-man doesn’t see anything wrong with that. If you don’t want to fight against a bag of venison jerky for my attention while we’re knocking boots, then you better step up your game in the sack. I’m talking full crazy-girl mode, no holds barred, nails and everything. I want to look in the mirror the next day and see post-coital back scratches splayed triumphantly like the wings of a fiery angel. You can quote the J-man on that. Additionally, I can sometimes become overly engrossed in the highest-priority task on my plate and neglect some smaller projects along the way.

Team player? The J-man follows no man into battle. The J-man shoots first and asks questions never. That being said, I’m kind of a huge geek for team building activities and departmental check-ins. I’m comfortable serving a team or independently setting my own priorities, whichever is needed of me.

Hm? Oh, originally from Maine, but Ino way! Where in Maine? Haha that’s crazy, I lived just outside of Bangor, in Eddington! You know, the J-man thought he smelled the lusty, sweet stink of a Maine hen when he walked in here, but, wow, what a small world! I haven’t been back to Maine since the J-man did a big, collective “smell you later” to that runny shit of a state. Oh, no, wait, I went back last Christmas. The snow was delightful.

Yo, is it just me, or is the J-man spanking the pants off this interview?

What also interests me in your firm is the company culture. Just from talking to some employees in Finance and Marketing this morning, I can tell that people really enjoy working here. It’s such a nice change of pace compared to where I currently work, with that sloppy pap smear they call an office softball league. The billiards tournament and pizza on Thursday afternoons that you mentioned sounds like a great way to meet people I may not see in my day-to-day.

I hope you’ve noticed my eye contact. The J-man hasn’t blinked since he stepped foot in the building. My corneas are raw as hell.

Mhm, mhm. Right, yeah, I’m looking for something a little higher than my current salary. But the J-man’s not about to sit here and argue money with you. The J-man can always make his living the old-fashioned way: fighting hobos in wasteland bars. What the J-man is concerned about, however, are benefits. Health and dental. What’s your policy with new employees?

Five adjectives to describe myself? Um…let’s see. Bulging, in-your-face, mammalian, drenched, and detail-oriented. Was that five…? Yeah, cool.

And feel free to call any of the references I’ve listed: Insatiable Douglas, Vorpal Stu, Reggie from that titty bar near the overpass, my thesis advisor Professor Duncan. They’ve all been informed that I’m using them as contacts.

Where do I see myself in five years? Let’s just say the J-man’s got 20/20 vision, and my sights are set on plowing that supple piece of bacon staring up at me from your desk. You have a lovely family. I’d like to someday work my way up into a more managerial position.

Yes, I do have some questions for you. Hold on, I wrote a couple down. Okay, so, are you looking for a man who doesn’t just eat snatch, but devours it greedily, like a war refugee stumbling upon an unopened Red Cross care package? Are you looking for a man who can’t tell the difference between cinnamon or nutmeg, but who will gladly split you open like an orgasming Liberty Bell should you so desire it? Are you looking for a man whose very presence in a small-to-medium sized room can make all the ladies start to swim in a pool of their own ooze like the goldfish of some ADHD-riddled preteen who constantly forgets to clean out the bowl? Are you looking for a man whose vocabulary is entirely devoid of the words “tenderly” and “subtle,” but who can rip a new shitter in that steaming roadkill you call your supply chain software, because from what I can tell it is outdated and I could definitely help with the transition to a faster program? Because if so, I’m your guy.

Cool, great, thanks. When should I expect to hear back from you? Okay, wonderful. Well, I look forward to it. Oh, is it possible to have my résumé back? Sorry, yeah, it’s my only copy. Thanks so much. Have a great day.

Comments

comments

2 thoughts on “Department of Human Resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *