Dear Head Recruiter of New Information-Age Workers, Inc.:
Thank you for taking me on as a client. My skills include translating, writing, investigating and forecasting. On my own, I’ve had only spotty results from posting my resume on the Internet. “Aspiring psychic seeks day job as newspaper columnist.” One announcement I received read: “Wanted: obituary writer for weekly community newspaper.” The job requirements included writing obituaries to accompany the newborns announced in their births column. The obituaries would foretell the future accomplishments of the infants, describing their impressive impacts on society in the decades to come, and listing the loved ones they would leave behind. Out of sensitivity to the new parents, the paper would withhold the predicted dates of the newborns’ deaths.
I had reservations. What if the child was to become a criminal? A bank robber. A rapist. A terrorist. Or, a test subject for making ethical choices without an emotional guidance system or conscience. Those studies are already under way; did you know that? They will need more subjects. Or, what if the child became a torturer of small insects or large land mammals? Perhaps of small insects on large land mammals? Or, the child eventually died alone, unloved and unnoticed due to an incurable introversion and agoraphobia that trapped the poor creature in a lifetime of solitude and nothingness.
I passed on this job. Why break hearts before their time?
I reposted my resume, this time focusing on my multi-lingual talents. My resume bragged, “Writer and translator, freelance. No project too big or too small. Specializes in working with obscure and dead languages. (Real-time channeling services available at extra charge.)”
The following project proposals quickly filled my inbox.
Proposal 1. Please tell me what my mother meant when she said on her death bed, “I’ll come back and make you sorry you were ever born.” Are any of my dead-end relationships with narcissistic, self-absorbed “metro-sexuals” examples of her threat coming true? (This one I took on. But the proposer still doesn’t believe my answer — “yes.” Hey, don’t criticize What would you say?)
Proposal 2. I will pay you $10,000 for every essay you write revealing the secrets of until-then unsolvable crimes. Bonus if a television channel picks one up as a pilot. Secrets must be verifiable, preferably in the form of an authentic confession. (This one, though very tempting, I passed on. I would have to turn in my sources — unacceptable breach of ethics and trust.)
Proposal 3. Every morning at 10:00 am, the clouds arrange themselves to give me a special message of the day. But, lately, I have not been reading them accurately. I used to be able to get winning lottery numbers. Now, seems all I get are locations of the best sales on laundry detergent. Could you talk to the clouds? Get them back on task? (I am still investigating this one. Not sure if the clouds are off task, or they are punishing the proposer passive-aggressively, or if the proposer simply lost access to his code book.)
The word got out that I was reliable, and I had more work than I could hope to get. However, they were still one-time assignments. I would appreciate what we used to call steady work in the pre-new information age. As we discussed, I have eleven years experience as a freelancer. I’m interested in a position with a creative think tank or a research firm.
My portfolio has samples of work I am most proud of. Please see attachments for the executive summaries of the research I conducted. In all cases, my methodology is trade secret and not available to you. Pragmatic results must provide the verification you need.
Attachment 1. Amazon River Project. On this assignment, my team and I deciphered twelve secret languages of blue- and purple-colored birds in the Amazon River Delta. Sample phrases and their English meanings appear in the executive summary. Optional audio file of bird dialogue and their prayer meetings, recorded directly in the field, are available on request.
Attachment 2. Human Infant Cry Project. Conducted independent research and wrote a codebook for parents. The codebook translates into English the nuances of 45 varieties of infant cries. Bonus appendix — sighs, gurgles and burps. Special section on midnight-hour screeches and coos at dawn. In the accompanying audio file, adult humans imitate the infants in order to protect their identifies and give them anonymity. (By the way, since my research, medical science has since decoded many of the infant cries, independently. This replicates my findings and validates my non-scientific methodology.)
Attachment 3. Human Body Language Made Audible. Translated 316 most common illicit flirtations. Wrote computer program which translates suspected flirtations, in real time. You put in the ear buds, and hear what everyone at the party, in the office, or in the park is saying with their body. Based on the five most common English dialects in the eastern United States. Note — Dialects of San Francisco underclass; Portland, Oregon street people; New York City baristas; Manhattan East 80s, and other special requests are currently being studied and program written.
Attachment 4. Burned Diary Recovery Project. Have completed 16 text recoveries of diaries and personal journals burned in rage, fear and self-denial. Due to its public service nature, I plan to continue to provide this important service even when I have full-time employment. Service requires diary author to still be alive (for now).
As you can see, I have been innovative in applying my skills to a variety of projects. I believe I would be a valuable member of any creative team, or a skillful team leader. Please let me know of any organizations that could use my writing, forecasting, researching and project managements skills — preferably on a permanent, full-time basis. I prefer to work for the common good in an organization that has good health care benefits (including mental health). I am willing to relocate, but prefer to live as far away as possible from my personal vortex of evil (will share its location if offered a position in its vicinity).
Job Seeker in the New Information Age
First appeared in VoiceCatcher2, an anthology of new writing by Portland-area women, 2007. Barbara E. Berger. All rights reserved.