Monday, July 19, 2010

Rejection, or The Cheapening of Our Language

Yesterday I applied for a freelance writer position for an online publisher. If hired, I would look at a list of hundreds of articles that they needed written and write as few or as many as I wanted to. It would have been a perfect job for me at this point in my life. It would have been nice to gain experience. The application involved uploading my resume and a writing sample. One could also provide a link to any writing that was online, so I included a link to this blog.  This is my 50th post, so last night, someone looking at my blog would have had 49 posts to read. There is no question that I could have done the job. It is my opinion that this blog proves that fact. You have no doubt guessed by now that I did not get it.  Here's the rejection letter:

Dear Thomas Morgan,

Thank you for submitting your writer application to Demand Studios. After careful review of your resume and writing sample, we are unable to offer you writing assignments at this time.

Due to the increased interest in freelancing positions at Demand Studios, the approval process has become quite competitive, and we have had to turn down many high-quality applicants.

We sincerely thank you for your interest.

Best regards,

The Demand Studios Team

Please DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. This is an unmonitored email address. Copyright© 2010, Demand Media, Inc. All rights reserved
Now, what did we learn from this rejection letter? Nothing. Well, except that I am a better writer than whoever wrote it. I'll grant that it is grammatically correct. But the body is three paragraphs long, and says nothing. And here is the kicker:  It arrived in my inbox five minutes after I sent in the application. So I have to ask: Does the letter writer know the definitions of the words, "careful" and "sincerely"?  It is hard to imagine that my application, resume, cover letter, and 49 blog entries were carefully considered in less than five minutes. This being a form letter which ends up saying nothing, it is hard to imagine that they "sincerely thank [me] for [my] interest." 

My first reaction to being rejected was sadness. I was bummed. I still am. Before long, though, I was mad, too. This is apparently an organization that only hires writers of the finest quality. Why can they not find someone who can write a letter which has some meaning. It doesn't have to be harsh, but it should say something. Maybe they want someone with an advanced degree. Maybe they want someone with writing experience. Maybe they thought I was a fine writer, with a style that wouldn't match their needs. Maybe they thought I was not a good writer. I could write four form letters in 10 minutes that would cover pretty much all eventualities and not leave the recipient wondering what in the hell just happened. Maybe I'll apply.

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