Friday, September 23, 2011

Too Much Information!

I blame Fox News for making my life miserable in the final days of my broadcast news tenure.

It’s become standard operating procedure to “one up” competing news outlets which, in turn, triggers an absurd trickle down effect as to the content delivered on broadcast airwaves.

The recent coverage of hurricane Irene in the northeastern United States being a prime example:

CNN News Anchor: You’re looking at a live shot of the arrival of hurricane Irene from Capitol Hill…if you look closely you’ll see that a pine cone just violently slammed into this parked Volvo!

I was, in fact, happy to hear that reality star, Snookie, (pronounced: Criminal Annoyance) made it through the storm relatively unscathed.

While the brain trust which comprises network newsrooms were scrambling to get a live shot of potential catastrophe in New York or DC, the storm delivered a surprise punch.  As a result, we now have only 48 states because Vermont got swept into the ocean.**

**Note: Because Vermont sits to the inland west, they took New Hampshire with them. 

No one saw THAT one coming, which makes me sad...primarily because maple syrup and cranberry juice now cost $2-thousand dollars a bottle. 

My writer friend, Todd, met me for lunch recently at a fast food establishment where we pondered societal absurdities where information overload is concerned.

Case in point: a simple job application.

WHAT’S WITH ALL THE QUESTIONS??? When did we become THAT nosy?

Back in my dad’s day, and his father before him, jobs were attained by means of a simple interview process:

Employer: Are you drunk right now?

Prospective Employee: No

Employer: Can you be to work tomorrow morning at 8am and work until 6pm?

Pospective Employee: Yes

Employer: You’re hired.

Out of curiosity, Todd requested a job application from the fast food cashier. We'll call this lovely cashier Cheryl...primarily because her real name is Christine and I want to protect her identity.

Because Todd and I are abundantly mature, we applied for the job.**

**Note: For legal purposes, and to protect the identity of this establishment, I’ve carefully censored the company logo

(Name Censored) Corporation is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship status, or any other basis prohibited by law. 

Position sought: Sous Chef with aspirations of advancing to flambé chef and, ultimately, Executive Onion Ring Chef

Name: James Patrick

Social Security #: Withheld until the United States Congress passes more stringent identity theft laws

Present Address: Street City State Zip

Currently in between residences. It’s a long story which has to do with an incident that took place while cat sitting for my landlady as she was on holiday in Europe. Sadly, Pookie is no longer with us.  I took up residence with my girlfriend shortly thereafter, but, she has since kicked me out.  I assure you that these unfortunate events have nothing to do with my cat sitting abilities nor my ability to kill thousands of people via heart related illnesses by preparing delicious and economical fast food products

Telephone No. (504) 259-XXXX**

**I prefer to let people guess the last four digits. You have 10,000 mathematical possibilities. It’s like the ultimate Sudoku puzzle!!!  Sometimes this game can backfire on was the case with a young woman who I met at the neighborhood pub last year.  We had several evenings of, what I will call, "relations."  At any rate, she solved the phone number puzzle, which ultimately prompted me to file a restraining order.  It's also important to note that this woman is clinically insane...But, The "relations" portion of my encounter was nothing short of spectacular!!!

If you have resided at your present address less than three years, list your prior address:

Butternut, Wisconsin. I stayed briefly last summer visiting my crazy Aunt Cora.  I had no intention of staying with her because she's old and smells funny.  She also collects ceramic- faced dolls.  I found myself unceremoniously ejected from the vehicle while on a road trip to Chicago with some friends.  By the way, Aunt Cora had a ton of wild poppy plants growing naturally around her front porch.  Did you know that state DEA agents frown upon people who grow large quantities of the beautiful poppy plant?   They questioned my aunt extensively, then they destroyed her plants!! Seriously??? They thought that my Aunt Cora was an opium dealer?   It’s a good thing that they didn’t find my Uncle Leonard's marijuana plants!

Have you ever been convicted of or pled guilty to a crime?

Does “No Contest” count?

**(Conviction or plea will not necessarily disqualify applicant from employment)

Are you available to work:

Full Time: YES
Part-Time: YES
Temporary: YES, but only if my paycheck is left on the nightstand under a cheap bottle of whiskey.
Are you available to work overtime when necessary?

YES!!  I find that working insanely long hours for little money or appreciation builds character.

When are you available to start work?

1-hour and 47 minutes from right now. I would be available sooner, but I have a previous commitment

Are you a U.S. Citizen or an alien legally entitled to work in the position(s) for which you have applied?

I am a US citizen**

**Note: I presently have an application for Canadian citizenship under review

Have you filed an application here before? If yes, give date(s)


How were you referred to our restaurant?

The young woman, Christine, who works the counter for you, gave me this application.  By the way, she hates working at your establishment, as evidenced by her droning complaints.  You should know that she frequently ingests large quantities of vodka in the walk-in cooler; at least that's what the fry cook told me.  Heads up...she plans to quit next week so I wanted to seize the opportunity for an immediate opening. 


Circle last year completed: 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

I was completely unaware that there were, in fact, nineteen grades.

High school major:

No one EVER informed me that we could select a major in high school! I suppose this happens somewhere between the aforementioned 17th and 19th grades...which I suspect explains my current unemployment status.

Average grade:

On a scale of 1-10, I’d give my high school experience a six. I’d give it a 10 had Leann Batey placed her hands down my pants on junior prom night.
College name & location:

If I had completed college, and found myself applying for a fast food position, I would definitely punch my professor directly in the nut sack.

Number of years at college: 43 days
Major: Art History

Other schooling or relevant training, including professional licenses or certifications:

Masseuse license.  I believe that massage therapy skills would serve your organization quite well because, as you may or may not know, your drive-thru staff seems to be quite edgy...and quite selfish with dispensing ketchup.  I believe that a limber workforce is a happy workforce.  I also hold a certification which confirms that I have an actual star in outer space named after me.  It was a gift from my Uncle Leonard.


Typing speed, words per minute: 7,743

Do you have Computer or Register or Keyboard Skills? If so, which systems?

Extensively fluent in operating an Android and Facebook...especially while I'm at work. 

Internet fluent?

Yes, but I'm uncertain as to how that will be helpful in making delicious charbroiled burgers.  Unless your corporation plans to offer "virtual" food in the near future.  If so, I'm sure that it would still taste much better than your competitor's "Natural Cut" sea salt fries.

Word processing fluent?

I sometimes have trouble processing words, but that seems to be due to a minor binge drinking problem.  I've recently cut back and switched to Vicodin after an oral surgery.  My friend Amanda hides them from me and only dangles one in my face as a treat, but only if I’ve been real good.  By the way, your cashier, Christine, purchased three Vicodin tablets from me when I requested this application.

List types of programs that you use most often: Halo, Angry Birds, Grand Theft Auto and, as a guilty pleasure, Guitar Hero and Just Dance.
PERSONAL REFERENCES (List the name and telephone number of three references who are not related to you and are not previous employers).

Mike Klein 504-xxx-xxxx.  Mike is a literary editor and will probably not say nice things about me, but I don't mind if you contact him...he's a lonely man.  If you do speak with him, take painstaking efforts to use proper grammar.  Mike is a bit of a word snob who regularly beats his children for ending sentences in prepositions. 
Starting with your present or most recent job, list your employment experience. You may include job-related military service assignments and volunteer activities that reflect your qualifications for employment.
Employer: Dewey McFarland's Dude Ranch & Riding Trail, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Employment Dates & Kind of Work Performed:

Apprentice horse whisperer: August 12 - August 15
Duties included being kicked in the rib cage, scooping up enormous piles of horse doo doo, purchasing large quantities of Jack Daniel's whiskey for Dewey and being violently thrown from and bitten by untamable, insane equines.

Reason for Leaving: Accidentally started a stampede

(If you need additional space, please continue on a separate sheet of paper.)

May we contact the employers listed? If no, indicate which one(s) you do NOT wish us to contact, and state the reason why.

None of them...Primarily because contacting my previous employers would negatively affect your decision to hire me. 

List Any Hobbies or Special Interests:

Amateur ventriloquist, collecting bright blue bottles, worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ.


Submit in person or electronically

Unfortunately, I've yet to receive a call back for an in-person interview.  I suspect that they might have classified me as over-qualified for the position.

In the meantime, I'm looking for a new place to live.  If you have room let me know...I'm happy to cat-sit for you if need be.

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011