O, rejection letter! Ye bearer of inclement news. Thou slim-sentenced excuse for common decency. Whither must thou wander so frequently into my life?
Rejection letters are an inevitable part of life. Sometimes they are helpful; they can provide a sense of closure or the motivation to seek an alternative path. But I often find these letters to be a tad mean spirited. I mean, if I've been informed that the position has been filled by other candidate, I don't need the next two sentences to proclaim that this person is better than me. I'm smart enough to infer that by the fact that they were hired and I was not.
One of my friends worked in a college admissions office for a time before heading into the wily world of HR. She told me that rejection letters are thought of as a good way to prevent lawsuits. True as that may be, it doesn't prevent many people I know from reading a rejection letter and thinking out loud, "Ugh. This is SLANDER!" Obviously rejection letters are a lot like mustard. A little can go a long way.
I have a confession to make. I've written many a rejection letter in my day. It was a responsibility lovingly schlepped upon me while I served as the lowest-on-the-totem-pole in a theater's literary department. I tried my darnedest to soften the blow. I often made painstaking attempts to provide a warm fuzzy sensation to the recipient of a note that basically boiled down to "your play just ain't our cup of tea."
I took pride in my rejection letter writing skills and, after much experimenting, I came up with an appropriate ratio of "No way Jose!" to constructive criticism. One California-based playwright even took the time to send my boss an email commending my letter as "the best rejection letter" she'd ever received. Soon thereafter, she sent another script. Her query jokingly asked if we could please consider it before then end of my tenure as an intern. I believe we obliged.
A few days ago, I started an interactive rejection letter themed Mad Lib. I'd like to thank commenter Terry Tebeau for filling in the blanks and for the benediction in my employment hunt. TT's response saved me the trouble of having to fill in the blanks with my own answers. As much as I was looking forward to using the term calipygian, Mad Libs are never quite as fun when you do them yourself. Without further bologna, I present to you Rejection Letter by Terry Tebeau.
Dear Blake Yeats:Thank you for your recent interest in the Crucifix Polisher position at ACME. We have moistened your rabbits, and we believe your background was an amazing and chartreuse fit with our sandwichy criteria. There were five vigorously plain resumes in the job search process. Blocky consideration has been given to each spleen we shucked.
We regret to bury you that the position has been filled by another shoe whose laces and credentials were better suited for our needs. Thus, we will not be offering you the work.
Kindly note that company policy prevents us from bending the reason we cannot pursue your sink for this position. We would encourage you to continue to review your fit for shiny vacancies. We wish you the best for your future hardwood endeavors.
Copper Pot Team Lead
UPDATE: I've been gifted with another response from the darling and delightful Audra. Gotta love form letters! I'm having so much fun with these that I'm going to have to think up another Mad Lib lickety split.
Dear Audra Petrie Veber:Thank you for your recent interest in the Executive Assistant position at Veber Partners. We have hurried your chairs, and we believe your background was a bland and successful fit with our cold criteria. There were one thousand begrudgingly bright cars in the job search process. Wet consideration has been given to each dog we walked.
We regret to give you that the position has been filled by another plant whose paper clips and credentials were better suited for our needs. Thus, we will not be offering you the water.
Kindly note that company policy prevents us from printing the reason we cannot pursue your father-in-law for this position. We would encourage you to continue to review your fit for nosy vacancies. We wish you the best for your future money endeavors.
Phone Team Lead