22 October 2011

A Letter to Todd Pennington, Hiring Manager

 Dear Todd Pennington (Centralized Hiring Manager of AT&T in Oklahoma),
I hope I spelled your name correctly?  I lost your business card after spitting my gum into it.  Otherwise, maybe I would have called you to follow up, since you seem to have forgotten the fact that you said you would be “calling tomorrow” to let me know where staffing had decided to place me.
It was So Great to see you again, and to know that there is some stability in this ever changing world—While other people have been growing and accomplishing things, you’re still just interviewing potential employees, like how you did 7 years ago, when you interviewed me for my first job with AT&T.
I LOVED sitting in your tiny little office, and I really respected you for owning an expensive pen and using it to make notes about things you already knew, like the name of my former manager, who you’d spoken with THAT MORNING before I even showed up. 
Really, I just want to thank you, because I had actually thought that I WANTED to come back to work for AT&T, and while I was encouraged to hear you say “I have no doubt you are more qualified than anyone else who could apply, and that you would make any manager happy,” it was the end of the sentence that really stuck with me--when you said, “But you’re just TOO MUCH OF A FREE SPIRIT.”
I’m sorry?   
Who the hell do you think you are?   
You don’t know me. 
But you think you do, which is both what makes you a Close-Minded Hoser, and SO good at your job.  There’s nothing like having a Judgmental and Mediocre Person tell me that I’m not a good fit for a company because I’m “too ambitious” and “the type of person who likes to always be experiencing new things and being challenged.”  You seem to really respect the job I was applying for, by the way you said “It can be really dull and repetitive, and I’m just afraid that someone like you will get bored.”
When I replied with a MadMen quote, “Only Boring People Get Bored” then added “and I’m not boring,” you just called me a “Free Spirit” about ten more times, before dazzling me with this—“If I hire you back, and you quit again, I will look bad, and you’re too much of a risk.  Once a cheater, always a cheater, you know?”
I committed INFIDELITY against my sacred covenant with AT&T by choosing to travel?   
Do you realize that outside of your humdrum backwater little world, people like to experience new cultures, embrace opportunities, and gain broader perspectives?  Especially while we're young and in transitional phases of life, when it makes perfect sense?  
But of course, I tried to explain that to you, but you just kept shaking your head and sighing in despair, telling me that you were just “too worried that [I] would not be fulfilled in a corporate job.” 
I even explained to you that you could stop trembling and worrying about my ambition and creativity, because they have their own outlets, and the bottom line is that I need to get paid, and I will always need to get paid.
But it makes sense that you wouldn’t understand why I SO AUDACIOUSLY dared to "quit a good job,” to do something as ridiculous as international travel.  We’ll never see eye to eye on this, because in your pathetic little world, the greatest risk you can take is hiring someone like me—someone who is educated, experienced, and motivated. 
It was really cute when you tried to establish some sort of rapport between us by saying that you were a lot like me in the sense that we both like to “broaden our horizons and demand more from life.”  
Have you ever even been on an airplane, Mr. Pennington?
Still, I left the interview feeling pretty confidant.  After having you repeatedly insult me and insist that you knew more about my motivations than I did, you actually seemed somewhat convinced that I was your best choice.  You told me that out of the 200 people who applied, I was in your top 2 and there was “no doubt” staffing would rank me as the right decision. You shook my hand, told me there would be a meeting that afternoon to decide which office needed me, and that you would try to keep me as close to Norman as possible.  And then, you said: “I’ll call you tomorrow to let you know.”
But you didn’t, did you?  Did your cell phone erase all your numbers? Did my resume get ambitious, flee from your desk, and drive to the West Coast with the top down?
I know, I sound upset, but the truth is—if I hadn’t interviewed with you, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have you tell me so many things about myself that I was unaware of.  I’m glad that AT&T lets you screen all of their potential employees so that you can weed out the college educated and those that have over 5 years experience in the exact job they’re applying for. 
Now I must close this letter so that I can go burn some incense and ponder my existence before following my heart and twirling about like the Free Spirit I am.
Thanks for not hiring me, because now, I have absolutely no idea what the future holds. While you— You Will Continue Doing The Exact Same Thing Every Day For The Rest Of Your Life. 
Once a Common, Uninspired, Resentful and Mediocre Person, always a Common, Uninspired, Resentful and Mediocre Person. 
Good Luck With That!


Jayme said...

Eat that Todd Pennington! This was amazing.

Anonymous said...

I understand how desperate it can be to try and balance creative life with the desire to provide for yourself but I am glad you didn't get the job! You need to finish your book! Publish and stop trying to fit into a world where you don't belong. Just sayin!

Kat Maslow said...

Pity the fool who makes an enemy of you. I really hope you actually sent this to him... This is kind of the best thing I've read online in a while and entirely relatable I'm afraid. Good Luck on the job search ;)

Abzeid said...

I swear everytime you pop up on my reader, your content gets more and more amusing. Keep writing! That's where your golden egg is.

Anonymous said...

Taylor Swift would be so proud!

Ke Xiao Mei said...


Lorraine said...

So much about this caught my attention, but I have to say that most of all, the fact the fact that you fought fire with a Mad Men quote? AMAZING.


Beth said...

Going back is never good, unless it is for something forgotten. so even if you look back, keep moving forward. (as you know)

Anonymous said...

I couldn’t resist commenting

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

Thanks everyone for the comments, though I probably deserve a reprimand for this!

And BETH! Thank you Thank you-- you show me why blogging is so good in the first place, because you can remind me of the things I already know, but might not remember.

And that's fine Anon, I understand.

Lindsey H said...

Wow, could he be any more of an a**hole! How dare he say those things about you! The rathole of a corporation would be beyond lucky to have you again! I love this letter, it's pretty much the most amazing thing ever! Now... We just need to go buy a crap load of yellow highlighters and give Pedro a ring! :)

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

MUAHAHAHA Linds, I wondered if you had seen this?! Most of the other AT&T Peeps sent me messages about it, except for Kati who of course just owned up to it by commenting on the fb link.

Bahahahaha so funny. MAN that place was just BadNewsBears.

Anissa Nishira said...

that was incredible.