“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
I wrote a post last week about now famous and successful authors who had been the victims of intellectually challenged publishers and who as a consequence had suffered the indignity of receiving letters and comments rejecting their work. (Possibly The Most Rejected Book Manuscript In The World)
Back on the theme of rejection letters I found a few other examples that I thought were interesting and, I hope, amusing. Here are three of the best.
The first was sent to an aspiring author of a novel. It was either a very bad manuscript or the publisher was having a particularly bad day.
Dear Bad Writer,
Unfortunately it falls to me to inform you that Harlequin will not be publishing your novel, Kisses In January.
While it is customary to send out a form letter in cases of such rejection, your novel was so strikingly inept, I felt I had to say a few words.
One, you are not welcome to submit any future work to our offices.
Two, both myself and my assistant are considering legal action against you for wasting our valuable time with your relentless tripe.
Among the areas needing vast improvement: Description, character development, and dialogue. The less said about the love scenes the better.
Should this novel have been published, it would have likely resulted in the end of modern book sales.
Trying to Forget,
Judith P Esterman, Editor
Harlequin American Romance.
The second is a curious letter of rejection. In fact you could say it is a rejecting rejection letter.
Herbert A. Millington
Chair – Search Committee
412A Clarkson Hall, Whitson University
College Hill, MA 34109
Dear Professor Millington,
Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me an assistant professor position in your department.
This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.
Despite Whitson’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.
Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.
Chris L. Jensen
And the third is perhaps the letter we have all secretly wanted to write at some time in our lives. It is a farewell letter from someone who worked in the Dublin office of Ernst & Young. Now this is closure!
My leaving letter:
As many of you probably know, tomorrow is my last day. But before I leave, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type “Tomorrow is my last day.”
For nearly as long as I’ve worked here, I’ve hoped that I might one day leave this company. And now that this dream has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your unending lack of support. Words cannot express my gratitude for the words of gratitude you did not express.
I would especially like to thank all of my managers: in an age where miscommunication is all too common, you consistently impressed and inspired me with the sheer magnitude of your misinformation. It takes a strong man to admit his mistake – it takes a stronger man to attribute his mistake to me.
Over the year and a half, you have taught me more than I could ever ask for and, in most cases, ever did ask for. I have been fortunate enough to work with some absolutely interchangeable supervisors on a wide variety of seemingly identical projects – an invaluable lesson in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium.
Your demands were high and your patience short, but I take great solace knowing that my work was, as stated on my annual review, “mostly satisfactory.” That is the type of praise that sends a man home happy after even a ‘10 hour’ day, smiling his way through half a bottle of mostly satisfactory scotch.
And to most of my peers: even though we barely acknowledged each other within these office walls, I hope that in the future, should we pass on the street, you will regard me the same way as I regard you: sans eye contact.
But to those few souls with whom I’ve actually interacted, here are my personalized notes of farewell:
To Caulfield: I will always remember sharing lunch with you, despite having clearly labeled it with my name.
To Mairead: I will miss detecting your flatulence as much as you will clearly miss walking past my cubicle to deliver it.
To Linda: Best wishes on your ongoing campaign to popularize these “email forwards.” I sincerely hope you receive that weekend full of good luck, that hug from an old friend, and that baby for your dusty womb.
And finally, to Kat: you were right – I tested positive. We’ll talk later.
So, in parting, if I could pass on any word of advice to the individual who will soon be filling my position, it would be to cherish this experience like a sponge and soak it up like a good woman, because a job opportunity like this comes along only once in a lifetime.
Meaning: if I had to work here again in this lifetime, I would sooner kill myself.
Very truly yours,
PS: I will be throwing myself a happy hour farewell party at the Oden 5.30 tomorrow evening if anybody is interested in drinks!