UNDERGROUND VOICES: FICTION
SHARA AZAD

To Whom It May Concern

We are seeking someone who is charismatic, friendly, [and] enjoys meeting new people. Candidates must possess great customer contact skills. -Craigslist Receptionist Posting



To Whom It May Concern:

         I recently spotted an advertisement for the Wyatt Corporation in the classified section of The Sunday Times and am now very interested in a position at your company. I believe that the unique combination of my persistence, diligence, and joie de vivre would make me the perfect receptionist for Wyatt. After all, I certainly love “meeting new people,” as was mentioned in the advertisement.

         A graduate of the University of Phoenix online class of 1996 with a degree in psychology, I also have ample experience in the receptionist line of work. Until about six weeks ago, I was employed as a receptionist at the PetSmart headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. During my time at PetSmart, I undertook a great variety of projects to improve the quality of the office experience. For example, it was I who suggested the placement of a bamboo plant by the third floor water cooler to add a touch of color, an effort that undoubtedly brightened the day of many. If I were to be employed at Wyatt, I would be sure to lead such initiatives once again.

         I have included further details of my skills in my résumé, which is attached to this cover letter for your perusal. If you are in need of any letters of reference, please let me know and I will obtain them. I would prefer if you did not contact my former employers yourself, however. There was a small incident in the past that actually, in the grand scheme of things, is quite insignificant, but for the time being I believe it would be best if I acted as a liaison between Wyatt and PetSmart or any other party speaking on my behalf.

         Although my request may seem strange, please do not misinterpret the situation. I do not believe I am at fault for any events that may have occurred in my past. There was merely a misunderstanding between my former employers and myself. As my mother used to say, there are two types of people in the world: people who are “go-getters” and people who laze and allow opportunities to pass by them. I am definitely a go-getter, but certain people are incapable of understanding that.

         When I worked at PetSmart, I genuinely loved working there. I would wake up every morning eager to re-file lists of dog food brands and to add a new paper clip to my paper clip chain. Furthermore, like a true receptionist, my favorite tasks were greeting clients and answering the phone. I lived to answer the phone—I dreamt of answering that phone. One day I even felt shooting pains running up and down my left arm when I picked up the receiver and it was Meow Mix, threatening to cut our supply of premium cat food and switch to PetCo.

         If I could be accused of any crime, it would be that I loved my job too much. But is that truly a crime? Why is it so wrong to follow the president of one Purina Puppy Chow home to have him sign a receipt if that was, in fact, my job? I could not have left it for the next day as my boss, Joe, suggested in the plaintiff’s claim. If I had, the entire economy could have collapsed. I am convinced we are only in a “financial crisis” now because our great nation is suffering under the leadership of such negligent, lackadaisical individuals like Joe. I would be willing to bet my limited addition Betty Boop lunchbox that Joe is the cause of the recession, and I know these sorts of things—I have a psychology degree!

         Please do not be alarmed by my tone; I am generally a very amicable person when I have not been wrongfully accused. Nevertheless, for the record, I did not track the president of Purina Puppy Chow in a creepy, stalker-like way, as the court papers claimed.

         If my former employer had not raised a claim against me, I would not be in this situation today. Still, I feel fortunate since these prior events have led me to Wyatt. I am confident you will not betray me in the same way.

         Additionally, I do not perceive that any of my actions were “illegal.” Yes, I may have searched for the president of Purina Puppy Chow on Google once or twice or twenty-seven times a day, but I maintain that I was doing research for the company. Mr. Purina Puppy Chow** gets 553,000 hits on Google as it is; therefore, I would not have been able to find much, although I did find his home address.

         In hindsight, installing the GPS tracking system beneath the president’s car may have been a morally questionable act. However, I did as such before I found his address and consequently did not use the information obtained from the device. Moreover, I believe the fact that I taught myself to install all the complicated GPS machinery from a mere Wikipedia article could be held in my favor. I originally had visited Wikipedia to look up doilies for a crocheting project—strictly work-related, of course—but one thing led to another and I found myself reading about London and then financial exports and then a list of Harry Potter supporting characters, until finally, I stumbled upon GPS tracking devices. I did not mean to read the article, but the jungle named Wikipedia lured me there. In spite of this, I am confident that I can now tame the wild underbrush. If I were to work for Wyatt, I would be sure to use my Wikipedia skills for quick research and reference purposes.

         Another skill I obtained at PetSmart is my ability to judge between the finer nuances of “invasions of privacy” and “suspicious behavior.” I know that while the former is a legal offense, the latter is not. For example, one cannot be tried for circling Mr. Purina Puppy Chow’s neighborhood or accidentally following him into the bathroom at the PetSmart headquarters because the neighborhood and bathroom are public domain. Public domain is free domain, except in instances of nudity. Suspicious behavior, however, can be used as evidence in a trial, especially when the offense is an “invasion of privacy” and/or trespassing. Repeatedly ringing a doorbell, incidentally, is a double infraction, and when added to long messages of heavy breathing on a person’s voicemail, one can be charged for a combination of trespassing, invasion of privacy, and stalking.

         I would be happy to share my knowledge of the inner workings of the American legal system with Wyatt on the occasion that I should be hired. I think you will find that I am quite knowledgeable in this field! Also, did I mention that I have a college degree in psychology?

         I would have come to Wyatt today with a clean slate had Joe not interfered. I can assure you, nevertheless, that I am fundamentally the same as before the restraining order.

         I am still uncertain as to why I was named guilty at the end of the court proceedings. I bring one hundred percent to every job I take—I would bring one hundred and ten percent to Wyatt—which is why I followed Mr. Purina Puppy Chow. He is PetSmart’s number one client, after all, and what do I have if not great customer contact skills? I have also been so very lonely since my mother’s suicide. At the end of every day, I am just trying to “meet new people.”

         Currently, I am taking a little time off for myself. I certainly was not “let go,” and there was no “error in my ways.” I left the PetSmart Company to pursue the simpler pleasures in life. I now feel rejuvenated enough to go back to work, however, and am now in the process of looking for exciting career opportunities as a receptionist, a field in which I have ample experience.

         Again, I am truly interested in the position at Wyatt. I honestly believe I have a lot to offer the company, so please get back to me as soon as is convenient. I am looking forward to hearing from you, but if I don’t, that’s completely fine. I found your home phone number online.


*** Name changed due to stipulations of restraining order









© 2004-2009 Underground Voices