Dear Reader,

Thank you for the time, thought, and imagination you clearly put into your application for the prestigious post of Junior Lecturer (Ass. Prof.) in Runeological Studies. I would like you to know that your application was quite marvellous in every respect.

However, I am sorry to tell you that your application has been not been successful on this occasion.

But in order for this to be a learning experience for you, perhaps you would care to listen in while I ring my preferred candidate?

Darren has put us on speakerphone – please try not to breathe too heavily.

The phone rings. A familiar voice answers.

‘Hello, dear JRR Jr. the Fourth’, I say. ‘It is I, Ada! A small post has come up at my institution and I immediately thought of you. How fondly I recall those many happy hours we spent together in the graduate common room playing gin rummy and Russian roulette! And how is your dear, dear great-great-grandfather?’

But the voice interrupts me, dear Reader, to tell me that dear JRR Jr. the Fourth has been taken back to the ward for the day and would I care to send a small donation.

I hang up, dear Reader, and dial the next name on my list.

A small, eager voice answers. ‘Oh, Dr Ada!’, squeals Sebastian. ‘I’m so thrilled! And I thought my degree in Art History (BA, 2.2.) might be a problem.’

I hang up, dear Reader, and dial the last name on my list.

The phone is picked up. ‘Hello?’, I say.

But all I hear in return is the sound of a seagull cawing, and waves crashing on a distant beach, followed by a long ‘peep’.

I take a deep breath.

‘This is Dr Lamb leaving a message for Mr Salty Bob. Salty, we were most impressed with your application, your track record as a mature student taking evening Runeology classes, and your epic poem written in Runes, ‘The Ode of Žałty’. I am pleased to confirm that we would like to offer you the job.’

I hang up.

And that, dear Reader, is how you land the perfect candidate.

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7 thoughts on “The Perfect Candidate

  1. Surely, dear Ada, it is unnecessarily blunt to “tell” me that my application has not been successful. I believe the correct phrase is to “let me know.” Young people can be so cruel.

  2. I found my application at the bottom of the elephant foot wastepaper bin with stains from a discarded teabag smirching the pertinent points of my overqualification. Still, I can understand why a salty applicant might be deemed a more practical candidate.

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