August 14 Dorothy Parker: Resume

Job hunting is awful. It’s the worst in the world. It feels like you’re having a new piece of flesh torn out of you on a daily basis and sometimes it seems as if it never heals. Those who are on the outside of it view you and say, “What’s the matter, all you have to do is send out resumes and talk to people.” This only serves to make you feel more alone and more horrible. They’ve long forgotten the constant humiliation, the delving into your private business, the constant reveal of your every flaw and mistake to a total stranger and to have to tell it over and over and over again with a shit-eating grin to some stranger (and explain why it’s really not that bad) eats away at the soul. They’ve been allowed in their comfortable positions for the scabs to heal over while you have to tear it off again and again.

They are allowed to be imperfect, lazy, full of mistakes, not quite knowledgeable about their job, but don’t you dare forget which buttons to use on the key board to cut and paste otherwise they cut you.

It’s humbling to have find a way to go without bread and milk, without fruit for a week or two, to have to brush your teeth with baking soda, because you can’t afford to get the real stuff. And every employer tells you there are 200 applicants for every job. You’re sure you can’t be the one with all the necessary experience and yet you go through the same humiliation day after day, week after week, month after month. It’s awful and nobody who works understands – for them it’s long gone, a silly game they once played as teenagers like chicken or king of the hill, but it can’t hurt that much any more.

Nobody encapsulates the pain of living and in this poem’s case the pain of working (or trying to work) as Dorothy Parker. She had an acerbic wit that always cut to the chase and never left any survivors. But you gotta say that it’s nice to know that someone out there is suffering as bad as you are, that someone does get it.

And in the end, you do it, you trudge on, because some day it’ll work out and proof of life, and proof of success are the only real revenge against the ineffectual mass who act as if they’re bullet-proof, as if they’ll never have to go through this so why should they care? Why indeed!

And you get the job, you can smile back at them with your shit-eating grin and say, “hope your laziness never catches up to you, because when it does, you know what will happen to you.”


by Dorothy Parker

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.


About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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