I Am an Idiot (seriously)

Have you ever been looking for a job and you see one that looks PERFECT. Interesting work, all of your interests, potentially good salary, good benefits and all of that?

And then you do something that totally screws your chances of ever getting it.

I’m talking about screwing up the cover letter so stupidly that even if they do read it, they’ll be passing it around the office going, Look at this clown.

In my cover letter, I make the claim of being a “maniacal” copy editor. Which I am, most of the time. Doesn’t matter what I’m reading, I’m editing it.

Not long ago I heard a BBC interview with novelist Richard Ford, one of my all time heroes, and he said that writing was his way (I’m paraphrasing here) of making sense out of an unruly mind. I was standing in the kitchen and my feet pretty much got glued to the spot. The most orderly place in my universe is the putative page. That really struck me. I’m not the only one!

And so yesterday, after uploading and editing my resume and cover letter and hitting send, I was closing and saving my cover letter, and there was a MASSIVE error in the second sentence. This is what it looked like:

I have worked in , internal communications….

A freakin’ comma in the middle of the sentence for no reason but carelessness. Of course I remember reordering the parallel structure of the sentence, and I remember how somehow in dragging and dropping the S and comma got left off the other noun I was moving.

I should just have written:

Me rite reel gud.

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About Steve, i.e., him

Stephen Stark is an award-winning novelist and bestselling ghostwriter. His fiction and nonfiction has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, Poets & Writers and in many other journals. He has been a fellow and taught at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and won an NEA Literature Fellowship in fiction. His novel, Second Son, was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1992, and a New and Noteworthy Paperback of 1994.

Tell me what you think. Seriously.