Dear Allan ,Sounds pretty good, right? Let's look closer. The weird underscored font gives this the appearance of an old-fashioned form letter, because that is what it is.
In a recent review of online resumes, I was impressed by your qualifications and feel that you would be a great candidate for the position of Administrative Assistants with World_Voice_News, the fastest-growing online news organization in the world.
For this particular position, we’re looking for someone who is organized, reliable and self-motivated. If you do join World_Voice_News as an Administrative Assistants, you’ll be responsible for making travel and meeting arrangements...
Compensation for World_Voice_News’s Administrative Assistantss is extremely competitive, including an annual salary ranging from $35,000 to $50,000, with the potential...
"If you do join World_Voice_News as an Administrative Assistantss"...geez.
I cannot join as an Administrative Assistantss. I am singular. Assistantss are plural. The extra "s" only serves to put me into a hissy, sibilant mood.
I wouldn't want to be an AA at the World_Voice_News- I would rather be a proofreader. The potential for overtime is enormous- I mean, this is a business letter and it has typos that Word should catch. A good AA, such as myself, would never allow such sloppy writing into a professional correspondence.
By now, I'm already pretty skeptical of the W_V_N, but I check out the link anyway.
It's a scam. It's a generic application site- the same one you'll be directed to if you are reading the W_V_N , determine that "this is the place for me" and click on the careers link.
(If you feel "at home" reading the W_V_N...well, I'm sorry to hear that.)
At the bottom I see this:
(click yes or no)
If you've ever opened one of those "Take Surveys at Home" emails, you know what comes next- screen after screen of Great Offers and Exclusive Deals on crap that you don't need and can't afford- hell, a lot of it I can't even take seriously- sorry, but nobody gives away BMWs via random email drawings-what this is an attempt to gather data and sell it to advertisers.
So I say, screw this, I wanna see what the W_V_N is. I read a lot of on-line news and I have never heard of them. What are they about?
You can draw your own conclusions, but the headlines include:
"Democrats Concede Surge is Working"
"California Democrat Charged with Assault"
"More Evidence Refute Warming Theories"
and my favorite:
"Who is Ellen Bowen and why is Gross Pointe Talking about Her?"
You won't find much in the way of answers in the article referenced above, which is almost entirely comprised of questions and sentence fragments. This is the opening line:
"I have been following this story for some time now, at Grosse Pointe South High School concerning Ellen Bowen, a teacher, award-winning program director and very well respected by parents, community members, and former students. "
Dude, that isn't a sentence- it's a mess. What is the subject? I? This story? Who or what is "and very well respected"?...Yeah, I know one can extrapolate the meaning from the mess, but the reader shouldn't have to.
This is supposed to be journalism. It requires clarity on the part of the writer- the reader shouldn't have to untangle a verbal mess in order to deduce the meaning.
Worst of all, the writer is a teacher.
This is the closing line, which also fails to qualify as a complete, coherent sentence:
As an educator myself, I am appalled, disgusted and shocked at the community of Grosse Pointe to show such hatred to a teacher who is exceptional.
Aaargh. (Here is a readable article, if anyone cares)
This is how the writer describes himself, emphasis added:
" [Mr. X ] is an educator, specializing in mathematics in the Grand Rapids, MI elementary schools. A proud investigative reporter for the Michigan school systems, and a creative journalist whose stories stimulate you to think. As a coach, mentor, role model, visionary, public speaker and philanthropist in the community, Mr. [X] has created many unique, nationally known programs to honor students.Dude. I thought I was the most humble man on Earth, but your humility is so awesome that it wounds my pride.
It's All About the Kids!"
I do have a question though: Do your programs honor ( pay tribute to) students or are they for [H]onor students?
Mr X is an investigative reporter who has created many nationally known programs...his rather unique name is given in the article, one shouldn't have to be an ace reporter to combine his name with words like "school" and " student" and use search engines to find these programs.
I couldn't find the programs, but I did find a pdf file containing the minutes from an Aug. 3rd,2005 "Level 3 SPHCM" meeting that the author attended, which includes this note:
5.2 (Microwave Fire Alert)Dude! Way to save the children! It took two teachers to send out an email reminding the other teachers to stop burning their fucking popcorn? That's a sad sign of the sorry state of affairs in our public school system...maybe somebody should do some investigative reporting on that.
Three microwave fires were reported where food was either re-heated or cooked without being supervised. An email was sent out by [Mr. X] and [Mrs. Y] to inform all staff regarding fire risks.
Try this headline:
"Blogger Exposes Microwave Crisis in Michigan Schools"
Like that one? I wrote it myself.
Note to W_V_N's editors: I was able to find and collate this data in less than an hour. As well as Proofreader, I would like to be considered for the position of Investigative Reporter. I would be considerably more current and objective than:
"How the Marshall Plan Won the Cold War"
Seriously. That's not breaking news or investigative reporting. It's an opinion piece on post -WWII history.
Anyway, the following day I got another email:
Dear Allan ,Look familiar?
The resume you recently posted online has been brought to my attention... you may have the skills needed to fill an Administrative Assistant position we are seeking to fill.
The national employee placement organization, National_Human_Resources...
National_Human_Resources constantly seeks out experienced professionals...
The Administrative Assistant position with National_Human_Resources provides support services for small businesses and executives by editing documents, arranging schedules and making travel arrangements...
The compensation package for the Administrative Assistant position ranges from $30-$35K annually...
Yep. It's the exact same form as the W_V_N , just on a different template.
Seriously, if you guys need help with investigative journalism, I'm right here. I can fact-check your stories and proof your copy before I finish my first box of morning donuts. Here's a free piece of editorial advice, sort of a goodwill gesture to let you know that I really can be a valuable cog in your machine-
Tip: Use the same font, size and format on every article. Otherwise, your newspaper runs the risk of looking like it's cut-and-pasted from emails and blogs.
Looking forward to your response.