The Best Words
I took to carrying the letter with me.
It traveled with me on the L every morning. Past the Medical District and into the Loop where I descended stairs to take an elevator up to LameJob every weekday morning. A financial risk firm owned most the building, but LameJob HQ was wedged on half of the 27th floor.
The job’s Craigslist post described the company as a national leader in Training Solutions. Here is what that means. The food service industry has a pretty high turnover. Kids quit. Because they realize their star is brighter, or they get tired of operating industrial fryers and smiling. This means fast food restaurants need to constantly train new people. That isn’t what I do. Rather than personally train each new hire, it’s easier to give them training materials to read at home. Like homework. Someone has to write these materials in clearly marked chapters like Greeting Customers, Personal Sanitation, etc. I don’t do that either. What I do is I take these optimized paragraphs and remove any words that I can while ensuring the paragraph still makes sense. My title is Assistant; my function is Service Industry Training Manual Paragraph Optimizer.
What I liked about the letter is that its paragraphs were far from optimized. Michaela wrote “You’ll stay on the perch of my soul.” If this was in a fast food training handbook, I might reword it to say “keep x on soul’s perch, located in the kitchen’s rear.”
No word from J, so I decided to post the picture of the letter on the Internet. I cropped Michaela’s signature.
If she saw it, she would know.
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