Career Opportunities, by Michael Bird

“Since March, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 545,000, and the unemployment rate has risen by 0.4 percentage point. The labor force, at 153.4 million, changed little over the month.

Employment in leisure and hospitality (+34,000) edged up in June and has grown by 279,000 since a recent low in January 2010.”

—Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 8, 2011 report

Dear Mr. Bird:

Thank you for your interest in our Project Assistant opening; unfortunately, we have decided to move forward with a candidate who is a better fit for the position. However, there is an opportunity in our leisure department that appears to be a good match for your particular skill set and abilities. Please see the attached listing for more information.


Brian Rafferty

Director of Human Resources

Personal Assisted Needed

Before a Personal Assistant is allowed to work under a dignitary or celebrity, they often need to practice on a person of no consequence in order to hone their skills. As a Personal Assisted, you will go through your typical day while your assistant practices putting out your fires, metaphorically speaking (but also literally speaking). When you forget your keys, sleep through your alarm, drunkenly insult your coworkers or in-laws, write an important phone number on an unpaid bill and then throw away the bill, your personal assistant is there to help.  Walking a fine line between sycophantic toady and outright enabler, your Personal Assistant will tie up all the loose ends so that you can get by pretty much on auto-pilot.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Present a wide range of scenarios where your assistant will need to provide an excuse for you. Whether it’s a request for a charitable donation, an invitation to a friend’s going away party, a wife’s plea to pick the kids up from school or pressure to attend a co-worker’s funeral, you will need to consistently back out of prior engagements at the last possible moment.
  • Despite avoiding the situations listed above, you will still manage to entangle yourself in a wide variety of damaging, degrading, and humiliating circumstances. This will give your assistant valuable experience with conflict resolution and risk management. Your assistant will also write down the names and addresses of friends and family you insult and/or embarrass, and send them calligraphied apology notes along with a 12-lb bone-in Honey Baked Apology Ham.
  • Accumulate various debts — both financial and personal — to guarantee that the majority of your incoming phone calls are from collection agencies or aggravated acquaintances. Your assistant will field each call (often in a vaguely foreign accent) and direct the interested party to dial an out-of-service number.
  • Demand your personal assistant supply you with up to 2 oz of clean, uncontaminated, 96 ̊F urine (due to past incidences, this is only if required for legal or medical testing — there can be no exceptions).
  • Maintain a pre-approved level of general slovenly, drunken disarray (teetotalers are allowed, but only if they made a deal with a significant other to swear off alcohol in exchange for being allowed to become morbidly obese). More specifically, display an inability to properly dress, groom and even feed yourself to the extent that your assistant will have to take care of you like a giant, filthy, drunk baby.
  • Requirements

    The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • Impulsive buying tendencies, especially items displayed closest to the register at your local pharmacy
  • Must have spent no more than 6 months at any previous job before resignation/termination; employment for longer periods at a single company is acceptable only if you attribute your reluctance to leave to Stockholm Syndrome
  • Same criteria as above, but for relationship history
  • Must claim to be proficient in various software programs, especially Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat.
  • Desired Qualifications:

  • At least 5 years of experience ordering common household items through SkyMall
  • Recently borrowed money from a younger sibling under the auspices of paying rent
  • Currently unemployed and recently sent a “Sorry for your Loss” bereavement card to your former company after you won your unemployment benefits appeal
  • English degree from a Liberal Arts college
  • Ability to convince your assistant that this position is an unpaid internship with the possibility of college credit.
  • “Michael Bird lives in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina with his wife Rachel and Irish Wolfhound puppy Buckley. He’s very interested in this position but is curious about how much vacation time they offer.

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    Career Opportunities, by Michael Bird