Holden Caulfield Applies for an HR Position, by Dan Morey

Greg Roman

Integrated Software

48 Detmire Road

White Plains, NY 10601

Dear Mr. Roman,

I’m writing to apply for the goddam HR Manager position you advertised in the New York Times. I’ve enclosed my résumé and three references from real hot-shots.The opportunity in your ad is very interesting and all. You wouldn’t believe how enthusiastic I am about it. You really wouldn’t. My brother D.B. says I’m a born HR man, and he’s a terrific judge of character. At least he used to be before he moved out to Hollywood and started writing all those rotten movies. D.B. is really just a prostitute now.

Anyway, I guess my experience and education make me a pretty big deal. The keys to my success in human resources are:

  • Being a people person. People are certainly wonderful and all.
  • Being able to spot a phony. Do you want a bunch of goddam phonies working at your company? I’ll weed the bastards out.
  • Being good at writing and communicating stuff. I passed English every term and wrote a very descriptive essay about my brother Allie’s baseball mitt. (Enclosed)
  • Being able to manage conflicts without socking anyone. I try not to fight too much. I mean it. It’s not that I’m yellow—though I am a little yellow—but more that I’m a pacifist and all.
  • Being sexy as hell, when I’m in the mood.
  • Mr. Antolini, my old English teacher at Elkton Hills, told me I should include some of my “likes” to make this lousy application more personal. Mr. Antolini is sort of perverty and all, especially when he’s drinking, but he’s intellectual as hell and knows a lot about writing letters and stuff. So I tried to come up with a list of “likes” but couldn’t really think of anything. I mean, I sort of liked this hunting hat I used to have, but I guess I didn’t like it that much, because I gave it to my kid sister Phoebe. Good old Phoebe. That’s probably what I like best—just sitting around with old Phoebe and chewing the fat. Dancing’s OK, too, if the music’s not too corny. Oh, and I like the ducks in the lagoon by Central Park South. I really get a bang out of those ducks, boy. They kill me. The thing is, I’ve always wondered where they go in the winter when the water’s all frozen. Do you know where the ducks go in the winter? I’m not horsing around. I really want to know where those ducks go.

    I can be reached for another week or so at this email address: holden.caulfield@roadstorecovery.com. You can also give me a buzz on the old cell phone at 212-555-7089.

    Thanks and all. I look forward to shooting the breeze with you about this delightful goddam job. No kidding. I really do.


    Holden Caulfield


    Mr. Holden Morrisey Caulfield


    The Whooton School, Elkton Hills, Pencey Prep.

    Got the ax before I could really graduate or anything.


    Manager, Pencey Prep fencing team. Very big deal.

    Duties: Kept track of foils, masks, and other junk.

    Reason for leaving: The team ostracized me because I lost all their fencing crap on the subway. I was sorry as hell. I really was. Though it is kind of funny, when you think about it.

    Ranch hand at this ranch in Colorado.

    Duties: Cowboy stuff.

    Reason for leaving: When I took the job, I figured they could teach me how to ride a horse in about two minutes. Turns out they couldn’t. Also, the boss was a big phony. His chaps weren’t even real leather, for Chrissake.

    Attendant at filling station out west somewhere.

    Duties: Putting gas and oil in peoples’ goddam cars.

    Reason for leaving: I don’t feel like going into the whole thing, but what I was doing out there was pretending to be a deaf-mute so I didn’t have to have any stupid conversations with anybody. When the owner found out I wasn’t really a deaf-mute, he got mad as hell about all those notes I made him write.

    Catcher in Rye

    Duties: Standing around in this field of rye catching a bunch of kids before they fell off a cliff.

    Reason for leaving: A lot of those kids were really sort of crumby. I don’t mean they were conceited or phony or anything, just sort of crumby. Sometimes I didn’t even want to save them. It really was pretty depressing, if you want to know the truth.


    Smoking, dancing, skating, chucking the old crap around. Also, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

    Dan Morey lives in Erie, PA where he relentlessly pursues the longnose gar, great northern pike and mighty bowfin in the weedy waters of Presque Isle Bay. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in many publications, including Giant Robot, The Big Jewel, Sein und Werden, Lowestoft Chronicle, Eyeshot, Ducts, Roadside Fiction, Vagabond City, and the Erie Times-News. 

    The Humor Section features a piece of original humor writing each week. To submit, send an email to Brian Boone.

    Holden Caulfield Applies for an HR Position, by Dan […]