Tuesday, July 27

social engineering

Today, while filling out a yellow single-page application form at the Barnes & Noble on O Street, I think: If I am ever in a position to influence the hiring practices of any corporate entity, the first thing I will do is write my own application form. It will contain the routine invasiveness, because I'd be looked at like some kind of raging lunatic if I suggested that potential employees be evaluated on a basis disconnected from their Social Security Numbers. It will, however, feature one significant deviation from the norm. There will be a large blank space, perhaps as much as a full page, and instead of the boilerplate about listing skills and extracurricular activities, it will say:

Should you be unable to present an impressive work history or a set of institutional and personal affiliations which neatly demonstrate the ill-defined but all-important quality of employability, and should you nevertheless feel that you are in fact a useful person, capable of doing useful work, despite the tremendous handicap of your inability to reduce this usefulness to a set of straightforward canned responses, please use the following space to explain yourself. Do not bullshit us, and we might hire you. We promise we'll at least think about it.

Managers will be instructed to give serious consideration to responses.

Yeah, I know this would fly like a brick.