Wednesday, January 21, 2015

72-year old woman applies for a receptionist job

Yesterday, I spent the day applying for a part-time receptionist job at Charles's work, so I can save for a trip to Uruguay.  I worked hours on a one-page resume (down from seven pages) and a cover letter and then I took it over to Charles's house for the seal of approval.  Charles said, "I think they now want 30-40 hours a week."

Okay, people, I can't do six hours a day, because that crowds out my real interests, writing and painting.  Plus I'd have to eat lunch there, which would cost an hour of my piddling wages, and by the time I got home, I would fall into bed, and that would be the end of the marriage.  "I would never see you," Tom said.

Never waste a piece of good writing.  I'll publish it here:

I am applying for the part-time position you have posted on your website.  As you can see on the enclosed resume, I have spent most of my adult life--twenty-one years--as an English teacher and fiction writer.  Prior to that, however, I worked as a principal secretary full-time for almost seven years.  Before that, I worked part-time as a secretary/typist to put myself through college.

I haven't put dates on those particular jobs, because in all frankness, it was a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, but here's a clue: in my last secretarial job, I was still using an IBM Selectric typewriter, although I had just bought myself a MacIntosh 128K, which allowed you to save seven pages on one floppy disk.  It was a thing of beauty as all Macs are.  I have three of them.

So I can type, well, and I can answer the phones and relay messages and write emails and save documents, and keep the front office organized and neat.  I can sort mail and deliver it.  I speak English better than most, a little German, a little Dutch and a lot of articulate body language.

A receptionist should be of a well-kempt, professional appearance, dignified and pleasant, neat and responsible.  She should be on time and present in the moment.  I am all that.

It is no secret that I am Charles Plummer's mother.  If you don't like him; you won't like me.  It also works vice versa.

I'm sorry I have no references for the secretarial jobs.  Those people are all dead.  So it goes.

I can provide three academic references, who know nothing of my clerical skills, but who do know of my character.

If you choose to do so, please contact me at your convenience.


  1. A fabulous piece of writing!!!

  2. So delightful. I'd hire you in a minute. Thanks for sharing!

  3. After you publish your memoir book with AC this year, think about a book on applications, resumes and cover letters. This was a breath of fresh air most HR people are dying to inhale. I hope you will submit it because even if they wanted someone for 30-40 hours, they would see that you would add more value in 12-16 hours.

  4. Just beautiful. It's a shame for them that they upped the hours.

  5. I did a dramatic reading of your letter at a restaurant last night to a friend who is looking for work and an HR consultant - they both gave it a big thumbs up.