Dearest Prospective Employer,
Hello, my name is Brian Krans, and I’d like to be paid to do stuff.
What kind of stuff, you ask? Since this economy and society doesn’t offer many openings for an investigative journalist, the financial suck-hole of media, the list of what I’ll do for money continues to grow.
Plasma donation might be an option, but I doubt there’s anything decent left in my blood.
But before you even solicit me with propositions, I’m not quite at the stage of what Doug Stanhope calls “getting the blood diamond.”
Let me tell you a bit about myself. First, I’m a Libra. Two, I think astrology is fucking stupid and only exists to give people an excuse to celebrate their personal shortcomings, which is totally the Libra in me speaking.
My first job was working for my grandfather. It wasn’t ditch digging, but pulling roots out of new roads when you’re 11 sucks just as bad. Good thing Wisconsin is loose on child labor practices.
After that, I was a paperboy, janitor at a day spa, stockman at Wal-Mart, golf course maintenance worker, cashier, liquor store clerk, security guard, K-Mart employee, student newspaper editor, radio show host, obituary writer, newspaper reporter, bar back, youth center volunteer, bartender, line cook, dog sitter, data entry clerk, marketing copywriter, novelist, and health and science journalist.
Many of those jobs overlap, so don’t think I can’t hold a job. And I can hold my liquor during company functions.
Other skills I possess that won’t result in gainful employment include building skate ramps, being able to live out of a truck, being on a few government watch lists, and possessing the ability to fold my tongue horizontally. (Again, no blood diamond stuff yet. Hit me up in a few months though.)
Now, I’m a freelance writer who sucks at professional networking, which is why I’m applying with you at Trader Joe’s.
I can also rollerblade well. Not like pro well, but better than most people. (But since this isn’t Sonic, you don’t give a fuck.) I also like writing about rollerblading, which is the only reason you’re reading this on a site named BladeorDie.com.
It says here on this job site that you’re looking for a self-starter. Sure, you’ll glaze over the fact I self-published four books in seven years and orchestrated a one-man book tour across the country, but I know you’re looking for someone you don’t have to tell “If you can lean, you can clean.”
When I worked for my grandfather, he’d yell at me anytime I had my hands in my pockets. He said it makes a man not look like he’s ready to work. I’ve learned it also helps keep parents calmer when a grown man keeps hanging around schoolyards and parks without children of his own.
That’s a skating thing, so settle down. Okay, Chuck E Cheese, I’ve lost you for good this time.
Your ad also says you’re looking for someone who has good time management. Well, I’m so damn good with time I’ve managed to live 33 years, each with 365.25 days and 24 hours in each of those. Manage the shit about that.
Oh, your ideal candidate is well-organized, detail-oriented, efficient and a team player? I don’t know if you know this, but I was my brother’s high school hockey team water boy, and I filled the shit out of all those water bottles between periods with the efficiency and zeal of Adam Sandler, but with a Midwestern work ethic and no mental deficiency.
And at the bottom, you’ll see I can spell my own name correctly. How’s that for detail-orientated?
Bachelor of arts degree? Of course I have one. That’s why I’m applying for retail positions in my 30s.
Problem solving skills? Not the best. Still haven’t figured out what being “ratchet” fully entails or why The Doors are considered a good band. And I’ve figured out why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but you’ll have to hire me to know that one.
Nothing’s ever really free, you know.
But I am a good worker. When shit needs to get done, I’ll be there doing it. If there’s a possibility for advancement (with more pay), you’ll get more out of my time.
In the 22 years since I started my first job, I’ve learned that boredom is the quickest way to die, and since I have to sacrifice the majority of the best 50 years of my life to doing something for someone else because long-term urban camping is frowned upon, I want to keep myself challenged and entertained.
Now let’s talk about things you’d like to see from me.
Yup. Here’s my resume. Yes, I put Blade or Die on there. This hackney mashing of a keyboard is my favorite shit. Salary there? Pfft. You’re so silly. Combining writing and rollerblading equates to being as interested in financial profits as The Joker.
No, you can’t have links to my social media pages. The least you can do is use Google to find them. It’s not like my name is John Smith. (But if you search my name and Google gives you lists off things about pedophiles and workplace shootings, you’ve found the right Brian Krans.)
Seriously, Target?! You’re walking out, too? Jesus, make one terrorist and Target mention and Google betrays you for life.
Besides, if you’re only checking for my number of followers, I won’t be posting things on your behalf because you think that’s part of my job. If I like it and feel my friends would enjoy it, then I’ll share it. You want to share your corporate branding image? Up your advertising budget and buy a billboard.
And, no, I’m not the self-imploding idiot who airs work-dirtied laundry on the line for all to see. I’m not a complete idiot, nor do I need to garnish white-problem sympathy via Facebook because I had a bad day at a job where I could be replaced by someone who fears the INS.
Hell, I once had a customer that moved before ponying up for three months of his newspaper subscription. No big deal, only came out of my 14-year-old pocket. Then, two years later, the same guy comes to speak to my high school class, doesn’t recognize me, and chews me out in front of my classmates. Did I retaliate that he still owed me more than forty bucks? No, I was civil and took my punches (and there was no social media then). I still regret it to this day.
References? Yes, my past bosses don’t hate me. At least not all of them. Sure, you can call them. Hopefully they’ll pick up.
My greatest weakness, since you’re going to ask, is my body’s gag reflex when you want me to start chugging down the corporate Kool-Aid. I just always seem to throw that shit right back up. I’ll do your job, but don’t be surprised if you never see me carrying around the corporate tote bag or backpack. Yes, it’s nice, but I’m not applying to be the sandwich board out front.
My greatest strength all depends on what you’re looking for.
If it’s retail, all I can say is that seven years between Wal-Mart and K-Mart taught me to walk faster than most people run. Since modern retail buildings are constructed to host Super Bowls, I can get from one end of the store to the other before another pro football player beats someone a third of their size. And I can lift fifty-pound boxes of whatever—cash from illegal war profiteering, heroin, Starbursts, etc. —without a problem.
If it’s media, it’s because I dig writing and I’m down for the cause. You’ll get your money’s worth from me.
Anyone in the middle, I learn quickly. I can do what I’m told, so long as the person telling has a good expectation of what he or she wants.
My goals in life are very simple right now: get a job and bring home a regular paycheck so my girlfriend and I can get a bigger place so the dog can have a yard and I can have an office so when I’m up writing until 2 a.m., I’m not keeping her up. (She’s a middle school principal. She needs her rest.)
And since you won’t ever send a “Hey, We’re Not Interested” email, I hope I at least offended you enough that you’ll let me know my application is waiting to be purged from your email trash.
Burn in hell, You lazy, judgmental pricks,
— Brain Kranz
P.S. — If you want to learn more about pedophiles and workplace shootings, check out Assault Rifles & Pedophiles: An American Love Story.
Or don’t. I’m not your boss or wife. I can’t tell you what to do.