To Whom It May Concern

The key to my workplace doesn’t

jingle. It’s a plastic card that deactivates

an alarm and unlocks the elevator

that lifts me up to the 17th floor.

My employers are 


I write to inquire about my future, whether it be your company, overseas marriage, convent, or international adoption. I’m proud to inform you that in the past few years I have learned a great deal about the human condition, my condition in particular. For example, I no longer believe half of what I am told during interviews, and I restrain from performing tribal dances at faculty diversity trainings. I’m aware that bosses need to like you (but that there is a line). In short, my interpersonal skills have brought me where I am today.


progressive, globally minded, 

but our faucet sink has been leaking 

for five months. Drip drip drop day

and night without stop. 

I feel it like Chinese


I am eager to and capable of fulfilling the requirements of your position. I work well with people of different cultural backgrounds and enjoy culturally diverse settings. As I write this letter, I am listening to Italian Opera and snacking on Japanese wasabi peas. In addition to my cultural awareness, I am also a gifted listener. At my first job, I was affectionately nicknamed “Eagle Ears” by my direct supervisor.


torture. I hear it in my sleep on the tin 

of my forehead; ting, ting, ting.

I think an indentation is forming 

or maybe even a 


In addition to my acute listening skills, I also have gained the art of decision-making and decisiveness. When I set my mind to something, there are few obstacles strong enough to stand in my way. At my second job, when I caught my boss in a lie, I started a file on him, collecting the email trail of lies until I was able to take my case to the board of trustees.  Sadly, due to the fact that he had both friends and enemies on the board, this cost us both our jobs. Nonetheless, in my book, it is a mark of success. I stuck to my guns through thick and thin and dethroned a liar.  I mean why lie to everyone saying that your “employees are [your] most valuable asset?” I mean if we were so valuable why did he hardly ever greet us by name? Or care to know our zodiac sign or at least our Myers-Briggs personality type? (I’m a Sagittarius and an INFJ, FYI.) Maybe he had trouble understanding the meaning of valuable. Or maybe the problem was word choice.  Either way, he was clearly incompetent.


third eye. It fills up a gallon every minute.  

I measured it once with the empty vase

From the Argentinian receptionist’s front desk

the day I arrived to work a few minutes early. 


Furthermore, I am a problem-solver. I can recognize an issue and devise a plan of action to deal with it, and I never hesitate to take on responsibility. At my current job I have taken the initiative to encourage the office to go green and to become better global citizens. As you might have noticed, this very letter has been printed on recycled Fair Trade paper handcrafted by the One WOV foundation, a Rastafari faith-based organization that, due to my persistent campaigning, my company now supports. One WOV or “Workers of Value” helps growers in Jamaica to continue to cultivate high-quality product while making a living wage, not worrying about “big man” oppression, and studying the divinity of Haile Selassie.


It was the first thing I thought of doing,

I would build up my case.

It’s not that over the past five months

two hundred sixteen thousand  

gallons of water have been lost. 

It’s that


I am delighted to remain standing with a trusty heart and a sober mind and am a competitive candidate for whatever position you have available. I have heard such good things about you, the world at large, and have dreamt of this new opportunity. Please select the position, using the option(s) below, that you sense best fits my skills, experience, and personality type described above.


a) Franciscan Nun: Runs a convent in the Peruvian Amazon to help the Asháninka refugees receive equal education and protection from the remaining members of the Shining Path.

b) Proud Mother: Births the first female Dalai Lama.

c) Company Director: Runs a Caribbean fusion dance flash mob whose biggest fans happen to be in Southern France.

d) Cuban Diplomat: Establishes sustainable fair trade between the U.S. and Cuba without allowing U.S. companies to change or control the aesthetic or nature of Cuban culture/traditions.


nobody cares. When I informed my 

Russian boss that I had asked Joe,

from maintenance, to come and fix it. 


I have enclosed my résumé for your review.  Should you need more information, I will be happy to provide it. You may reach me on my cell phone, my ex’s cell (but we’re still cool), or inbox me via Facebook at KeepingItReal (all one word), or just follow me on Twitter at #OccupyingSpaceFromTheOuternet.


I could see she thought I was crazy. 

She even laughed a little and said, 

“Oh, dushka, you didn’t need to do that.”

But it is exactly what I needed. 




The dripping is driving me 

mad; it’s either apathy, insanity 

or unemployment. The key to my 

office is not to jingle.


Noel Straight teaches creative writing, along with other English courses, at Temple University’s Intensive English Language Program and, at night, she offers Spanish classes through Fluent City. In her free time, Noel is working on a hybrid collection of short stories/poetry and planning her next trip to Cuba.  Artist grants to support her writing in Cuba are highly encouraged (wink, wink). Some of Noel’s work can be found on and, forthcoming, in the Fall 2014 Issue of the Schuylkill Valley Journal.