The Rejection Letter

Monday, April 4, 2005


Written by Marty Williams

Harvard has hired its first "fun czar" - Zac Corker, a recent Harvard graduate whose job is to build community spirit and help stressed-out students unwind.
Corker knows a few things about kicking back. As an undergraduate, he helped organize numerous social events and put together a Web site - www.hahvahdparties.com - aimed at protecting students' "right to party."
Described by the student government chief as "a creative schemer," Corker has gone from student to administrator in a few short months. In exchange for room, board and a modest stipend, he now serves as the go-to guy for students who have ideas about social events but don't have the time or knowledge to navigate the school bureaucracy and bring them to fruition. - Boston Globe, January 13, 2005

Dear Mr. Williams

Thank you for your recent application for the post of Fun Czar at Harvard University. Reading it was good for a laugh -- though not for the sort of laugh that you may have intended. Anyway, we have hired somebody else for the position. Not you.

We don’t usually go to the trouble of replying to such an exceptionally bad candidate, but we have decided -- out of charity and international goodwill -- to point out a few of the more obvious reasons why we have hired somebody else. Not you.

Let us face facts for a moment Mr. Williams: you are shockingly unqualified to be Harvard’s (or, really, anybody’s) Fun Czar. Because we are such a prestigious institution (some go as far as to call us the U of T of the Northeast) we get a lot of applications like yours, from people like you, from folks that don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting interviewed -- much less hired. But even by those dismal standards your application stood out as stunningly inappropriate and unworthy of consideration. To be blunt, it really sucked.

First of all, you state that in your college days you were known as a “real party animal,” and as proof of this claim you say that you’d often dance to “all seventeen minutes” of Bony M’s 1978 disco hit Rasputin. You further avow that you were known as a guy who would belt out show tunes when “under the influence” (of what, you don’t say; perhaps it’s best we don’t know) and that you have “skipped down the middle of the street” after a party because you “just didn’t give a damn.”

Why you think any of this would stand you in good stead is beyond us, but what is even more shocking is that none of it is even true. First of all, when you “danced” (if you can call that contorting, twisting, slappy air-guitar-playing gyration you do “dancing”) to Rasputin, you never lasted for the whole seventeen-minutes. For most of the time you just stood against the wall watching others dance and hoping against hope that somebody would come up and talk to you. Secondly, the “show tunes” you remember singing were actually more likely to be commercial jingles and rugby songs than Rodgers and Hart – but we do admit that the point is moot since hearing you sing anything is neither fun nor funny. And as for skipping down the middle of the street after a party, well now that might be a kick in the sticks, but down here in Cambridge we think it’s just stupid. Furthermore, it hardly counts as “edgy” (as you claim) when you do it at two a.m. in a town where they roll up the sidewalks before midnight. The only potential danger arising from your mincing and prancing was that you might have skipped into a parked car and damaged a perfectly innocent automobile.

The people we contacted from your student days – the ones that can remember you at all -- say that you were often morose, sometimes offensive, occasionally helpful, usually late, but never, ever, fun. In other words, you might have been funny once, but it is a mistake to say you were once funny.
But perhaps we should just forget the past and focus on the present. Let’s just look at your qualifications in light of 2005. Oops. What’s that? Survey says: applicant still sucks.

How do we know? Well, you say that you are “still a fun guy to hang out with,” and invite us to “just ask anyone down at the pub.” We have done so, and most of the people we talked to couldn’t recall “any fun guy by that name.” One patron thought he knew somebody who fit your description, but then recalled that that person had moved away -- or possibly died. Several people did know a man with the same name as you but none characterized him as “even remotely a good time.” They say that this Mr. Williams is rarely seen, and, on those occasions when he is, he is with the same woman (his wife, no less) and an infant in tow. One man volunteered that “if he’s ever said or done anything fun or funny, it’s news to me.” The rest of the bar concurred.
But say for a minute that we just did our research on a bad night. Say that you really are the life of the party in a non-descript bar in a cow-pie town. Do you suppose that would qualify you for the Ivy League? For any league?
You describe your world as full of unbridled merriment, an existence “unrivalled in levity since they busted Fatty Arbuckle.” But when we scratched the thin veneer of that claim, the sombre truth was revealed. Face facts, Mr. Williams: yours is a lacklustre life that lacks both lust and lustre. Your very existence is a mind-numbing assortment of the most banal excursions, tedious social opportunities, dry-as-dust cultural events, and uninteresting interpersonal intercourse.

Mr. Williams, we were hiring a Fun Czar, and Czar means King. (Had you actually listened to Rasputin you’d know that). You are so, soooo, not that person. Not only are you unsuited to be Fun Czar, you wouldn’t even make it as Fun Count; we can’t even see you as a Fun Cossack. We bet that Fun Peasants would find you boring. And as for college students, they would tear you limb-from-limb -- and frankly, we wouldn’t blame them.

We don’t mean to be cruel, Mr. Williams, but you really need to pull your cranium out of your fundament on this one.

Students at Harvard needed somebody to help them have fun. So we went out and hired somebody. Might we suggest that you do the same?


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