Since learning last week that I’ve been laid off from my job of the past 10 years, I’ve been feeling a bit anxious and unsettled. So imagine my relief when, this morning, just a few short days after uploading to CareerBuilder.com a copy of my résumé, I received the following email:
OK, so here’s the story with this nonsense:
A few weeks ago, my wife and I took the kids to the comic-book store. While there, my wife, who is on the school council at our son’s elementary school, asked the owner if he’d be willing to sponsor a school fundraiser by providing for the event one of the costumed characters that often appear at his store. The owner said he didn’t have anyone specific he could send, but he’d be willing to loan out the store’s $800 Darth Vader costume.
“Jon’s pretty tall,” Mr. Helpful Comic-Book Store Owner suggested. “He could wear it.”
Well, as we all know by now, no one loves to get himself into ridiculous situations more than me, so I, of course, said, “Yeah, I’ll do it.”
On the first day of the first class of my freshman year in college, my College Writing 101 professor instructed us to go home that weekend and write a paper about the person whom we would most like to meet if given the chance.
And I could have bullshitted him. I could have written about wanting to meet JFK or Martin Luther King Jr. or some other revered, sociopolitical icon … but I wasn’t an 18-year-old freshman just out of high school; I was a 22-year-old freshman who had recently spent nearly four years in the Army, and my inclination to sling bullshit in order to impress a college professor was, by that point, quite nonexistent. And as I looked down at the blank notebook in front of me that weekend, I saw stretching out before me four long years of higher education … and I knew that the only way I was going to make it to the finish line was to figure out how to marry my own personal interests to my academic pursuits.
So I wrote the “I want to meet Eddie Van Halen” paper.