Overqualified: You have to be yourself.


To: Human Resources, Armdale Tea Room
Re: Dishwasher (Casual)

I am writing to apply for the position of "Dishwasher (Casual)" because, let's face it, dishwashing isn't a career. I'm not going to sit up all night and worry about the stats on my quarterly dishwashing report. I want to show up for my shift, wash gross half-eaten food off plates for a few hours, and then go home. It sounds like the sort of job that I don't even need to think about while I'm doing it. I can think about weird sex things or about what if zombies were racist, would they not eat you if they hated the colour of your skin? Would you be safe? Or would they eat you out of spite? I need to make a few extra dollars to pay rent, to buy groceries. I don't want to have to care what your company stands for, or try and make myself sound like some kind of inhuman perfect employee.

It's like meeting girls. A relationship is just another kind of job, isn't it. In the beginning you pretend to be that perfect employee. You lie in the interview and then you do your best for a while. You never step out of line. You always wait until you go home to use the bathroom if it's number two. You shave and brush your teeth every day. When you're kissing you never pull out the pen and write "whore" on her body unexpectedly. You behave. But how long can that go on before you start going crazy? You have to be yourself. That's why it's called being yourself.

And soon you start slipping up. You think, "Oh, I'll just use the bathroom a little bit. Just a bit of a number two, to hold me over until I get home." You start chewing gum just before you see her, because you forgot to brush today. You find yourself writing, "who" on her confused face, and you scramble for a weak explanation. "Oh, I just didn't want to forget to look something up, later. Who, uh... Who played the girl in The Apartment? Was it Shirley MacLaine?"

In the end it never works out. You are who you are, no matter what you pretend at the beginning. So I'm not pretending. I drink to ignore my problems. I spend more time with my computer than with my friends. I don't have a very good relationship with women. I am angry and lonely, but I can wash dishes just fine. I'm being honest. Please don't be an asshole about this.

Yours,

Joey Comeau.