happiness is a warm smoking gun

the other day, i sent out a massive amount of resumes to political consultants throughout the united states. all of whom i had never met or spoke to prior. i found an exhaustive list online and figured it wouldn't hurt to get my resume in the hands of as many people as possible. many didn't respond to this mailing, which is perfectly understandable. many responded with messages to the tune of "not currently hiring, but we'll keep your resume on file"

a few generous souls provided me with encouraging words or even advice. they pointed out improvements which could be made to enhance my resume, websites to search for conservative political jobs, or even provided me with other people in which to contact. i prefer to deal with people like these.

one man, a political consultant based out of chicago, asked me to call him. i did. we spoke about the potential of me being a staff member for his office in one of many upcoming political campaigns, most notably in Georgia. he was a strong conservative and seemed to hold his faith and family values close at heart. i like that. working for a political campaign while employed through his office would allow me to make a tremendous number of connections - with the Georgia politician's network, as well as the Chicago consultant's network. this could lead to a tremendous amount of open doors in the future and if nothing else, great references and experience to add to my resume. i'll keep you posted.

but one man stood out among the rest. i struck some nerve in him that pierced down to the very soul, or absence thereof, of this man. he is the president/ceo of a relatively well-respected political polling, research, and consulting firm, established in 1981. he's not new to the game. i assume he wanted to impart me, an impressionable college grad, with his "wisdom" of how the world works. i chose to respond with my own wisdom and humility, something i am quite sure he lacks. i decided to share the conversation with you, the reader. enjoy. oh, and please tell me what you think! =)

i'll start with his response to my initial letter. here goes:


You are graduating at the wrong time.

I am unaware of anyone hiring for anything anywhere in the State of Arizona, or for that matter in the United States. Even the once permanent signs in the McDonalds are nowhere to be seen.

I assume you have already noticed this.

I wish I could be more encouraging; but there is a recession out there and possibly a depression coming.

Best of luck to you,

Mike O'Neil

*note: i have left the original formatting, syntax, and grammar in tact.

i was completely surprised when i got this email back. all i had done to him was basically ask if he had, or knew of, any job openings. he decided to take out his hatred of the world on me. now, if you know me, which i am pretty sure you do, i couldn't resist responding to a message of this caliber with a message of my own.

Mr. O'Neil,

Thanks for your quick response to my email.

I must start by saying, I appreciate your refreshing optimism.  While you may in fact be correct about the further impending doom of the economy, I cannot sit back and do nothing about my lack of employment.  While there may be few people hiring in the United States, there are always people hiring.  This is not the 1930s.

In addition to the optimism that I have for my own successes, my values and core beliefs do not allow me to file for a social handout, such as welfare.  Although I am currently unemployed, and have been for over a month now, I refuse to take someone else's money, when I am perfectly capable of making a living myself.

At this point, I am not ready to settle for a mediocre job outside of my education area, but when I do, it should be noted that Baton Rouge, my hometown, has recently been recognized as a "safe place to ride out a recession."  The economy here is showing few signs of disaster and there are numerous places hiring, as well as new businesses springing up everywhere.  And for the record, Baton Rouge just so happens to be in these United States of America.

The difference between you and me is perception.  You have a job, a career, and a well-established firm, yet the economy has turned your entire world view into excruciating pessimism.  I, on the other hand, have not had a job for over a month, have little to no experience, and few connections; however, I remain faithful that everything will work out in due time.  Optimism is the key to life.  Life's too short to be pissed off all the time.

My words don't come from some sheltered adolescent who's worldview will be completely crushed upon entering the "real world."  Instead, I have faced "the real world" on numerous occasions and have always risen above my circumstances through my optimism, perseverance, dedication, hard-work, and most of all - my faith.

You could be more encouraging, but you choose not to.  There are greater things in this life than the economy and the current state of affairs.  You can't let it affect you as much as you have.  Otherwise, you'll remain bitter forever.  That's no way to live a life.  I choose happiness, despite any hardships I may encounter along the way.  Maybe you should give it a try too.

Trent Barnett

i feel like i was adequately able to convey my disagreement with his comments. if we had sat down for coffee and discussed politics, his commentary would be one thing. but to respond that way to an initial job request email, when we've never met before, no thank you sir.

one thing that kind of makes me happy is the fact that this guy is the owner of this big, well-established firm.. which means he probably hasn't had anyone talk to him in that manner in many years.. much less a measly college-grad like myself. 

i hope you enjoyed this as much as i did. please, leave your own commentary on the conversation. i'd like to see it.

1 comment:

kateybella said...

I enjoyed it the first time 'round when I was experiencing you send the message. =)

I'm proud of you, Trent.
Gah. I say that too much, but you spoke the way you felt and the things that you know. Too many people let that opportunity go by.