A dignified dismissal

Published 27 January 2012 16:44, Updated 02 February 2012 05:15

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There is nothing quite so deeply rewarding as a rejection letter. Over the years I have received many, and have found each and every one deeply instructive. In much the same way that being beaten over the head with a blunt instrument is deeply instructive. It reveals that it is a very bad idea to be beaten over the head with a blunt instrument. It also teaches one that, on balance, it is far better to be the one doing the beating.

One of my favourite rejection letters came from a human resources department:

Dear Mr James,

Thank you for your application to be considered part of the human race. We have examined your credentials very closely and, while you clearly possess many relevant characteristics, we are unable at this point in time to offer you a position. We wish you all the best in your endeavours to become part of homo sapiens and we will keep you on file in our Upright Simian Bipeds That Show Promise,

Best regards,

Human Capital Database.

Once again, very instructive. Still, just as it is better to give than receive a beating over the head with a blunt instrument, it is obviously better to give than receive a rejection letter. Here are a few of mine:

Dear Ms Gillard,

Thank you for your application to be considered an ornament of public life. We have looked at several possibilities in relation to your application, such as garden gnome or a female statue of David in a red wig.

However, we are not able at this juncture to offer you a position, not even as a concrete pot. Accordingly, we advise you to continue on as Prime Minister until someone puts you out of your misery,

Kindest personal regards,

etc, etc.

Dear central bankers,

Thank you for your application to become a useful and functional part of the global financial architecture. We have examined your track record and have, sadly, concluded that your unhealthy obsession with inflation targeting means that you are unable to perform more than one task, ever. Activities more complex, such as those involving people, for instance, will prove excessively onerous and are likely to result in unbearable levels of workplace stress. We thus strongly advise that you continue peering at those fascinating inflation numbers.

There, there,

etc, etc.

Dear ratings agencies,

Thank-you for your application to become a lemming. Congratulations, you have been successful! We are able to offer you a position four furry feet from the left! We strongly advise you go to the nearest cliff and jump off.

Don’t look down,

etc, etc.

FALLING SHORTEN

Impressive indeed were the erudite comments of acting Treasurer Bill Shorten on the future of the Australian banking industry. Despite bucket loads of adverse evidence, such as 1000 job losses at the ANZ Banking Group and 600 at Westpac Banking Corp, Mr Shorten reassured anyone who would listen (approximately none at last count) that more jobs would be created than lost in the financial services sector. Next day, he was accusing bank shareholders of putting profits before people, apparently having only recently discovered this.

What else can we pull from the deep, even bottomless, reservoirs of Mr Shorten’s knowledge? Here is a possible list.

Shorten on the meaning of life:

There is one and it almost certainly involves greedy shareholders. Thank you very much.

Shorten on the budget deficit:

It is precisely the opposite of a budget surplus and at least one of them is not very good. Just can’t remember which.

Shorten on amorous pursuits:

Yes, hypocrisy is a seduction technique. This is politics, people.

SOME IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS

Extreme sports: The sport of high-altitude, base-jump investing tends to be underrated, possibly because it has never existed. However, jumping off a stock market cliff is certainly a common sport these days.

Facebook: An outlet for people who cannot deal with face to face contact.

Financial advisers: A group of professionals who give empty commentary a bad name.

Negotiation: An excellent deception when all other forms of deception have failed.

Social media: An effective way to avoid all forms of society.

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