Riley’s Cover Letter

Submitted for your approval, the following is a response to an open bartending position, as received by one of Defiant Scribe’s own. The job position itself was benign; this response was not. The writer, Riley Driscoll, generously gave us permission to publish it here. Whether or not she intended this as a serious application or as a mere joke is for you to decide . . . in the Twilight Zone.



The first thing I want to tell you is that I’m currently working at a bowling alley, and you’re probably going to make some assumptions about me based on that, right? Well, don’t, because I do have experience with bartending (lots of experience), and I’m going to tell you how I got here. By the end of this story, you should feel pretty confident in my bartending abilities and sweet vibes.

My name’s Riley and the last bartending gig I had lasted two and a half years, or really, two years and eight months, but who’s counting? The only reason it ended was that I got kicked to the curb by my asshole boss, but that wasn’t my fault, the circumstances were out of my control. How? Well, I’ll tell you.

That bar stunk. Literally and otherwise. It smelled really boozy and sour, which I hated because I hate the smell of booze, but you know what? I put up with it like a fucking trooper. There’s a lot to be said, even just visually, about that shitstorm hellhole of a bar, but all I’ll tell you is that they had a cactus by the entrance. Yeah, right at the front of the bar. Can you believe that? My boss put it there, being the out-of-touch, unrealistic muthafucker that he is/was/always will be. So you know, that should tell you right there all you need to know about that shithole. A fucking cactus at the entrance of a bar. It was like I got a job at an insane asylum, and I never signed up for Crazytown USA, but hard knocks and all that.

Actually, the cactus is kind of fitting, because cacti and my boss had/have a lot in fucking common. You can probably figure out what I mean by that, but let me break it down for you anyway: prickly sons of bitches. You can’t get close to a cactus, and you sure as hell can’t get close to my boss because he’s a fuckwad asshole, and the second any sane human gets a look at his sad mug and hears his fucking lame stories, they’re going to go screaming in the other direction, if you get my drift. When he interviewed me, I very nearly went running out of that hellhole. I took one look at that place, that goddamn ugly cactus and that goddamn pathetic person, and I said to myself, “No fucking thanks, man!”

But I got the job and ended up taking it. Why? Not because of temporary insanity, but I needed to put the proverbial Chinese takeout on the table and since I like to keep up a healthy weight and not, you know, fucking starve to death, I had to swallow my pride and put up with the smarmiest, boringest assholes of all assholes anywhere. (Yeah, that’s right. Think you know the smarmiest, dullest asshole ever? Unless he’s my former boss, you don’t.)

So anyway, that cold, prickly, dated, make-you-want-to-run-screaming-in-the-opposite-direction asshole would come to the bar almost every night, and sit around and boss me like a fucking fucker. He’d be all, “wash that glass” and “wait on that costumer,” and “hey, don’t put your feet up on the bar”. . . it’s kind of like being in charge of that shitty, hole-in-the-wall dive gave him some kind of power complex, and suddenly he thought he was fucking King of the World and could boss around his lowly employees. Fuck that noise! So he’d be sitting there, making the occasional demand, and I’d just grit my teeth because I need to eat, but goddamn, it was exhausting.

And then he’d try to strike up a conversation with the customers. Now, these customers were mostly in their twenties, cool people, very San Francisco sleek, and why in the hell would they want to talk to that smarmy, fat-lipped loser? That’s right: they wouldn’t! To make matters worse, you should take notice that my boss, at this point, was pushing 50, and therefore a bag of bones who was completely dated and out of touch with the world, so God knows any cool young person would naturally want to get the fuck away from him. Despite this, he had enough nerve to try to engage with practically every young person that walked through the door. I wanted to scream, “The fuck is wrong with you?!” But anyway.

So, you know, I could only put up with this shit for so long before I had to speak my mind, and one day, as I was preparing to open, all of a sudden, Mr. Asshole walks in, and he’s got a box of chocolates and he’s telling me he’s going to put out the box for the employees and blah blah blah, and I’m just like, “You bought your employees candy?” What a pathetic-ass muthafucker, am I right? Like, what kind of son of a bitch buys his employees a box of chocolates to share? Is he a fucking kindergarten teacher?

So he nods all puppy-dog-like, and I just go, “Yeah, you’re a fucking dipshit.” And then I let him have it, and I told him how sick I was of his bullshit, and how crusty and old and unappealing he was, and how his face made me want to physically remove my eyeballs from my head, with my bare hands, just so I didn’t have to see it ever again. His face made me want to buy a bunker and a Bible and start being religious, because that mug of his was proof the Devil was real, and right here in San Francisco. End of times, bitches!

Anyway, he couldn’t handle the truth when he had it spelled out in front of him, so rather than take it in stride and compliment my honesty, and then maybe take my advice and stop acting like such a fucking Sesame Street reject, he turned on me fast and got all defensive and started crying like the little punk-ass bitch he is/was/always will be. And I’m just standing there, like, what? Am I supposed to offer you a fucking Kleenex? Next thing I know, I’m fired, and he’s calling the police, and all of a sudden there’s a restraining order against me, and I don’t even know what the fucking fuck is happening. One thing I do know: My boss was/is a psycho loser!

And you may be feeling sorry for me at this point, because I got so unceremoniously kicked to the spat-on curb, but don’t give me any pity because you know what? I’m a goddamn trooper. And I’m also trying to find someone to represent me because I hope to take this all the way to the fucking courts and sue the Looney Tunes underwear off that middle-aged muthafuckah, so wish me luck.

But anyway, back to the bowling alley.

Thing is, it’s BRUTAL out there when you get fired from a bar and then your boss takes out a restraining order against you, because that news travels like fucking flames and all of a sudden, all the bar owners in town want nothing to do with you. I got blackballed like a Communist actor in Golden Age Hollywood. Fuck that noise! So I had to temporarily find work elsewhere, because, like I said, I need to eat. Hence the bowling alley.

You think I wanted to take a job at a fucking bowling alley? I sure as shit did not. I dragged my heels and marched into that interview feeling like dirt. But I did it. See what I mean? Fucking trooper.

You don’t go into the bowling alley business because it’s glamorous. There is no glamour to be had cleaning up bowling alley birthday parties, or watching a group of sweaty fat guys in stained shirts taking their game way too seriously. No fucking glamour here. But I took the job because I had to, which I tell all of my friends, which I tell everyone I know. I had to fucking eat and, until I get this ban lifted and find a bar willing to take a chance on an honest firecracker like me, I’ve gotta take what comes my way.

Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom, the bowling alley biz. I mean, you get to hang around a bunch of shoes, and I haven’t even had to buy a new pair of shoes in months, so that’s pretty sweet. You do have to put up with some smug assholes, though. On my first day, the very first minute I was there, this sweaty fat guy (one of the losers I referenced) comes in, and he’s all, “Give me an 11.5,” and as I’m looking at this fat, gross excuse for a man, I’m just thinking, “Please kill me. Please.” And then my mind just wandered, and I’m envisioning some vigilante coming in and shooting up these braindead bowling losers in the name of thinning the population and trimming some of the fucktards, but calmer heads prevailed and—for better or worse—this did not actually occur. Woe is me, I guess!

I don’t know, if it weren’t for the free shoes and the other little perks like that, I don’t think I could deal with this job. Maybe it’d be better to starve. Like, the other day, for example, this little brat comes in with his clueless parents to bowl, and the parents aren’t minding their chubby child, so the chubby child—of course!—right away goes for a bowling ball, and then drops the thing right on his foot. Smarmy little asshole. So his parents freak, and his mother’s yelling at me, “Get him some ice! Get him some ice!” And I’m just like, “That’s not in my job description!” Seriously, who the fuck does she think she is? So I just went and hid in the backroom till the drama was over. I don’t need that shit.

But yeah, it’s one fucked-up thing like that after another, so that’s why I need this job I’m emailing you about. I’m hoping you’re gonna read this, and you’re gonna be like, “Yeah, this person sounds like the little shit we’ve been looking for.” And then you’ll take a chance on me and realize my brand of honesty and coolness can’t be fucking beat. But you know, maybe I scared you off with all this, and that’s fucking fine, too, because if I did, I wouldn’t want to work for you anyway; we clearly wouldn’t mesh well, and I don’t need a repeat of what happened with my last asshole boss, thank you very much.

So I guess we’ll see what happens.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Or not.