Excuse me, Mr. God, could you hold the phone a moment while I get out your resume?
Thanks for waiting. Just let me look this over for a moment and review your employment history. Is this accurate? Your only job was as a member of the Supremes? Sorry, the word “Being” was smudged. Is a Supreme Being like a CEO? It’s a few rungs higher? Well, you may have to accept a downgrade. We don’t currently have any listings for positions higher than CEO. Would you settle for that? Uh-huh. Only if the perks are right.
I can’t find your education on this resume. Do you have an MBA? A G-O-D trumps an M-B-A? That’s very funny but it isn’t helpful. Why didn’t you include your education? I see. When one is omniscient there isn’t anything left to learn. It’s a good point but you might have trouble selling it to a human resources director.
We can’t get you a job as a Supreme Being and, even though you may not see it that way, your background isn’t exactly what companies look for in a CEO. Maybe, with some retraining, you could do something else. Have you ever considered accounting or computer applications? Oh. You’ve never had a need to consider any other line of work.
Excuse me for asking, but I can’t tell from your resume: Are you currently employed? You’re not. From what I see here you worked in heaven for God knows how long. No, I wasn’t taking your name in vain, it’s just an expression. What happened? Lucifer engineered a hostile takeover? He bought up stock a share or two at a time until he had 51 percent? Yes, I agree that he may have done it out of spite because you fired him, but at least he didn’t go postal.
Well, the demand for Supreme Beings is non-existent at this time but maybe we can find something else that’s suitable. We have an extensive database of job descriptions. I’m sure we’ll find something. Are you an administrator or a technician? No, you can’t be both. Because our database isn’t organized that way. No, we can’t change it. Because it’s too expensive. Maybe you were able to say “Let there be” and there was, but we would have to pay $150 an hour and it isn’t worth the investment.
Look, I’m trying to help. Work with me. Let’s see if you have the kind of experience that might light up some upper manager’s eyes. What do you regard as your greatest accomplishment? You created the heavens and the earth? That sounds major. From start to finish, how long did it take? Only six days? No major project takes only six days. Weren’t you involved in anything long-term? Not that you can think of. Well, maybe we can sell you as an overachiever who can deal with short deadlines.
Let’s see how we can maximize that heavens-and-earth thing. Were you in charge? You were? Good, now we’re getting somewhere. How many people did you supervise? None for the first five days and just one on the sixth? Not good. It doesn’t show a talent for leadership. What else have you worked on?
Splitting the Red Sea. You made the waters part and stand as a wall on each side. That’s good! It’s visual, which is a big plus! I hope there was more than one person involved. Six hundred thousand plus the Egyptian army? Sensational! Which project management methodology did you use? Methodology. That’s a term for developing and maintaining incomprehensible charts, graphs, time-lines, and algorithms. Tech managers tell me you can’t control a project if you don’t use a formal methodology, although they can’t explain why. These guys don’t know one methodology from another — there are so many on the market — so they judge them by how catchy their names are.
What you did didn’t have a name. You willed it, it happened, and the Children of Israel walked across on dry land. We’ll have to invent a name. I’ve got it! Let’s call it the Pedestrian Progression methodology.
Now, let’s discuss how you did it. What tools did you use to part the waters? Just wind? That’s old technology. It’s like a raft floundering in a sea of luxury liners. It makes your skills look obsolete. But it’s not that bad if you put the right spin on it. If the interviewer is a save-the-environment freak you could stress that you used a non-polluting, renewable natural resource.
I’ll try to set up some interviews. You’ve got to make a good impression, though, so get your best suit cleaned and pressed. You don’t have a suit? Well, what do you have? You can’t go to an interview in a burning bush. No, a pillar of smoke wouldn’t be appropriate either. Interviewers want to size you up face to face. What? No kidding. If they did that they would die? That might not work to your advantage. I hate to say this but, aside from that Supreme Being thing, there doesn’t seem to be anything that you’re qualified to do. You have no vocational training and OSHA wouldn’t let you anywhere near a public workplace.
Hey, don’t hang up yet. I just had a brainstorm. This line at the bottom of your resume gives me an idea. You used only one finger to burn the Ten Commandments into a pair of stone tablets. I’ve seen copies of that work in all sorts of places. They’re in some language I don’t understand but the penmanship looks top-rate. And you did it with just one finger! Imagine what you could do if you applied yourself and used all 10! Like what? Like building a successful business addressing envelopes at home.”
Appel, now retired and living in Monroe, was a systems analyst at a New York-based clothing chain. After being downsized he went through a series of employment interviews, which helped inform this essay.