26 February 2018

Generic Recommendation Letter (For a Certain Sort of Scion)


Many years previous to this one -- a long time ago in fact -- around 2005 or so, as part of my duties in the HR department of a large grey institute, I was asked to assist in the composition of a letter of recommendation for some bigshot somewhere. I never really understood who exactly it was for which is convenient because it would have to be anonymous anyway but it was vaguely something like a son or nephew of the then administrative head of Hong Kong.  In retrospect this request must have passed through the offices of a big shot or two before landing in the office of our institute president and finding its way to me. I wrote the letter easily enough, pulling some suitably gushing prose from the nether regions of wherever that stuff originates.  Meanwhile, the grumbling I did under my breath grew into the following, with added inspiration from one in particular of the many 'nephew track' interns who has graced these hallowed cubicles over the years.

To Whom it May Concern:

The following shall serve as my recommendation letter for 'Lad X'.  I know his father well, he's a serious big shot – his yachts have yachts – and so I got hooked into taking him on as an intern for a month last summer.  Hey, no skin off my ass – shove the kid in a cubicle somewhere and give him some pencils to sharpen, I always say.

Lad X is a real go-getter.  He was always going out to get a Coke, candy bar, or some other instant gratification to put his uncurious mind at ease.  He is also extremely perceptive.  We gave him some meaningless work to do and he did not fail to instantly apprehend its unimportance, quickly setting it aside so that it would not interfere with his ability to surf the web.  Self-motivated?  Hell, yes.  Must be, because he looked real busy all the time and yet somehow never completed a single one of the inane chores he was assigned.

The kid understands his place.  He knows that with a minimum of effort, all doors are open to him.  As I'm sure yours will be too, despite his manifest mediocrity and this snide little recommendation.

Did I mention how rich his family is?

Yours sincerely, etc. etc.

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