Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Fastest Rejection on Record! And a Bonus Manifesto!

It's a two-fer today!

This afternoon, I spent some time working on a few poems and sending out a fresh batch of submissions to this and that magazine, as well as following up on a few submissions that have been floating out there for a while--because, I'm used to waiting three or fours months before getting rejected, but I do like to follow up to confirm said rejection if I haven't heard anything in a long time. (Plus it gives me an excuse to admire my fancy color-coded Excel spreadsheet, on which I keep track of all of these things).

I sent a series of five poems to (shall remain unnamed) magazine, and, I kid you not, in less than two hours, I received a rejection notice via e-mail! Really?? Less than two hours?? Wow. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled with the quick response time, but...did it really have to come back that fast? Could they not have at least appeared to mull it over; dither over it a little bit first? Did they really have to send it careening back to me at the speed of light, as if it were dipped in nuclear waste and they couldn't get it out of their in-box fast enough?

They were quite polite about it though, and I do like what I've seen of their magazine online. If you want a quick response time, e-mail me and I'll give you their name and contact information.

I don't have any hard feelings towards them; I just think it's more funny than anything. No, really, I do. *sob!!*

Also, today, while trying to work on Poem Prompt #4 from Poetic Asides, I got distracted by a segment on CNN about "how to hold on to your job in these tough economic times." I'll recap their advice for you, in case you're concerned about being laid off:

1. Make yourself "invaluable." This seems to involve finding some way to gain total dominion over an important office territory, and proceed to re-do the filing system until it's so complex and bewildering that you're the only who knows how to find anything. Very crafty, indeed!

2. In meetings, beg loudly for extra work. Take other people's work off their desks and do it for them. Brag about how little sleep you need. Invest in a cot, and put it your office.

3. If work hours begin at nine and end at five, show up at four a.m. and leave and 2:00 a.m. Handcuff yourself to your desk and cry if you're told to go home.

There you have it! Instant job security, brought to you by the experts at CNN. So don't come crying to them if you get laid off--you obviously just didn't try hard enough, you losing loser.

This one's for all the over-competent out there--and you know who you are:

A Manifesto for the Invaluable

“To keep your job in these tough economic times,
you must find a way to make yourself invaluable.”

--CNN Money Matters
It's what we do best, work
nobody wants, real
pain-in-the-ass labor,
bad hours; the sickly drain
of grinning with a bloodless heart.
Duster and baby,
Blackberry and bottle,
our virtuous
bones pushing through wax-bald skin.
All this yogurt and competence,
and never a day
without lipstick.

Because no one can live
without us,
we must lay down for the count;
instruct ourselves in the art
of true uselessness,
total disposeability,
being no damn
good for anything.

We must give up, let it all fall
where it may, let the debris
swarm unvacuumed in the stinky air,
let the cries
rise up untended in the dark.

We must lie
sloppy, as indolent failures,
so we may come to know
finally and keenly
our own worthlessness--
how gloriously
unimportant we are in the world.

--Kristen McHenry


Joannie said...

Wow--just two hours, and on a SUNDAY! You've got me beat.

But I would so like to see your Excel spreadsheet. I use a Word doc that is decidely low-tech.

And thanks for posting the poem. I can lie down as a sloppy, indolent failure, but I can't seem to stay adequately lipsticked.

The Good Typist said...

Woot! I think I have some sort of record! ;)

As far as lipstick, you just have to have the will to re-apply constantly; or you need to invest in one of those ones that never wipes off, but I am too cheap and lazy for either, so I generally just use Chapstick.

My Excel spreadsheet is fancy! I list each of the publications I send to, each poem, the date sent, the website, and how I sent it. (E-mail, snail-mail, submission form, message in a bottle, etc.), then I code each one in highlights by:

Waiting to hear (yellow)
Accepted (green)
Rejected (tan)
Other (gone out of print, never heard back after follow-up inquiry, withdrew due to publication elsewhere, etc.), and
Need to Follow Up (blue)

It makes it really easy!

The Good Typist said...

Oops, I forgot to add--"Other" is gray, like the misty void my poem has disappeared into.