Michael Constantine McConnell, 12/28/2009

Current Occupation: writer/editor
Former Occupation: college composition teacher
Contact information: Michael Constantine McConnell writes poems, prose, and palindromes and is a devout student of the 20-button Anglo concertina, upright bass, piano, and autoharp. Experimental Word Forms Editor for Farrago’s Wainscot, his work has appeared in such places as Diet Soap, 32 Poems, Ars Medica, The Bitter Oleander, Freshwater, Buffalo Carp, and Reading Lips, an anthology sponsored by the Helen Keller Foundation. His musical projects can be found at the following sites: www.myspace.com/thejakeys (The Jakeys), www.myspace.com/gloomadeer (Warren Jackson Hearne and the Merrie Murdre of Gloomadeers), and www.myspace.com/circusdellamorte (Circus della Morte). Michael is a proud resident of Denton, Texas.


Reply to Employment Rejection

A response to my severalth staff employment rejection from a university where I purchased two expensive degrees:

Dr. Calloway,

I thank you for the cordial letter that I received on October 16, 2006, informing me that the Academic Advisor position has been filled. Despite my undergraduate and graduate degrees and my experience working with college students, I can’t seem to find a job. At this university, I’ve been turned down for every job I’ve applied, from an entry level proofreader (a position in my primary field) to a mover (a position in which I have eight years of experience.)

Regardless, being jobless, I have too much time on my hands, so I have provided you with the free service of editing the form rejection letter that bears your name. Please consider the following points:

1. The second sentence of paragraph one contains a misplaced modifier: “After having given careful consideration to all applicants, the position … .” The position is incapable of giving careful consideration. You should use active voice and write, ” … consideration to all applicants, I (or we or some type of relevant agent) have offered the position … .” That way the modifier will attach to the proper noun (pronoun in this case.)

2. The same sentence contains an improperly used semicolon: ” … the position has been offered to the person I felt had the best combination of work experience and skills pertinent to the office operation; and that individual has accepted.” You should never follow a semicolon with a coordinating conjunction; that is what a comma is for. A semicolon combines two independent clauses into the same sentence as does the comma/”and” combination: “, and …”. The semicolon is redundant in this case and should be replaced with a comma.

3. There is confusing preposition usage in the second paragraph: “I encourage you to keep your application on file with our Human Resources Office in the event that the other positions of which you qualify become available.” A person qualifies for a job. A person does not qualify of a job.

4. Finally, since this form rejection letter is business correspondence, you might want to consider using a professional font, such as Times New Roman or Garamond or Arial instead of Comic Sans Serif. Recipients of an employment rejection letter should not feel like they are reading about their lack of qualifications from a comic book.

Again, please consider my suggestions, which exemplify the type of good, concise writing I expect from my ENGL 1310 freshman composition students. Thank you for your time.

Have a great day, week, semester, and holiday season.


Michael Constantine McConnell

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