“I Will Assist Your Face Off,” by Liz Fischer

Mar 24th, 2010 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

Dear Employer,

As your new marketing assistant, I just wanted to say thank you for the opportunity and… get ready for some face-melting assisting!! I’ve essentially been preparing for this my entire life, by being of assistance whenever possible:

•    Allow me to erase the chalkboard Mrs. Dutt
•    Dierdre, do you need help eating those fruit snacks?
•    Hey, old lady, let me carry that purse for you… just give me the goddamn purse!

Through these and other assisting situations, I’ve developed quite the bag of tools, both figurative and literal, like this exacto knife. Oh, you have these in the office? Well that’s fine, I like to carry my own, because you never know when someone will “ask you for the time” on an empty subway platform. Other things I will bring to the office:

Excellent communication skills

We all know that talking is the root of getting things done, and I love to talk! Gab, gab, gab. It’s like my friend Gina says, “Liz, shut your freaking face!” Ha, Gina, she’s so trashy. But communicating goes far beyond talking, it’s also about talking on the phone, and talking through the computer. When I’m on the phone I always try to make a connection with the person on the other line. If you hear me say, “That’s sick!” in a positive way, you can assume I’m talking to someone between the ages of 20 and 30. And if I say, “Oh, that sounds delightful,” then I’m probably speaking to an elderly person, or someone who is from England.

Further, I’m sure I’ll be sending and receiving QUITE A LOT of emails in this position, and I want you to rest assured that I know my way around a sign off. Let’s acknowledge that signing “Best” is basically like signing “I’ve been feeling a little dead inside since the divorce.” I prefer salutations with a little more spirit, like, for a short snappy email: “Tootles!” Or for longer, more formal electronic communication: “Yours faithfully.”

Postal-worker-like knowledge of the postal system

I will mail the shit out of those packages! Assuming that you’ve never assisted anyone, let me tell you that it requires a certain finesse to seal a large envelope. Easier now since they started making self-adhering flaps, but I usually lick them anyways because it makes me feel light headed in a good way. And you might say, “Hey, that’s not the kind of office we run here,” to which I would say, “Then what’s with all the rubber cement in the supply closet?” And further, what’s with that bag of Xanax in my drawer? Because I’m starting to feel anxious!

Proficiency in office language

More impressive than my Excel skills (is that possible?) is my strong grasp of office-speak. I hear a lot of nuance in your request, let’s unpack that. I’m a little too sleepy to complete that task, how about we table it. Here’s a hot cup of coffee, per your request. Just kidding, I don’t know how to make coffee. But I do know how to go to Starbucks, may I borrow your credit card? Let me just jot down your social in case they ask…

Diligence and perseverance

If someone were to describe me, they might say that I’m self-motivated. In fact, I think I overheard someone say that I was self-motivated, but they might have said, “simulated,” and they might’ve been talking about my avatar. Anyways, I go above and beyond. Like if there’s a sandwich sitting on your desk, waiting to be eaten, and you get called into a meeting, well let’s just say one of us is going to do that job… and that it could have used a little stone-ground mustard.

I expect that you will be very pleased with my work ethic. I like to think of myself as a trendy puritan. If the job called for it, I would even sleep in my cubicle. Psych! I do sleep in my cubicle. My, I’ve been provided with a lot of storage space, but I don’t need that much room to store my envelopes and rubber cement. So I’m being resourceful and using the lower file cabinet as a trundle bed.

So all of this is really my way of saying, is there anything I can do for you?

Yours faithfully,
Liz Fischer


Liz Fischer is a Chicago-based writer. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire and Chicago magazine, and on McSweeneys.net.

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