I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that life in the 21st Century is supremely stressful, with constant unspoken pressure to conform to myriad societal mores, amid an uneasy navigation through the conflict between the drives of the id and the demands of the cultural superego – and I’m not even taking into account the quest for growth by an exploration of self through respective masculine/feminine development of the psyche.

All of which means, of course, that when it comes to the important questions of our age, the older we are, the more easily we are able to arrive at answers through an intense empirical (whilst at the same time in-depth philosophical) understanding of our existential experience of what it means to be human.

On a personal level I’ve recently been grappling with two particularly pertinent questions, namely:-

  1. Am I beach body ready? (As a matter of fact, my bathroom cupboard is replete with the favourite perfume of mosquitoes, so I think I can say I’ve got that one licked)
  2. Am I fully prepared for the Olympics? (Indeed I am, having acquired two sets of spare batteries for the TV remote just in case it fails to work when I eagerly click the OFF button)

And so it’s come as a bit of a shock to be confronted with the fact that, despite my enthusiastic efforts over the decades to fully embrace who I am, if not what I’m for, I’ve totally failed to comprehend a vital component relating to the whole point of my time on this planet.

Let me explain.

A while ago a well-known university advertised for tutors to teach a scriptwriting module.  The position was part-time, sessions to suit, and was to be taught remotely (thus I was remotely interested).  I duly applied online.  A few days ago I received an email:-

Dear NotNiceEtoile,

Thank you for your recent application to teach on the above module. I am sorry that, on this occasion, we will not be taking your application any further as your application does not sufficiently demonstrate how you meet the generic and module person specifications for the vacancy.

Hmm.  It would appear from the text that I did partially demonstrate how I meet the generic and module person specifications for the vacancy, though, sad to say, not sufficiently.  How could I persuade them to reconsider?  Was there even a remote, perhaps part-time, chance?

I sent them a reply. (You knew I would, didn’t you?)

Dear Imbeciles*

Further to the email I’ve just received from you in consideration of my application to teach on the above module, namely:-

“I am sorry that, on this occasion, we will not be taking your application any further as your application does not sufficiently demonstrate how you meet the generic and module person specifications for the vacancy”.
Even though I have no idea what a generic / module person is, I’m obviously devastated I’m not one, and will be writing immediately to all the places I tutor (top drama schools, industry bodies for professional practitioners, organisations in L.A.) to inform them I sadly fall short in the generic modularity person department.  In addition, I will be tearing up my long credit list – comprising work for the BBC, independent broadcasters and London theatre – along with my rave tutoring testimonials (all supplied to you as part of my submission) as it’s patently clear they’re of absolutely no relevance towards my suitability for the post, along with 30 years professional practice at the top of the industry.
Oh, and I’ve just been invited to write and teach a similar course at one of the best arts universities in London.  Hey ho.
In the meantime, thank you for the excellent example of how not to write a script.
And do you know, I’m still awaiting a reply.
* Not their real name

About notniceetoile

I'm a freelance comedy writer, now living in Brighton after a few years in London, having relocated back to the UK in 2011 after a couple of years of adventures on the Cote D'Azur. Check out my blog about life in Nice:- and my political satire blog:- Available for weddings (3 to date) and barmitzvahs (0 - I'm a girl, duh).

Posted on July 22, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Pleased to read that you’ve got your beach body licked… I think I can hear the papery rustle of assembling paparazzi (in the gutter, looking at the stars – through a long lens).

    It’s good to see that our great universities are concentrating their great writers on their great students, rather than wasting them on humble administration.

  2. Hey, that’s an idea – they could hire me to teach them how to write rejection letters…

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