The Eighth Page

Bruce Mansfield Applies for a Job: GenCorp Industries

To Whom It May Concern: Bruce Mansfield has worked beneath me for over seven years. He comes into the office every morning and, well, that’s usually the high point of his day. He seems to be much more passionate about laying thumbtacks on his coworker’s chairs than actually getting work done. I really don’t know what else to say about Bruce. Oh yeah, last year at the Christmas Party he was supposed to bring the cups. He forgot the cups. He claims that he acts the way he does because his father and mother left him when he was twelve to join a circus troupe. I find this hard to believe, as Bruce’s parents call my office three times a day to check in on their “Little Munchkin Muffin.” In fact, we get a package nearly every week for Bruce with a return address that reads “Mr. and Mrs. Mansfield, Proud Parents of Bruce!” He claims the package is from his drug dealer, and goes into the bathroom each Friday to, as Bruce says, “Open his package.” Bruce also seems to have a problem following directions. When I give him an assignment, he will always turn it in early as a “rough draft.” At first we thought he was a diligent worker with his priorities in order. However, his “rough drafts” are either crayon drawings of coworkers depicted in disgusting positions and situations or merely a binder he has filled with a bag of his dog’s urine. When Bruce first arrived here, we had not actually hired him. He somehow got in to the building one night and has stayed ever since. We employed Bruce because we didn’t have the money to waste on a trial to force him out of the building. In fact, we don’t know where he went to high school, or if he even graduated. All we know is that he never went to college. We only know this because he enjoys bragging about this during coffee breaks. Bruce reminds us that “you can only appreciate college football if you are completely unbiased.” Bruce never follows our company’s dress code of shirt and tie. He will come into work dressed inappropriately, often with a “do-rag” on his head. He will occasionally bring a large golden cane on which a giant plastic jewel is mounted. He will walk around with this cane for most of the morning, and has tried multiple times to have separate health insurance given to his “pimp staff,” as he calls it. We respect each employee’s specific needs, but in Mr. Mansfield’s case, he goes too far. Bruce does not need a cane to help him walk. He merely brings it to the office because he thinks it is “tight,” which apparently is a word that signifies something that is socially pleasing. In general, Bruce is a very troublesome employee, but he does have one wonderful aspect. When he does work (which is once or twice a month if we get lucky) he does it with tremendous efficiency. He is the fastest typist our company has ever seen. We have attempted many times to explain to him the magnificence of his skill, yet he pushes us away, telling us that he will never be any good. In fact, Bruce’s low self-esteem for his typing abilities almost adds a human aspect to him. If we could only get him to appreciate and use his wonderful skills, he could go very far. Unfortunately, Bruce busies himself most of the day with making obnoxious noises and “accidentally” spilling hot coffee on his female coworker’s blouses. Hopefully, in future employment, Bruce will apply himself in a better way. It is with great relief that I write this, knowing that Bruce’s departure is imminent. I can come to work each morning now knowing that my secretary will bring me coffee free of Bruce’s trickery, and I will be able to sit in a swivel chair untouched by his ever-greasy hands. As for my advice to you, the future employer: good luck. Sincerely, Bill White Regional Coordinator GenCorp Industries