Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Buffet Reference

Since it has been a long time since I posted a blog entry, I thought I would temper my return with a small update. Firstly, I have successfully completed my Capstone Review Paper. That was the final obstacle to earning my master’s degree and I received my diploma little more than a week ago. Secondly, I am now actively looking for a new job, one that does not involve working at a library. Unfortunately, now is not the time to be job hunting. Even so, I am determined to leave my current position. Meanwhile, hiring managers are faced with massive amounts of nearly identical resumes and applications.

So in an attempt to better determine what applicant is the best fit for the job, application packets ask for the usual (letter of intent, resume, transcripts, etc.) and sometimes a unique reference. One such employer (the state of Florida) asked that I include a Buffet Reference. Since I don’t frequent many buffets here, I asked the manager of the Mandarin House on Merchants Drive to compose a short Buffet Reference. After some cajoling, he finally penned the following:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express my endorsement of Mr. Matt Davis as the newest addition to your team. Matt’s talents and skills are very evident in his frequent visits to the Mandarin House.

Matt’s skill as a biologist far outreaches any mere mortal. He begins every visit with a quick tour of our aquarium facilities. Unlike many of our visitors, he is quickly able to differentiate between what is an actual fish and what is merely a fish sticker inside the tank. He has also helped staff members determine dead fish from live fish, a task which is both intriguing and complex.

Once he begins the buffet line his true prowess becomes obvious. In short, Matt is an excellent eater. His tastes vary across the board, but he has a strong love for the General Tso's Chicken. But Matt is by no means solely a carnivore. In addition to his love for our various, delicious chicken dishes, Matt is also fond of our fried rice and vegetable lo mein. Regardless of how he divides his culinary attention, his determination and hard work consistently result in him completing no less than two, and sometimes more than three, plates of food and two or more ice creams.

Even though I am unsure why an employer would ask for such a strange reference, I also realize that in these hard economic times any information on prospective employees, however unorthodox, could prove to be vital in decisions of employment.

The Manager of Mandarin House
314 Merchants Drive, Knoxville, TN


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