Student employees


I posted some student jobs recently, and have been reading the applications. I am bemused, as always.

Some thoughts:

  • I would describe myself in a lot of different ways, but not as “ebullient.” God knows I’m not ebullient, but even if I were, I would be shy of applying the word to myself.

  • Ditto “gregarious.” There are a lot of ways of saying this: “I’m a people person.” “I work well with others.” For me, “gregarious” connotes a large hearty man in a tweed jacket at a New Year’s Eve party, his arms around his friends, singing “Auld Lang Syne.”

  • “I have awesome skills.” As do we all. To me, it’s awesome that I actually wake up alive and conscious every morning. But the phrase “awesome skills” better describes a ninja than a college sophomore.

  • “Affable.” Affable? Are you eighty years old? Do you belong to the Explorers’ Club?

  • “I have experience with a wide variety of people and computers.” Really! And were the computers nice?

  • Best of all: “I make acute observations and have unique thoughts.” Hmm. Dorothy Parker? The Cumaean Sibyl? The Unabomber?

I may actually bring Awesome Skills into the office for an interview. One of the positions is largely customer-service: answering phones, greeting guests. And sometimes, a cheerfully over-the-top student is just the ticket to disarm a grumpy caller.

I hope, when I meet him/her, he/she is affable, and gregarious, and makes acute observations, and has unique thoughts, and is generally awesome.

Because – you know what? Most of my student employees have been all of the above so far.

Here’s hoping.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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