Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Grandparents.com, Epistolary Black Hole

“Is it a TTYL at the end of a message? That's ‘talk to you later.’ As a response to a joke or YouTube URL you might have e-mailed, LOL says, ‘I'm laughing out loud.’ As a signoff, it also means ‘lots of love.’ Juicy gossip? OMG can only be ‘oh my God,’ especially from a granddaughter of a certain age. LMK after a question means ‘let me know.’”
- “Tools and Tips for Decoding Text Messages,” by Judy DeMocker, Grandparents.com

The pursuit of full-time employment has led me down plenty of dead-ends, filthy back allies, and crippling shame-spirals, but perhaps the biggest kick in the pants so far has been my brief, sordid tryst with Grandparents.com. What impelled me to forward my employment history and a letter applying for a job as a Web Editor to a faceless man purporting to own and operate an internet start-up called Grandparents.com? The answer to this question remains something of a mystery to me. A cursory look at Grandparents.com will serve to elucidate my confusion and humiliation.

I’ve deluded myself with a few placatory answers. For one, there’s the ease and efficiency of job applications over email especially when you’re in a cookie-cutter cover letter rut. In my weaker moments, I’ve convinced myself this may have been a worthwhile opportunity not to be discounted. But ultimately, the only convincing answer I can give myself is Eldercore – a celebration and devout allegiance to all things elder. I applied to this job because I’ve always been into Eldercore – wind-breakers, wearing your pants high on the waist, and going out to dinner very early.

Below, I have reproduced the entirety of my email correspondence with Jeff Beil, founder of Grandparents.com.

from: Jeff Beil
to: Martin M
date: Jan 23, 2007 11:28 PM
subject: Web Editor Position at Grandparents.com

Thank you for applying for the web editor position at grandparents.com. I'd love to talk to you about the job in person. Could you come in for an interview this week?
Best regards,

An interview! I probably should have known something was suspicious when I received the preceding email at 11:30 at night – after all, older folks don’t stay up that late. Nonetheless, the following morning I shot back an excited reply:

from: Martin M
to: Jeff Beil
date: Jan 24, 2007 11:48 AM
subject: Re: Web Editor Position at Grandparents.com

That's great! I'm available to come in tomorrow (Thurs) in the morning, or any time on Friday. Let me know what works for you.
Looking forward,

I placed my Rockport Prowalkers by the door, perfectly aligned like little gentlemen at attention. I perched my freshly-pressed royal blue Members Only jacket on the arm of the house rocking chair. I buckled down in front of the computer with a raspberry phosphate for a long afternoon of inbox refreshing.

And then, nothing.

My disappointment came in the form of silence.

from: Martin M
to: Jeff Beil
date: Jan 29, 2007 12:28 PM
subject: Re: Web Editor Position at Grandparents.com

Just wondering about a possible interview time - any day this week works for me.

Still no reply. I watched as the content of Grandparents.com grew. Had another web editor been hired? If so, why shouldn’t Jeff at least email me to say ‘forget it?’

from: Martin M
to: Jeff Beil
date: Feb 7, 2007 12:43 PM
subject: Re: Web Editor Position at Grandparents.com

Hello Jeff,
Still curious about the interview at Grandparents.com. Please let me know.

Confused and dejected, I howled into the digital abyss. In some strange way, I felt I had been let down by an entire generation. And finally:

from: Martin M
to: Jeff Beil
date: Mar 6, 2007 3:26 PM
subject: Re: Web Editor Position at Grandparents.com


"To a tween or teen, especially, there's nothing like a grandparent. You're there for her when she needs you most, and you are a crucial adviser about everything from homework to making friends. But building that trust can often feel as arduous as the search for the Holy Grail." - Lambeth Hochwald, "Lean on me: Building trust with your grandchild," Grandparents.com

Still looking forward to the interview! TTYL! LOL!

I Remain,

Martin M


Perfect Ratio said...

When I start dirtygrandpa.com you're web ed.

Joe said...

Keep hope alive, my man. I just know that Jeff will be inviting you to eat creamed chipped beef at Cracker Barrel at 4:00 in the afternoon any day now.

uncle tom said...

Martin... I feel your frustration! It's almost the inverse of my experience with the "Tavern". Please know you will always have a position
there, as no one else could ever care as much as you...LOL&BBFN

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Viagra Online said...

It is a very funny history, LOL, I've never seen the video but I like him because I always see funny videos on youtube, as you say the joke is very good, so much so that the video has a lot of visits.

WILL said...

Martin! Que casualidad. See, it was late in January when I was surfing the internet, watching MTVJams, and thinking about how not useless old people are. Soon enough (obviously. What other site would I visit with such a set of stimuli acting on me?) I came upon Grandparents.com, the Official Website for Totally Old Ancient Heads. Although somewhat perturbed by the use of "official" in their heading, I found myself reading an interesting post on "Guide Blogs for those whose minds are in a fog," by the one and only Jeff Beil. He was writing about MTVJams. I'm into MTVJams; as mentioned I was even watching the channel while surfing gp.com. So I wrote him an email, and we struck up a little friendship. Here is our correspondence:

From: Jeff Biel
To: DJAhhh!@yahoo.com [William S Seesaw]
Subject: oldsmobiles
Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do drive an oldsmobile to work, and my favorite cereal is Olden Grahams. LOL! How did you know that??!!? OMG! Anyway I GTG because I dropped a knife onto my toe. FUCK!!!

To: infothatisshortforinformationyoucluelessoldpeople@grandparents.com [Jeff Biel]
From: William Oy
Subject: re: oldsmobiles

hey man hope your toe is ok

From: Jeff Biel
To: William "Honus Wagner
Subject: "Martin" mulkeen
Sup fool. So this guy "Martin Mulkeen" keeps emailing me about some interview. I don't know how he got my email but I'm kinda scared? What if it's like an interview with the police? Or like in the Matrix? I'm pretty sure this guy is like a secret agent or something with the government because i was all screwed up the other day and i had this weird dream like i cant even remember if it was a dream or real life and some guy was named martin in it!!!!!! and then i get an email from some martin!!!!! man im going nuts here BFF!

To: Jeff Biel
From: William O Myxomatous
Subject: didn't get your email

Hey Jeff, I didn't get your last email. It came up as a bunch of random squares. You know how that happens. How's the toe?

From: Jeff Biel
To: William O Mockery
Subject: New John Mellencamp album
Yeah, great album. I totally agree that JCM's latest effort contains a perfect blend of patriotism, optimism, and wistfulness that so well suits gp.com. I'm making it one of gp.com's "Albums of the Year ("Albums" are collections of "music," which is a thing that young people these days listen to)" later today. Thanks for the info. I'll get back to you about the toe.
Best Regards,
P.S. I don't know if you got any of the stuff about this "Martin Mulkeen" character that has been trying to get in touch with me, but I think it (and my previous message, which thankfully you didn't get) has something to do with the research on my latest "The Stuff that the Nice Young Man at the Drugstore Gives You. I Remember When Every Drugstore Had a Soda Fountain. Blah Blah Blah" column. Turns out he's just some earnest rubgy player who must have gotten my name from the article I wrote about grandparental rugby ("Don't Play Rugby, You're Too Old," Grandparents.com, January 1, 2007 Here's his picture: http://www.sheehans.se/bilder/event2.jpg.

To: Jeff Beil
From: Hambone Seesaw [Eephus Garfunkel]
Subject: no subject

OMG I ate a pepper and it's too hot!