Write…Edit…Publish: Please Read The Letter – June 2022 #WEPFF

Welcome to the Write…Edit…Publish blog hop. The theme for this June edition is – Please Read The Letter.

For this challenge, I had an idea which evolved into something totally different from what I thought it would become. That sounds a bit cryptic. LOL

This piece weighs in at 1036 words and is still a work-in-progress… but I would appreciate any feedback.

If I expand this piece, which section(s) would require the most work? Some thoughts?

So here goes:

    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *         

To Who It May Concern

I’m the gentleman who has applied for a position at your company but no one has come back to me. At least other companies have the decency to respond with a random automated response such as: we’ve received your application but are fully staffed at the moment; or, please be patient we will review your application shortly.

Is a response asking for too much?

Mr. N.A. Hoskins


To Whom It May Concern

It’s me again. Yes, the same guy who has sent multiple applications to your company – but no response. Maybe you’re holding it against me because of poor grammar. After all, I mixed up the who and whom. But I’ve corrected it now (see opening line) I don’t know how I made such a silly error. Must be the nerves. Actually I’m quite good at grammar. In primary school I won the Spelling Bee, not once, but three times. Not only that, my grade four teacher chose me to mentor the new foreign student who joined our class halfway through that academic year. Imagine that, out of forty students in the class, I was the one chosen to help. Says something about my social skills, doesn’t it?

I can get a testimonial from Mrs Baker, if that would make you happy. She has since retired from the profession but I still see her. When I bumped into her last week, she said: “Nathaniel Hoskins, what a wonderful surprise. I’m sure you must be the most helpful employee in your company and such a sensible person too.”

That should count in my favour, don’t you think?

Mr. N.A. Hoskins


To Whom It May Concern

It’s me – yet again. You know the guy who has sent multiple applications to your company? The one who won the Spelling Bee three times and was chosen in grade four to mentor a foreign student? Still not sure? The guy who mixed up the who/whom…

Oh never mind!!

Well, the other day I rang your company and spoke to a lovely lady named Petal Hargreaves. We got chatting and moved from one topic to the next. She commented on my charming personality and how I’d be an asset to any company who hired me. Just ask Petal about me.

Mr. Nathaniel Hoskins


To Whom It May Concern

After all I’ve been through, your company still hasn’t responded.

Your employee Petal Hargreaves (who I had a lengthy conversation with) can vouch for me as a respectable citizen. But I’m running out of patience. Do you blame me? At the end of the day, I’m only human and no other human would have shown the patience that I have shown. Remember, I’m the guy who won the Spelling Bee three times. It takes loads of discipline and a strong nerve to participate, never mind win, the Spelling Bee. A reminder that I also mentored that foreign student when we were in grade four! I was only nine years old! Do you know what level of patience and discipline is needed for this? Today, which nine year old has time to help his peers, especially if there’s a language barrier? Ha! The nine year olds I know spend most of their time in front of a screen, playing video games.

But back to the topic. Why hasn’t your company responded? Are you still holding the who/whom issue against me? That’s not fair. You have to give me another chance. Just yesterday, I bumped into Mrs Baker. You remember Mrs Baker? The teacher who predicted great things for me? As per usual, she greeted me brightly. Before she could say another word, I quickly told her about my pending application with your company: how I’m still waiting for confirmation of the position in Human Resources, but that I’m almost sure the vacancy is mine. She was thrilled and said that with my sensible nature and social skills, I’d be a perfect fit. Imagine that? It confirms that the position belongs to me. We wouldn’t want to let her down now, would we?

Nathaniel Hoskins


To Whom It May Concern

It’s me, your employee-in-waiting; the highly respectable and sensible citizen, three-time winner of the Spelling Bee and Grade Four Mentor Of The Year. Remember me, your top candidate for the vacancy in the Human Resources department?

I forgot to mention that Petal Hargreaves is Mrs Baker’s niece. Now what do you think about that? Is further evidence needed to convince you that I’m the perfect candidate for that vacancy? Surely not. I’m sure you are busy processing the application. I can’t wait to start working at your company.

Nate Hoskins


To Whom It May Concern

FINALLY, a reply from your company.

I must say that your hundred-and-one questions are not appreciated. But, being the respectable citizen that I am, I intend to respond to every comment.

What do you mean I’m not a suitable candidate and that there is no HR vacancy at your company? Is this a way to get rid of me? Are you still holding the who/whom issue against me?

You have no employee by the name of Petal Hargreaves? Bollocks! I spoke to the lovely lady on the phone. She’s the niece of Mrs Baker, my grade four teacher. What a cheek to ask me if Mrs Baker has a niece by the name of Petal Hargreaves. Of course I didn’t ask Mrs Baker if Petal is her niece. Mrs Baker is my teacher not my friend and asking that question would be out of line. Yes, during our lengthy conversation, Petal mentioned that Mrs Baker is her aunt. Why would she lie about that? Why would she lie about working at your company?

What do you mean by that question?! Of course Petal Hargreaves is real.

Do you think I’m an idiot who has made up this character? What do you take me for – a moron or nincompoop?! Shame on you and your company! This reeks of a conspiracy. It makes me think that I’m lucky to have escaped working in that kind of environment.

Have I met Petal in person? No, I haven’t met Petal or spoken to her ever again. NOR DO I WISH TO MEET HER!

She is probably PART OF THE CONSPIRACY!! 

So, what do you think?


  1. Damyanti Biswas on June 17, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Hahaha! This was definitely a fun read. Cryptic for sure 😀

  2. Jemi Fraser on June 17, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    Love it! I smiled throughout the whole story – although I wouldn’t want to be the person working in the HR department having to deal with him!
    Thanks for the smile!

  3. L.G. Keltner on June 17, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    This was so much fun! I love the way it escalated. Gotta love those refined social skills this guy is so sure he has. I’ve known people like this. Definitely not the sort you would want working in human resources.

    • Michelle Wallace on June 18, 2022 at 8:49 am

      It’s one of those pieces that just unfolded and went in its own direction… if that makes sense?

  4. Olga Godim on June 17, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    Oh-oh! I wouldn’t wish to hire such a twit either. Just imagine meeting him every day in the corridor. Working at the next desk. Or, what horror, conversing in a lunch room. No! I’d want to wash after every encounter.
    A superb depiction of a repulsive personality. As a writer’s character portrait, it is brilliant.

    • Michelle Wallace on June 18, 2022 at 8:50 am

      Definitely a character to be avoided at all costs…
      Thank you, Olga!

  5. Elephants Child on June 17, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    I am smiling. And cringing. This sounds too much like people I have worked with – and have worked very hard to spend as little time with them as possible.

  6. JQ Rose on June 17, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    Still smiling as I write this. I like how you did not describe the man. But I could certainly picture Mr Hopkins. Cleverly done.

  7. Lynn on June 17, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    This leaves the reader with much to ponder as well as being able to use their imagination. There are a few scenarios that I can foresee happening next.

    Great job!

    • Michelle Wallace on June 18, 2022 at 8:52 am

      Lynn, I would love to hear your thoughts on the subsequent scenario…

  8. Debbie D. on June 17, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Hahaha! This is hilarious. What a nut job! I love it and can see it escalating even further. Go for it. 😀

    • Michelle Wallace on June 18, 2022 at 8:53 am

      A certified nut job! LOL I’m sooo glad you enjoyed it, Debbie.

  9. Nilanjana Bose on June 17, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    This is so much fun, Michelle! Loved the direction you took with the prompt. Delightfully original. Liked the idea of multiple letters too, the progressive reveal. Brilliant execution. Thank you for this fun entry. It’s great to see you at WEP.

    • Michelle Wallace on June 18, 2022 at 8:54 am

      Thank you, Nila! I had loads of fun writing this piece.

  10. C.L. Hart on June 18, 2022 at 2:24 am

    I honestly saw nothing I felt needed to be changed. I really enjoyed the narrator’s hyperbolic reactions and I sympathize with his plight. Back when I was still working for other people, I always hated being left hanging without a response. Now when I submit stories for possible inclusion in periodicals or anthologies, I also hate getting no response. I’d prefer rejection to being left in limbo.

    • Michelle Wallace on June 18, 2022 at 8:57 am

      Thank you for visiting, CL!
      For whatever reasons, it seems like many periodicals/magazines do not respond timeously. It’s a horrible feeling to be left in limbo.

  11. Hilary Melton-Butcher on June 18, 2022 at 6:35 am

    Hi Michelle – what fun … and what an obnoxious person … he’d put people off … no doub about that. Very clever take on the prompt – well done … cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on June 18, 2022 at 8:58 am

      Obnoxious is the perfect word.
      Thank you, Hilary!

      • Hilary Melton-Butcher on June 29, 2022 at 8:05 am

        Hi Michelle – congratulations on your Encouragement Award – excellent news as it was a cleverly crafted entry – cheers Hilary

  12. Sonia dogra on June 18, 2022 at 6:51 am

    Michelle I had such a wonderful time reading this. It’s hilarious and god, not so funny if you think from the pov of Hoskins. Poor fellow. This is a winner for me.

    • Michelle Wallace on June 18, 2022 at 8:59 am

      Funny for the reader – but not funny for poor Hoskins. LOL
      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I had a blast while writing this piece.
      Thank you, Sonia!

  13. N. R. Williams on June 19, 2022 at 12:03 am

    Nincompoop! So fun. So, you asked for advice. Yes, this would make for a great story. In between each letter you should let us live with this character in his life. What is happening to make him so desperate? And, how does he handle it? If he was an American, you’d have to change some of the language, unless he was originally from Britain. Sadly, I could see him going and buying an AR-15 and entering that company to kill everyone in H.R. at least if not all. Very dark. If he isn’t that off he might try suicide and who comes to the rescue? Petal? If you do want the most violent of the options. You have to pick a Republican State, because Democrats are not going to allow just anyone to buy a gun. So, Texas or Florida and several others.
    Well done.

  14. Yolanda Renee on June 19, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    Oh, how many times have I wanted to write a second time? Explain a little further and apologize for an error. LOL So glad I’ve not yet resorted to such madness. This is wonderful. Thanks for the humor!

    • Michelle Wallace on June 20, 2022 at 4:12 am

      It’s pure madness! Best to just let it go… but not for Mr. Hoskins. He couldn’t resist and HAD to dig deeper and deeper… 🤣🤣

  15. Arti on June 19, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    Ha! Ha! This was a fun read. I do feel for Hoskins though. He’d make a great writer though. His initials — N.A.– point to ‘Not Again’ Hoskins in my mind:)

    • Michelle Wallace on June 20, 2022 at 4:13 am

      Thank you for visiting, Arti!
      Not Again Hoskins – that’s funny!! But perfect! 🤣

  16. C. Lee McKenzie on June 19, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    Too funny! I had such a good laugh, and the story built letter after letter. Loved the name Petal Hargreaves. It added to the humor. Great job. This is a winning entry, Michelle.

  17. Michelle Wallace on June 20, 2022 at 4:14 am

    Thank you for the lovely comment, Lee!
    I had a blast writing this piece! 🤣🤣

  18. Michelle Wallace on June 20, 2022 at 4:17 am

    I do apologize for the inconvenience if you visited my blog but couldn’t leave a comment.
    I hope it sorts itself out. Fingers crossed.

  19. Nick Wilford on June 20, 2022 at 7:34 pm

    Very funny! Nice to have a lighthearted take on the prompt. Although I think Mr Hoskins hints at some pretty dark personality issues.

  20. Annalisa Crawford on June 21, 2022 at 10:55 am

    OOh, I’m hooked and I definitely want to know more about Petal. This piece has such a great voice.

  21. Wow. I think this is one of those people who sees something like “most X people are this way,” and responds “not ALL X people are that way!” I’m betting that the character never even applied. I wish I knew the age of the person. Old enough to apply for a job, but still talking about elementary school accomplishments? Nothing since that?

    I wrote a humorous piece for the June WEP prompt (it isn’t adult, though some may mistake it as such at first, depending on your hobbies).
    And I’m contemplating my favorite book worlds for the IWSG July prompt (I’m co-hosting). Any thoughts?
    Over at Operation Awesome, we’re gearing up for our Pass or Pages query contest with July’s family saga genre. Know any writers who might want to enter?

  22. Michelle Wallace on June 25, 2022 at 6:31 am

    Thank you for the visit, J Lenni!
    Favorite book worlds? I’ve never really thought about it.
    The Pass or Pages query contest sounds very interesting.

  23. Jamie of uniquely maladjusted but fun on June 28, 2022 at 5:59 am

    😄 At one of my previous jobs, I was put in charge of mailing form postcards thanking people for applying, saying the application would be kept on file, but the position was filled at this time. My boss handed me the stack and the sheet with addresses. The postcards had to be addressed by hand. “Don’t do it too fast. No more than 20 a day.” Sure enough, there were two double addresses. So yes, this kind of thing does happen.

    And man, that was a mind trip. Made me grateful I got my job. But also reminded me how fast the company could replace me. Not that they were applying for my job, they weren’t, but someone had sent a postcard stack like this when I was hired.

    Anyway. Your post brought that memory from over two decades ago back. So bravo on “connecting with the reader.” 👏🎈😊

    • Michelle Wallace on July 1, 2022 at 4:15 pm

      I’m so excited that my story resonated! thank you, Jamie! 😄

  24. Elephants Child on June 28, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    Congratulations on your WEP award.

  25. Nilanjana Bose on June 29, 2022 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Michelle! The winners’ post is up and you might want to check out the WEP site 🙂 Congratulations!

    • Michelle Wallace on July 1, 2022 at 4:16 pm

      I’m thrilled with the results! Thank you, Nila! 😄

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