If qualifications are what you need, create a lot of them

ALICE STEINBACH

December 13, 1992|By ALICE STEINBACH

Another week has passed, and still I've received no job offe from Bill Clinton. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't expecting to be offered one of the top, top jobs like Secretary of Energy -- although I am qualified; I was borderline hyperactive as a child -- but I did have high hopes for something beneath that level.

Some appointment, perhaps, in the area of domestic economics. I have, after all, plenty of experience in domestic economics. Indeed, it is my position that any working person who can manage nowadays to put the kids through college -- without declaring bankruptcy -- can easily handle the budget deficit.

Of course, I'd also be pretty good as head of the National Endowment for the Arts. My position on the arts? Well, after years of looking at art I have honed down my views to a philosophy that absolutely guarantees a no-favoritism stance. To wit: I know everything about art, but I still don't know what I like.

I could go on and on about my qualifications for any number of jobs in the new administration, but that's not the point. The point is: I'm starting to get worried that I haven't heard anything yet.

I wasn't worried at all until recently, when the newspapers began running stories on the thousands of resumes Clinton's transition office is receiving every day. And these job-seekers, reportedly, will resort to anything to attract attention to their resumes.

Some have even gone as far as to bring up some distant friend who was Bill Clinton's classmate at Yale or Oxford. Or puffed up their resumes a bit.

Apparently, these job-seekers have little confidence in allowing their resumes to stand -- or fall -- on their own merit. I, on the other hand, expect to be judged not by whom I know but by whom I would like to know. That, and the content of the following missive I am in the process of composing.

Memo to Bill Clinton from Me:

It has come to my attention that you will soon have about 4,000 openings on your staff. Please consider this memo as my application for all of them.

By the way, you might be interested to learn that the lawyer who handled my divorce is not only a lawyer -- like you -- but is also

from Arkansas. Or as we in the know say: He is an Arkansawyer. (Note to Bill: Don't you just laugh when reporters call them Arkansans?)

But getting back to me and my qualifications for those 4,000 jobs, here are some things about me that might help you decide which one of those jobs would suit me best:

I am a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, got my law degree at Columbia and have a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton. (Note to Bill: All names, places and facts are approximate.)

In addition, I am a veteran journalist who has filed breaking feature columns from all over. Other job credits include: chief executive officer with General Electric, two years with Ralph Nader's consumer group, high-level stints at both the World Bank and the World Wildlife Federation, a senior fellowship at a top, top think tank in Washington and a brief, but productive, scientific turn overseeing a laboratory experiment that tested the feasibility of providing off-duty lab mice with tiny, powder-blue leisure suits.

Speaking of mice, did you know that your cat, Socks, and my cousin's ex-husband's cat, Esperanto, once went to the same vet?

But getting back to me: Although I know most of the top, top jobs are probably gone by now, I'd like to make a daring suggestion. Have you ever considered replacing the Department Agriculture with a Department of Manufacturing? With me as Secretary of Manufacturing?

Let's face it: Foodstuffs are not what they used to be vis-a-vis our gross national product. And anyone who goes into a television store or buys an automobile knows we need a lot of work in the durable goods department.

My own experience in manufacturing includes a summer stint in a Venetian blind factory where I worked as an assembly line stringer. Which is not to be confused with a hooker. Unless, of course, you're working in a button factory.

Finally, I am enclosing several references, including one from former President Jimmy Carter. I would rather you not contact him directly. If you want to know what he thinks about me, please contact me, and I will tell you.

I would also prefer you not talk to my sons about me. In all fairness to me, I think my children only know me for who I really am, not who I imagine myself to be. And I would hope that any job in your administration would not rise or fall on such flimsy, truthful opinions.

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