Internet's Most Famous Job Application Turns 10

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A decade ago, a frustrated job seeker created a joke job application and put it on his web site. Ten years later, as he goes back on the job hunt, it's become an urban legend and appears on over 11,000 web pages.

Last Position Held: Target for middle-management hostility.

Greg Bulmash is the most famous employee McDonalds never had. Yet according to thousands of web pages around the world, the 38-year-old writer, programmer, and web designer from Washington is a 17-year-old boy in Florida whose honesty and humor got him hired at McDonalds.

Ten years ago, Greg was tired of going out on job interviews with a tailored resume, only to have to fill out a generic job application each time. So he wrote a joke where he sarcastically answered job application questions and published it on his web site.

The application included lines like:

"Last Position Held: Target for middle-management hostility."
"Do You Have A Car: I think the more appropriate question here would be 'do you have a car that runs?'"

Within weeks, he found his mock job application circulating around e-mail lists. But someone along the route had stripped his introduction from the piece and added the claim that it was really submitted at a "fast food joint".

As it circulated, people embellished the claims of its reality. First the "fast food joint" turned into McDonalds, then someone added that he was hired, then came the claim that the submitter was a 17-year-old boy in Florida.

In March of 2007, Google reported over 11,000 web pages carrying the job application, nearly 7,000 of them still bearing Greg's name, and every week there are a few more. It's been translated into multiple languages, re-printed in newspapers and books, read aloud on radio and television shows, and has its own entry at the Snopes.com Urban Legend Reference Pages.

Greg, who blogs at http://www.BrainHandles.com, currently owns and operates a number of web sites, including http://www.FunDraw.com (a free web-based art creation tool he launched in January of this year) and http://www.FunBabyClothes.com (a site featuring his and his wife's t-shirt designs for parents and babies). Ironically, as the 10th anniversary of his seminal job-hunting joke approaches, he finds himself on the job hunt once again.

And how has being a living legend, albeit an urban legend, affected Greg Bulmash's career? "No fame or fortune from it... yet," he chuckles. "I have had a few fast food restaurant managers tell me they would have hired me if I submitted it at their stores. If things get tight, I'll have to keep that in mind."

Pertinent Links:

Original Application Joke ("Take This Job And...") at Bulmash.com, Published April 10, 1997
http://www.bulmash.com/04-10-97.html

Entry At Urban Legends Reference Pages
http://www.snopes.com/humor/letters/mcdonald.htm

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