Will I Get the Job?
A Prospective Employee’s Proposal to Join Big Spaceship
By: Ping Pong Ball
August 19, 2008
45 Main Street, Suite 716
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Dear Mr. Lebowitz:
The late George Carlin once noted that all racquet sports are derivatives of my
game. Tennis, he said, was “Ping Pong played while standing on a table.” This
humorous yet astute observation speaks to my innate ability to inspire.
For the past few years, I have been studying Big Spaceship from afar, and I am
interested in joining your team. You may see me as an anomaly within your
innovation-led culture. I assure you my design has evolved greatly over the years
(you may be curious to know I was not always filled with celluloid). I take
advantage of the latest in technological advances in order to reach new
audiences and evolve my sport.
I believe I can enhance your collaborative culture by further motivating your
team. While I am currently employed at Fat Cat Billiards, I have grown tired of the
late nights and the at times abusive atmosphere. I am seeking a position where
my skills will augment a creative environment such as yours. Enclosed please
find an implementation plan I have put together demonstrating how I would be of
value. I hope we can continue this conversation very soon. Thank you for your
Ping Pong Ball
“In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.”
- Bill Bernbach
I realize many variables are at stake when your team is crafting a digital
experience. The drive to create something not just new, but brilliant, is constant.
Let us consider the process of producing ideas. One doesn’t beat them out of the
piñata with a stick. No…those ideas taste of stale candy.
The best ideas – indeed the ones that evolve communications from a two-way
street into an escalating roundabout – are created only when you are in the zone,
that place where inspired thoughts meet strategic tactics and intersect with
I can help your team locate the zone. Indeed, it is a magical space. But it is not
an infinite one, which is why my plan will address your well-founded concerns
and anxieties. I will be the first to admit that too much of me leads one away from
the productive heartland of ideas.
As you will see from the below SWOT analysis, my strengths are many (though
modesty is not one of them). I, too, see many opportunities to enhance your
company’s uniquely inspired culture.
There are, however, two major downsides that I realize I must overcome in order
for you to seriously consider employing me. The subsequent pages will
demonstrate how I can overcome these challenges.
While I am quite compact, I travel with a 9x5’ table. This presents
complications in terms of physical space and what that space is otherwise
used for. I understand my place in terms of project prioritization and
assure you my table is accommodating and easy to collapse and
If you classify fervor, passion and enthusiasm as weaknesses, then I am
guilty as charged…for these are the resulting emotions of people who play
my game. I assure you, though, that such emotions can be kept in check
with my implementation plan.
• Fast, agile • Accompanied by 9x5’ table that
• Efficient occupies space otherwise used
• Original for work projects
• Collaborative by nature
• Universally understood
• Foster cross-disciplinary • Have been known to increase
teamwork noise levels dramatically
• Bring about inspiration
• Provide a break from computer
screens (reducing eye strain)
• Improve hand-eye coordination
• Re-energize colleagues in a
Space is indeed a luxury in New York. My table measures 9x5’ and stands
approximately 30” tall. This green oasis, however, is simple to fold, move and
store. It takes just one to two people to fold it up, and because it is on wheels, it
can move rather quickly when needed. My equipment is quite compact and fits
easily into a closet without taking up much space.
Your green screen room would easily fit my table. I understand that this is a
working room, and as you will see I have devised a set of rules where I will do all
that I can to in no way hinder other projects.
Too much noise is disruptive. This, I do not dispute. While I don’t make much
racket, I tend to arouse it in others. Nobody wishes to put up with a cornucopia of
whooping and hollering.
I propose the creation of a noise meter. A few members of your staff have stated
their willingness to create a sound measurement device that will keep voices
within the desired range. This would involve creating a simple application and
hooking up a microphone or servo motor to a computer.
This noise meter will buzz whenever a player’s voice reaches an inappropriate
level – i.e., a level within the “danger zone”. Players will be penalized and
potentially banned from play if their voices reach volumes that are in the red.1
You can control and adjust the settings of the danger zone.
Though your culture is one that benefits from a dearth of rules, I advocate that
you implement some in order to stay in the inspiration zone while overcoming
space and noise challenges. I propose the following rules of play:
1. Keep the door shut whenever you are playing.
2. Respect your peers. Do not yell, do not scream, no matter how close the
match is. If you tip the noise meter into the danger zone, you will be
penalized and asked to stop play for the day.
3. Respect the green screen. If the room is needed for a project, finish your
last point and fold up the table promptly. No arguments, even if you are
nearing match point.
4. Respect your space. Once finished playing, put equipment back in the
designated storage location.2
5. Respect the game. Do not slam paddles on the table.
6. Respect the Ping Pong. If your project will require the green screen room,
send an email to crew notifying them how long ping pong will be off limits.
7. Respect yourself. Don’t play more ping pong than is considered
Failure to observe these simple rules may result in
an indefinite ban of playing the game.
Should the above rules prove inadequate, I suggest the following addendums:
1. Each team will have a designated enforcer who is responsible for notifying
staff when ping pong is off limits. This person will also request that ping
pong players stop play when the room is needed for projects.
2. Individuals can only play after 4pm (though I have faith in your staff that
this will not be necessary).
My recommended table has storage built into it. You can keep excess equipment in the green
screen room closet.
Though it may seem premature to discuss salary, I’d like to provide you with a
range of costs for my services. Given your space and the way in which my game
will be used, I present the following package for your consideration:
THE BUTTERFLY PLAYBACK ROLLAWAY
This particular table is affordable, durable and mobile. Its two-piece “playback”
top allows for solo practice.
• Cost: $479.99 (shipping is free)
• Weight: 180 pounds
• Dimensions when open (L x W x H): 9 x 5 x 2.5’
• Color: Green or Blue
• Easy to fold and move
o Compact storage size (less than 3’ in width)
o According to reviews, I once worked with an 11-year-old who could
raise, lower and move the table by himself.
• Sturdy, 3/4” thick wooden table (slightly thicker than similarly priced tables
and sufficient for achieving a “true bounce”)
• Net stays in place when folding
• Paddle and ball storage built into table
• 1.5” steel rim protects table against wear
• Two safety levers on each half prevent tops from opening
Should for any reason you find this package unsatisfactory, I have also worked
extensively with the two tables below.
Stiga STS 275 – $499.00
Prince Fast Match Set – $399.99
AFFILIATES: I prefer to perform my work with paddles, which are inexpensive.
Expect to pay approximately $15 per racket and $6 for six accompanying
versions of me. A servo motor for the noise meter would likely cost $30 – $50.
TOTAL PACKAGE COST: $600 – 800, negotiable. Annual upkeep not expected
to surpass $50.
As I draw my proposal to a close, I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts that
your staff shared when asked what I mean to them. Should you like, try to match
each quote with its corresponding staff member (the answers are below, but do
1. It’s an onomatopoeic sound. A. Stephen
2. Harmony, simplicity, belief in one’s self. B. David
3. Competition amongst colleagues. C. Jamie
4. An array of fun populated with joy. D. Daniel
5. Quick reaction fun! E. Mike D.
6. Frustrating cause I can’t ever get the F. Chris P.
Goddamn ball to land on the table. G. Zander
7. Refresh your brain. H. Maria
8. I immediately think tiny tennis. I. Shannon/Sabah
9. Yesh! J. Phil
10. Back and forth. K. Jonathan
11. It is quite a good time.
I hope you enjoyed that brief game. I’d like to call your specific attention to #7:
Refresh your brain. Think back to the zone diagram you saw earlier. One finds
the zone not just by fulfilling curiosities and pushing ideas to the limit, but also by
taking occasional breaks to clear the mind and energize the body. This, in short,
is what I do. If nothing else, I ask that you consider me as a tool of inspiration.
My resume and a letter of recommendation are enclosed. Should you like
additional application materials, please let me know. I anxiously await word from
Ping Pong Ball
1.(H), 2.(G), 3.(A), 4.(J), 5.(K), 6.(C), 7.(D), 8.(E), 9.(F), 10.(I), 11.(B)
Ping Pong Ball
Fat Cat Billiards, 75 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014
Highly strategic, operational and creative, I possess more than one hundred years
experience in game play and design, and I am accustomed to communicating with a
variety of audiences.
THE OLYMPIC GAMES
• Earned gold medal.
• Reached spin of 9,000 RPM.
• Responsible for 27 consecutive drop shots.
Atlanta, Georgia – United States
• Established use of “pen hold” grip in western world.
• Outranked canoeing and kayaking (combined) in viewership.
Seoul, South Korea
• Introduced sport of table tennis to the world.
ACTIVITIES AND INTERESTS
• Appearing on postage stamps (e.g. East Germany, 1987)
• Ping Pong Diplomacy (first established in the People’s Republic of China, 1971)
• Victorian School of Etiquette
August 1, 2008
It has come to my attention that Ping Pong Ball is seeking employment at your company.
As the co-founder of Atari, my relationship with Ping Pong Ball goes back many years.
Though we had a brief falling out during the video game crash of 1983, I must say I regard
him as one of my most trusted, respected colleagues.
We first launched Pong in 1972. Little did we know it would become the first videogame
to achieve widespread popularity in both homes and arcades? I even credit Pong as the
domino that set off the gaming industry boom.
It is true that I find most modern videogames to be “pure, unadulterated trash,” but I have
seen your work and admire it greatly. If Ping Pong Ball could provide you with just an
ounce of the inspiration that he brought to me at Atari, I imagine he could do big things
for Big Spaceship.