July 4, 2018
RE: Analysis of Positional Requirements for H-1B Visa Status
Position: Social Media Manager
Employer: Something Something Resorts Inc.
Candidate: Krishnahari, Jagganath
Dear Madam or Sir:
The purpose of this letter is in question. This will be made fully evident by the end, if it is not already.
In the meantime, the purpose of this letter is to provide an expert opinion in support of the H-1B Visa Application filed on behalf of Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari by Something Something Resorts Inc. for the position of Social Media Manager.
An expert opinion letter. These are required as part of the H-1B Visa Application Process mandated by the Immigration & Nationality Act of 2017 Section 101(a)(15)(H) which allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in fulfillment of highly specialized positions.
Before a company like Something Something Resorts Inc. can employ a non-US citizen like Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari for a position like Social Media Manager, the company must first secure for him H-1B Visa Status. Here’s how: the employer must provide, in addition to completed forms, fees, and battery of supportive documents, the written opinion of an expert in a field relevant to the position being offered, wherein the expert would opine that the candidate is indeed the ideal person for the position and that the position is specialized to a sufficient degree that it cannot be readily satisfied by an average pledge-of-allegiance-pledging US-of-A citizen.
The following letter will provide an expert opinion in support of the H-1B Visa Application filed by Something Something Resorts Inc. on behalf of Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari by
a) discussing the credentials, experience, and expertise of the expert evaluator(s?) on no fewer than three narratorial planes
b) highlighting the genesis, goals, fears, triumphs, failures, and all-around corporate personhood of Something Something Resorts Inc.
c) outlining and analyzing the positional requirements and industry standards and expectations for the position of Social Media Manager
d) deriving the etymology, history, beliefs, academic and creative interests, ambitions, whims, and all-around human personhood of Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari before finally
e) concluding with an expertly rendered expert opinion and prophetic prognostication.
Expert opinion letters customarily commence with a subsection designed to assure any official application evaluator that the author of this expert opinion letter is in fact an expert with the requisite educational and experiential credentials and that the next 10, 25, or in some cases 49 pages will warrant their legitimate professional consideration.
I am the one writing this, but am I really the expert? Let me put it this way: I am the letter’s author but not its signatory. Why? Because I earn a competitive but by no means elite income writing expert opinion letters on behalf of experts who ostensibly write them on behalf of employers who ostensibly write them on behalf of candidates who ostensibly do not have a job yet. I presume to be doing good work. Or at least doing no harm. I have been doing/not doing it since 2017 when the aforementioned legislation was signed into law in by the United States Congress.
Exactly. Before that I worked in a bookstore on Long Island, a job I was astonished to loathe. Seriously, did not see that coming. I always thought such a position would allow one to sit around and read all day and feed smelly cats and perhaps occasionally debate some wiseass about a text that sucks but is considered magnificent or vise versa, but the truth is I never once got to read on the job, nor did I ever get to fill out one of those EMPLOYEE PICKS cards you see taped to shelves, which is the only type of paperwork I have ever aspired to. The reason why is my boss, Donald, was sub-admirable. We used to call him Donald Dick in a duck voice behind his back, which was almost funny and the highlight of that craphouse job. So when I finally got this H-1B ghosting gig I was pleased because it pays five times as much which is still not a ton in the grand scheme of things but it felt great, a least for a while, or for about three months, which is when my student loan company got wind of the salary bump and increased my income-based repayment plan accordingly. But enough about me.
Doctor E. Pancake earned a double PhD in Creative Writing and Political Science from Eastern Assurbanipal University where he now teaches and therefore understands better than most how Fiction and Politics are pretty much the same subject, both concerning the ability of an author/authority to convince large swaths of the population that what is obviously unreal is in fact reality. Think about it. Pick up a novel and note the word FICTION right there on the back cover and yet from the first sentence on, every word, every comma, every image is carefully elected to make you forget that fact, elected to make you think it’s real, elected to make you feel it’s real. Literature tells us, Get ready? I’m going to lie to your face now, and then lies to our faces for days, for weeks, until finally it stops and says, Wait, did I just lie to you? I’m not sure anymore. What do you think? This suspension of disbelief makes not only the story-world possible but the world in which the story-world is possible possible. Ponder the implications of this with regard to the State, God, the Self, etc. Doctor E. Pancake ponders and thereby comprehends expertly the ins and out of Social Media Management which resides at a natural confluence of these fields. Here he is in his own excruciating templated words which end up cut-and-pasted into every single expert opinion letter he allegedly authors (only not today, for today I am drinking on the job, if a little heavier than normal, in keeping with Friday afternoon Manhattan mores):
I am providing this expert opinion letter and positional analysis based on my educational background in Advertising, Creative Writing (Fiction), Web Marketing, Web Design, Economics, Political Science, and related areas; my experience as a university professor in Advertising, Creative Writing (Fiction), Web Marketing, Web Design, Economics, Political Science, and related subjects; my industry experience in Advertising, Creative Writing (Fiction), Web Marketing, Web Design, Economics, Political Science, and related subjects; and my expertise and experience as an evaluator of academic credentials, professional experience, positions of employment, and industrial norms in Advertising, Creative Writing (Fiction), Web Marketing, Web Design, Economics, Political Science, and related areas. I am in a position provided opinion based on my personal background, educationally and professionally, in Advertising, Creative Writing (Fiction), Web Marketing, Web Design, Economics, Political Science, and related areas. In the past, I have offered expert opinion letters and analyses of the academic and professional credentials of candidates for university admissions and employment positions in Advertising, Creative Writing (Fiction), Web Marketing, Web Design, Economics, Political Science, and related areas. I’ve had an opportunity to observe and compare the abilities of numerous talented students in the field of Advertising, Creative Writing (Fiction), Web Marketing, Web Design, Economics, Political Science, and related fields, and to analyze the ways in which the educational backgrounds of the students have been applied in professional industry. Additionally, I have become intimately familiar with the nature and depth of knowledge and skill, both theoretical and practical, gained by university students who study Advertising, Creative Writing (Fiction), Web Marketing, Web Design, Economics, Political Science, and related subjects, and how that knowledge and skill is recruited and applied by employers a variety of industries. Thus, I believe that I am qualified to opine on positions of employment in the areas of Advertising, Creative Writing (Fiction), Web Marketing, Web Design, Economics, Political Science, and related areas as offered by Something Something Resorts Inc. to Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari.
To further elaborate, I am providing this expert opinion letter and position evaluation based on my experience as a professor and evaluator of academic experience credentials at Eastern Assurbanipal University in Moab, Connecticut. I am providing this expertise letter and positional analysis based on my experience as a professor and evaluator of foreign academic experience credentials for university admissions and submission to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. I am a tenured professor and a chairperson of the department of—
Sorry but you had to experience that firsthand. Otherwise you would never understand what I am up to here. Have you every read anything more profoundly redundant, more intentionally unreadable, a more inimical assault on the vitality of the present? The above subsection would typically continue for no fewer than five pages. You understand now how redundancy has been weaponized. Write formally, write intelligently, but write slowly, soullessly and without surprise, thereby forcing readers to either skim ahead or lose consciousness, their cross-eyed faces crashing atop the keyboard.
1) The devil is not in the details but indices.
2) Lucifer is monolingual & speaks legalese.
3) Little Nicky is a technical writer in a ill-lit office in New York who inhabits the cubicle nearest the shitter.
4) The made-up statistic that 96.66% of all legislation is signed by men who have not read the legislation is not a made-up statistic.
5) Speak clearly & predictably & tediously & the cops will go away. This is how to talk when you’ve got a body in the trunk.
If you’re still reading this, it is because I am correct in my thinking and will soon be unemployed. If not, I’ll simply have to try again come Monday. This is my great experiment, America!
This should be stated bluntly. It’s 2:40 PM on a Friday in Manhattan and I would be the pariah not to be. Yet we persist.
Something Something Resorts Inc. (hereafter Something, he, or him) was born as Something Something Company in Albany, New York in 1945. A precocious child, his primary school teachers had this to say of him:
“A delight to direct. He devours knowledge as ravenously as unrenewable resources.”
“By far the most likely to succeed in the class … a true cut-throat professional.”
“Capable of excusing any wretched interaction with the words, ‘Hey, nothing personal, it’s just business.’”
On his 13th birthday Something stood an imposing 6’9” and weighed a healthy $7.5 million. Here entered his first vision of what he could become: a multinational corporation. His greatest desire: MORE. His greatest fear: not getting his greatest desire. His most admirable quality: a willingness to work hard, which is to say sacrifice, which is to say to trade what he has for what he hasn’t. In those early days he had just sixteen pairs of hands and worked every one of them blistered and bloody. Not once did he sleep for more than four hours in a night. He averaged two. While others dreamed, he diversified. Early ventures into residential real estate quickly expanded into the commercial sector and public utilities as well as energy, entertainment, mining, the auto industry, and publishing. Every investment was vastly profitable. He didn’t defeat competitors, he bought them out. He grew and grew and grew and grew like a cash-colored algae bloom in a hot rising sea. By age 30 Something crossed the one hundred million mark and didn’t look back. Ten years later not just one but two zeros had latched suckerfish-like onto his combined net worth.
Only then did Something pause to reflect. He looked out at all he had made and he saw that it was good. A market lay at his feet. Was this a happy time? Yes, he decided, it was. He was not the biggest company but he was in the biggest league. Here began a season of contentment for Something. He grew a beard. His founding father begat with a woman an heir and then a girl. The kids came of age in marble offices, playing catch with staplers. They shouted their first imperatives into wireless headsets. Receptionists laughed. Every employee went about buoyant and smiling. Something was a company every college man dreamed of being hired by on graduation day and retiring from fifty years later. Wages and profits were like a sprinter’s legs, equal length, equal speed, keeping record breaking pace. Bonuses came on Christmas Eve. A golden age.
Then the founding father dropped dead lining up a putt on the 17th green. Stroke. The chief executor position passed on to the elder heir who had visions of his own. This was the day of dot com. Money was in the air now, in invisible waves, a see-through ghost that still cast a shadow. Never before had value been so abstract, so reputed. Until then industry had been about hardware and infrastructure and property. Now it would be about information, intelligence, narrative, myth. Reality itself was a new world waiting to be staked. What this meant for Something was this: the resorts sector of his empire took center stage. He carved his big beard into a sleek goatee. Assets were sold off and siphoned into beachside getaways and cruise lines and golf courses and casinos with infinity pools atop towers in the clouds. What is a resort, after all, but an alternate reality, a refuge from reason.
Did his scheme work? Yup. Something’s net worth tripled within three years, a historic run. Until it went bankrupt overnight, a historic flop. He managed to consolidate and rebound and a few years later had recovered most of his peak worth before losing it all a second time. The heir was bought out. Something recovered under new management and was sold again before going bankrupt a third time. He allegedly recovered once more, though no one knows exactly how or what his actual worth is today. What we do know is he’s looking for a new Social Media Manager for the southeastern coastal sector and has identified Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari as the right man for the job.
The quintessential Social Media Manager means to make every event an EVENT! What happens HERE should be known about EVERYWHERE! Capital letters are ENCOURAGED! So are exclamation marks!!!!!!! The best Social Media Manager seeks to stamp the BRAND across every ray of light! This is his method: each post and photo and status update must amount to an ACCUSATION, an INDICTMENT on the head of every reader and viewer and listener that they ARE MISSING OUT, that by not being present they are EXCLUDED, they are OTHERIZED, they are LOSERS!!! Even if the event has not happened yet, the ideal Social Media Manager must makes the public UTTERLY TERRIFIED to miss it! The public must not be convinced but COMPELLED!
The position of Social Media Manager is an entry level position yet highly specialized and requires both thinking abilities and doing abilities at an above average level and cannot possibly be performed by a person with less than a Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Literature, Philosophy, Anthropology, Psychology, Web Marketing, Advertising, Macroeconomics, Political Science, Art, or some closely related field, which is to say a Bachelor’s Degree in absolutely anything whatsoever. Furthermore, the ideal candidate for the position of Social Media Manager should over-caffeinate and say “like” like a real lot.
However, an expert analysis of the industry quickly reveals that candidates of this feather are more difficult to come by than might initially seem. Eligible candidates typically to go into fields like Journalism, Academia, Poetry, Organic Subsistence Farming, Heavy Drug Use and/or Drop Out of Society Completely. The best are the Drop-outs but Drop-outs cannot typically be convinced to take jobs in grocery stores let alone multi-national corporations like Something Something Resorts Inc. Hence the H-1B option and Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari…
Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari grew up in the post-colonized city of Puri, India where the English word “juggernaut” was coined by British writer Sir John Mandeville in 1357. In his travel memoir, Mandeville describes a religious procession where an enormous wooden wheelhouse—which locals seem to refer to as Jagganath—is paraded down the streets while the faithful toss themselves before it to be crushed. Hence the English usage:
jug-ger-naut : noun 1. a huge, destructive, unstoppable force or institution. 2. anything requiring blind devotion or cruel sacrifice
Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari, candidate for the position of Social Media Manager being offered by Something Something Resorts Inc., laughs a little whenever he hears this word in everyday speech. To begin with, he knows no one has ever thrown themselves sacrificially before the wheelhouse paraded each year through his birth city’s streets. More than that, he is tickled to think how markedly un-juggernaut-like the deity Jagganath is in person. Sir John Mandeville, surely bewildered and overheated, confused the massive wheelhouse for the tiny murti or statue atop it. Far from terrifying, the actual Jagganath can be described as a small wooden stump with a smiley face painted across it. Two round white eyes with black pupils stare out over a swooping scarlet grin. There are many stories about the origin of Jagganath’s curious appearance and one of them goes like this:
Long ago the inhabitants of Puri wished to build a temple but could not afford the murti that would be its centerpiece. Then one day a really really old brahman came to the city and said he was in fact a murti-maker who would gladly provide them his service in exchange for room and board. The town was skeptical, for this man appeared exceedingly old and frail. Would he even survive the job? Ultimately though they had little choice and said okay, deal. The brahman had the tools he needed. All he asked was that a curtain to be stretched across the sanctum while he worked and that nobody glimpse beneath it until he finished. No peeking, he insisted. Everybody agreed. The curtain was stretched and he got to work. For several days the sound of sawing and hammering and chiseling and miscellaneous murti-making could be heard from behind the curtain. Then all fell silent. One week passed. Then a second. Everyone worried. An ancient guy died in the temple. Now he’s rotting in there. Surely that’s bad luck. We need to get him out asap. So they lifted the curtain and the old brahman turned and said I told you no peeking! He vanished, leaving the murti unfinished. The citizens of Puri were sad and embarrassed but soon fell in love with their inchoate godhead, his woodblock body and elemental glee, his two stubs for arms.
Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari, named after his birth city’s beloved deity, came of age under the monumental pressure to learn the language that so comically misappropriates their name. For Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari, English was not a language but a currency that guaranteed upward mobility. He pretended to be Christian in order to study it at a convent school or he mostly pretended. He was not formally religious but was also unsure what that really meant, to be formally religious. He believed in all gods and he believed in none of them.
This changed during his Masters work at the University of Benares when he began administering fulltime to logos. He always felt language was power but now he saw it as a power that could be taken up and aimed rather than merely learned and obeyed. English wasn’t just a ticket out of Puri, it was his name on that ticket, his candidacy on the global market. He applied to half a dozen doctoral programs in Great Britain, America, and Canada. He was hoping for an American school but in the end the University of Toronto offered him the best deal and so he bought a Blue Jays cap and looked out for Michael Ondaatje and wrote a dissertation reexamining post-colonial Straussian interpretations of the Mahabharata in light of computer stylistic analyses that suggest heavy Vedic influence on early Ancient Greek Philosophy in general and Plato in particular.
Upon graduation he decided he didn’t want a job in academia just yet. What he really wanted was to focus on his own myth-making for awhile and started looking for jobs in America that would get him a work visa but not require much effort. He happened upon a Social Media Management position without knowing exactly what such a position entailed and sent out an application.
In order to handle the position of Social Media Manager being offered by Something Something Resorts Inc., a candidate must have completed prior to recruitment a Bachelors degree in Literature, Philosophy, Anthropology, Psychology, Web Marketing, Advertising, Macroeconomics, Political Science, Art, or some closely related field. I, Doctor E. Pancake, am an expert in the fields of Literature, Philosophy, Anthropology, Psychology, Web Marketing, Advertising, Macroeconomics, Political Science, Art, and several closely related fields and have reviewed the academic credentials of the candidate for the position of Social Media Manager being offered by Something Something Resorts Inc. and have determined that Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari has completed a suitable analytical academic background in the aforementioned areas and is qualified to handle the requisite job duties associated with the position.
TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT
Visa duration: eleven months (unless it lasts longer (or less))
Candidate will be paid: USD (but not enough to stick around for)
Benefits: ha, good one
Health care coverage: ha ha, another good one
I am not the expert but I am writing this letter and I say Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari appears too thoughtful for the position of Social Media Manager for a company like Something Something Resorts. I therefore predict he will thrive at it. He’ll be like a master sword-maker who inherits a bakery from an eccentric uncle and kills it at cake making. Or like a gynecologist who falls pleasantly into a penchant for urban planning. He’ll be odd but original and buzz worthy. The playing field will promptly warp around him. And he will hate it. Obviously. I don’t see him drinking on the job but I do see him becoming more confident and speaking his mind more and more bluntly to his so-called supervisors. He won’t be fired, he’ll leave on his own accord before his visa expires, entering that purgatorial grey area. He’ll gain access to an electric car. I don’t know how but he will. Inheritance? Mild charlatanry? Whatever. I prophesy he will become a driver and start vlogging from behind the wheel and he moves from city to city, composing an oral epic of the massacre of language that is America today. Two years after that he’ll accept an associate professorship. Two years after that his first novel will appear, a work of autofiction entitled The Travels of Sir John Mandeville.
The purpose of this letter was to provide an expert opinion in support of the H-1B Visa application filed on behalf of Mr. Jagganath Krishnahari by Something Something Resorts Inc. for the position of Social Media Manager.
Did I do that?
This expert opinion letter will likely be my last. I do not foresee employment with my current employer perpetuating past Monday. This letter was due at noon today and now it is 6 PM and I am leaving. Writing these things was not so bad. Sometimes I’d get attached to a candidate despite the strangled format. The details of a hometown, a degree, a single aspiration or two would add up to an actual person. Know what’s weird? We ghosts never find out if a letter is successful or not. For the last year I’ve been writing fifteen to twenty of these a week and never once heard what comes of them. We never learn if a candidate was hired or how he faired on the job. This is the life of an expert opinion ghost writer. How many other fields have to deal with not knowing whether one way of doing their thing is better than another, with not knowing if a character’s career veered one way on account of your depiction of it or veered another? Reminds me of shouting into a deep cave, waiting for an echo to return.
Doctor E. Pancake
Professor and Chairperson
Departments of Creative Writing and Political Science
Eastern Assurbanipal University
Dan Tremaglio’s stories have appeared in various publications, including F(r)iction, Gravel, Literary Orphans, and Flash Fiction Magazine, and twice been named a finalist for the Calvino Prize. He teaches creative writing and literature at Bellevue College outside Seattle where he is a senior editor for the journal Belletrist.