I think I’ve figured out why there’s still so much unemployment in America: no one can understand the want ads.
Take, for example, this one:
NSA @NSACareers Follow
tpfccdlfdtte pcaccplircdt dklpcfrp?qeiq lhpqlipqeodf gpwafopwprti izxndkiqpkii krirrifcapnc dxkdciqcafmd vkfpcadf. #MissionMonday #NSA #news
As reported by the website Techcrunch.com: “…readers realized quickly it was a substitution cypher, something that is pretty simple to solve. In this case, c in the cypher is t, and d in the cypher is o, and so forth.”
Now that you have those clues, I will put this post on [PAUSE] while you decode the secret message.
—this is me pausing—
Okay, I’m back, and I assume several days have passed. By now you know that the tweet above says “Want to know what it takes to work at NSA? Check back each Monday in May as we explore careers essential to protecting our nation.”
Ah, what better way for the NSA to attract the perfect job applicants? It’s like a little test…the modern-day security agency equivalent of sitting someone down at a typewriter with a stopwatch.* Of course, the fact that this person was following NSA tweets in the first place says something about their qualifications. I’m not sure what it says, but it says something.
Now that I’ve told you what the employment ad says, if you wish to apply, there are a few things you should know:
1. Don’t bother trying to delete any damaging social media posts or cell phone calls. The NSA already has them.
2. If your résumé has any “slight exaggerations,” you might want to rewrite it. They are probably aware that you only “went to Harvard” to visit someone.
4. Members of the Edward Snowden Fan Club need not apply.
To help you pursue your dream job with the NSA, the agency has posted the following brief quiz which I am totally making up:
Is a Career With the NSA Right for You?
Ask yourself these 5 questions.
1. When you’re in someone else’s house, do you rummage through the medicine cabinets?
2. When you’re in a restaurant, do you listen to the conversations at other tables?
3. Do you own a pair of binoculars yet have no interest in birdwatching?
4. Don’t you love the fact that a right to privacy is not actually one of the rights in the Bill of Rights? (Sure, you need a warrant for the search and seizure of papers and effects, but not the reading and keeping of emails and texts. Right?)
5. Do you know where your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse was last night?
If you answered “yes” to all five questions, you may be just the kind of person we’re looking for. Of course, if you really were, we’d have already found you.
I imagine the NSA offers terrific benefits, although the paid vacation only allows you to go to enemy nations so you can, you know, get a little work done while you’re away. One downside of your NSA career, however, will be that you won’t be able to tell anyone who you work for. This is not for security reasons; it’s just so you don’t get punched when you tell someone you work for the NSA.
Of course, given recent revelations, it seems like if you want really great perks while working with the NSA, you should just get a job at Google.
Poo ash psst.
*For those of you under 40, there used to be these things called typewriters which were used to send prehistoric texts and emails, except you could use all your fingers. If you were applying for a clerical or secretarial position, they would test you to see how many words per minute you could type accurately while getting the boss a cup of coffee. It was a simpler time.