Intern Gets Fired Before He Starts Because Of One Typo

college student loses internship over casual emailCareer counselors frequently caution college students that their flipflops and textspeaks may cause problems in the workplace. One undergrad apparently didn't heed the warnings, and was denied an internship for failing to capitalize one word.

On his blog, best-selling author Jeff Pearlman reports the plight of his friend's son, a college junior who landed a paid summer internship in human resources at a major network in New York. "He was thrilled," the friend told Pearlman. "Just thrilled."

On getting the job offer, the young man emailed his would-be supervisor a note of gratitude that began, "Thanks for the meeting on thursday."

The next day, the supervisor picked up the phone and crushed the kid's dream. "We don't think you're right for this," she said.

He had failed to capitalize Thursday.

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Of course, every single career coach / counselor / professor / job expert / recruitment professional cautions applicants to double check their effects and affects and yours and you'res and that they didn't accidentally study "international rations" in college. Especially with the job market still tight, employers will find any reason to whittle down that stack of resumes.

Then again, lowercase has become a norm, not just among drunk-texting co-eds, but in offices too. All the emailing and instant messaging has sucked a lot of the formality from written communication, and the new conventions aren't yet writ in stone.

More: Generation Y Woefully Unprepared For Job Market, Survey Finds

Some have a dry and blunt email style that makes them appear cold and inhuman. Others over-season their emails with exclamation marks so as not to seem cold and inhuman. Some religiously end their emails with the all-purpose "Best." Others ignore sign-offs altogether. Some capitalize way too much, while others shun capitalization at their peril.

Once you're safely and securely in your new office, you can judge the etiquette for yourself. But until that point, it's best to play it old school. After all, you should still dress up nicely for a job interview, even if your would-be boss is wearing a yellowing tee saying "Bong Squad."


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108 Comments

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audomatix

Then again, what do you expect from a bunch of cats still using aol... I digress.

August 14 2013 at 6:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
audomatix

Wow i'm amazed at how many egotistical pricks there are on here, acting as if they never missed a comma or capitalization. Shame on you! This kid is better off, i'll bet everyone at that office hates this particular H.R. person. Seriously, all of you who are talking smack are a bunch of up tight hypocrites that doesn't think their poo smells. I'll bet if I thumbed through your inbox I could find several typos within the hour. Also phones aren't exactly know for being the best at correcting mistakes and often insert them because of poor dev. Ugh, sickening that so many are so obviously not self-aware.

August 14 2013 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ronald

and to think if he was from California he could have been emailing in ebonics.

May 30 2013 at 5:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
anteekazoid

Sorry, but he should know that. I wouldn't have hired him. It does matter.

May 30 2013 at 3:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to anteekazoid's comment
audomatix

That's cause you're a jerk who thinks that they're perfect.

August 14 2013 at 5:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris44107

I work in exports. In many cases, English is not the first language for our customers. It's absolutely essential for me to use correct spelling (including proper capitalization) and grammar. It's not petty - it's a matter of clarity.

May 29 2013 at 7:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sstuczynsk

What do you expect from our education system? The only thing being taught is how to pass the national tests kids must take.. There is no thinking in school. Just pass the test and the hell with any real teaching.

May 29 2013 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sstuczynsk's comment
rostra

Really, are you that niave, kids today have a wider breath of knowledge than any prior generation, thanks to advances in technology.

May 29 2013 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to rostra's comment
Happypoolprune

Sorry but I disagree, today's children generally cannot write a letter. They can text, they can email brief replies, but write a business letter? Most cannot and that's a reflection of their education. They rarely read classic literature anymore. They do not spell and now, they aren't going to be required to learn cursive writing. Most cannot add or multiply in their head or even on a piece of paper without a calculator - They also rarely know how to act in social settings. They generally stand next to one another without speaking and text. The only wider knowledge they have is how to google an answer, or apply an app. They don't know how to think for themselves. Granted, there are a few who can, but the majority cannot. I was a hiring manager, I had to test all these so called "smart students"

May 29 2013 at 11:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
mome815

S/B: "Breadth" (so sorry, I can be quite anal about spelling, nobody'd get a second interview with me unless they were very good spellers, or could use a dictionary properly)

breadth noun \ˈbretth, ˈbredth, ÷ˈbreth
Definition of BREADTH
1
: distance from side to side : width
2
: something of full width
3
a : comprehensive quality : scope
b : liberality of views or taste
— breadth·wise adverb or adjective


Examples of BREADTH

We measured the height, breadth, and depth of each piece of furniture.

Origin of BREADTH

Middle English breadeth, breth, from brede breadth (from Old English brǣdu, from brād broad) + -th (as in lengthe length)
-------------------------

"Breath" on the other hand, is what delivers oxygen to our lungs, right?

May 30 2013 at 12:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
CamaroAustin

I am proud of this employer. I hate text-speak,it drives me crazy. My 17 year old son does to and if someone e-mails or texts him in text speak he won't respond. It shows just how lazy people have become.

May 29 2013 at 6:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to CamaroAustin's comment
joshewe

Maybe he will learn a good lesson from this. He will recover.

May 29 2013 at 3:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
judity01

I've often wondered when using lazy text format would infiltrate the business world. Congratulations for this company insisting on good writing skills.

May 29 2013 at 3:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
vallontina

That's pretty petty don't you think? Considering that these days the highest educated people that are in CEO,CFO, President and VP positions of various financial institutions are responsible for practically bankrupting this country, a lower case 't' is really no big deal.

May 29 2013 at 3:26 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to vallontina's comment

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