Books Features

The job is yours, Joey – Overqualified by Joey Comeau

Joey Comeau is one of the Canadian, artsy souls behind the Internet phenomenon A Softer World, a comic where Emily Horne's photos are accompanied by the witty, poetic words of Joey. Besides A Softer World Joey has years of short story writing behind him, as well as all these job applications. And Overqualified is actually a collection of all those application letters to different companies within the US and Canada. Joey has written them, sent them, and no, he hasn't gotten a job. Yet. You may understand why as you read the book.

Instead of listing his positive and negative sides he lists memories, emotions and crazy ideas he wants to contribute with. The letters form a story of pure craziness which makes me laugh out loud, but it also forces me to sometimes put the book down to think about what I just read. Maybe wipe a tear off my cheek.


It doesn't matter that what Joey writes has nothing to do with me, he still certainly makes it seem like it. I have no girlfriend named Susan, no dead little brother named Adrian, and I don't even share Joey's fear of night swimming. But I recognize myself and I fall in love with the intimacy that I feel. I feel less alone in the hunt for whatever none of these jobs could give me.

I understand Joey's view of the world, how intimidating and wrong everything really is. I know there are no secret admirers anymore, and that Hallmark needs that new holiday. I know what it's like to be jealous of the strangest things, I know what it's like to write those text messages when I'm wasted. I understand the questions Joey seeks answers for, and I understand the changes he wants to make. If he ever gets those jobs that is.

This is a wonderful way to write a book. Joey really managed to create something new. No matter if you're facing a period of no work and a lot of applications, or if you just have a broken heart – Joey says it like it is.

And no, Joey, I wouldn't hire you, not for any of the jobs you wanted. But you are hired as my best friend and lover, no trial period, full pay. Can you start Monday?

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