Writing Switch: Pieces of Work

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
Writing Switch

As the Ti and Do in the cult of pessimism, we know any one of us could wake up tomorrow and suddenly not have a job — for whatever reason. And while a pause in our super active lives would be a welcome respite for a little while, like when “HaHa I dOn’T hAvE tO wEaR pAnTs” was awesome and hilarious for all of the two weeks lockdown was originally supposed to last, it’s still wise to have a backup plan just in case, God forbid, shit hits the fan. For example, Ben would become a card shark until losing so much money he had to start dealing the cards, and Sean, well, would be hard-pressed to find gainful employment ever since the ballwashing process at golf courses became DIY. Regardless, this week we’re submitting our cover letters detailing the very specific set of skills we possess for the loan sharks and gilla monsters to fight over.


SB: Dear GameStop,

My name is Sean Beckwith, and I would like to apply for the counter clerk position. I’m not sure exactly what it’s called; I just want to be the one who delivers the “I can give you $23.81 in cash or $26.73 in in-store credit for your entire PS4 library” to the 12-yeal-old trying to scrape up money for a PS5.

I’m good under pressure, and will definitely not crack when said 12-year-old’s mom comes in and berates me for unfair business practices.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, this is a business. You think Toys ‘R’ Us is going to give you store credit for that Big Wheel the dog chewed on?”

I have plenty of experience playing video games, so in theory, I can sell them. However, I am averse to any game with a potion menu, so I can’t advocate for “Zelda,” “Final Fantasy,” etc. If you need to read a strategy guide in order to get the good rubies, you might as well just read a book.

In addition to customer service, product knowledge and sales cachet, I have a few ways you could improve your stores now that your stock is the new … hot stock? (Sorry, I don’t have a lot of S&P 500 references in my quiver.)

First, let’s try to see what kind of “Wolf of Wall Street” vibe we can create. If token nerd’s next trip to GameStop featured quaaludes, misogyny and money, they’ll be dying to hand over cash like it’s penny stocks. (I’m not saying nerds are misogynistic, I’m just saying I’ve come across quite a few awful, anonymity-empowered people on the COD chat.)

Second, this isn’t so much a qualification as much as a general question: How did this happen? I’ve read 3,834 articles about some guy who looks like Ben sans beard sticking it to the man by messing with his shorted stocks. It all sounds terribly complicated.

My last question is: Does WallStreetBets own GameStop now? If so, will this fast-track me to the Scarecrow/judge position in the last good Batman? When all this upheaval eventually leads to anarchy and martial law, I want first crack at Wall Street.

“Tell me I can’t invest my entire life savings in the video game version of Blockbuster, will you? Execution or the ice!”

Thank you for you time. I would love a chance to interview.


Sean Beckwith


BW: The stresses of life are exacerbated by the burden of having wended one’s way through the education system — at least the division of the education system that renders its products captivated in cubicles — and being bound to the desk in a chair for the next 40 years of productivity. A point in my career has arrived where I stare wistfully out the window at landscapers, street sweepers and pilot car drivers and think to myself, “Man, some days I wish I could just, like, push dirt.” And where better to push dirt than where others are pushing daisies, right?

In the first “Rocky” movie, Stallone says “My old man told me ‘you weren’t born with much of a brain, so you better start using your body,'” and Adrian’s like, “Oh I’m the other way around.” Cue laugh track. Well, I’m lucky and unique in that I have neither. I’m like Beavis meets boyhood Teddy Roosevelt. How better to build up the body than by stacking a few expired ones? And I can hide from the rest of society by slinking around here at night, going about my work, like a gothic Quasimodo. I guess in that sense, nothing will be changed from my current occupation.

Foremost, what makes me qualified for this position is that I’m not afraid of ghosts. I have spent more time than I’d like to admit attempting to prove the existence of spirits in some capacity, and being that I have found no conclusive or even moderately suggestive evidence, I can carry out my duties without fear of being spied upon in the fog by some kind of witch or boogaloo. The potential of graveyard hauntings concurrent with scary folklore tales undoubtedly reside in the minds of even my most audacious competition for this job.

Yes, I remain undaunted by phenomena natural or otherwise. I can actually see my way around the cemetery in the middle of the night during a full moon, even if its gravitational pull lifts the residents a little closer than 6 feet under. It’s not like any parts are going to start popping up through the dirt, and if they do, I will discreetly smush them back down before any customers notice.

I also promise to check the locks on all the mausoleums and chase out the teenagers having spooky sex. And when my mortal coil is finally ready for sweet release, you can just tip me into the secret hole in the northwest corner I’ve already dug for my naps. I look forward to further discussing this opportunity with you, please call me anytime after midnight.


SB: Dear area elected officials,

My name is Sean Beckwith, and I would like to apply to be your public relations agent. I know you didn’t put out an ad looking for someone to stop you from putting your ski boot in your mouth, but I feel like I could save you some unnecessary headaches.

During my time working and writing for a newspaper, I can guide you through the many missteps that come along with a lack of self-awareness. It’s not your fault; the toughest decisions a city official in Aspen typically faces is some kind of development they can’t stop anyway. Trust me, if the population at large knew we were staring down a pandemic during the last municipal election, the race probably wouldn’t have featured candidates names on trucker hats or a fashion show striptease.

(I know you’re all wondering who I’m referring to. It’s Ward. Guy’s like Zoolander out there.)

If you’ve read any of my columns, you know that I love a good analogy. To that point, I also know a bad analogy. Free advice: Comparing people not being able to eat fondue inside for a couple of weeks to hundreds of years of racial oppression is not it. Nothing about the Civil Rights movement has any relation to the pandemic — except for the disproportionate portion of Black and minority population affected by COVID.

Lastly, I have extensive experience with social media and can keep you from Insta-storying your way out of office. Picking an appropriate meme can be tricky.

Thank you for your time, and I hope I hear back from you before your next tone-deaf incident.


Sean Beckwith


BW: Dear Sirs,

What do you think the worst thing is that could happen at a wedding? Bride gets cold feet? Catering van gets into an accident while en route? Someone yells “I object!” before the allotted period of acceptance?

No, it is the unruly groomsman who, like an amoeba, is the catalyst for encouraging debauchery among the rest of the celebratory pack of males.

The tenor of each wedding relies on the constitution of its weakest groomsman and the composure of its strongest. A wrangler is often required to ensure everyone’s corsage is attached and to keep the lads from becoming too obviously drunk — emphasis on “obviously,” because he’s also tasked with promoting imbibing as necessary — yet this role is often left to chance and occasionally, fearfully, never fulfilled.

I am an excellent friend, and therefore have been a groomsman on many occasions (please see references scribbled in after signature). I have seen the exasperation in the mother-in-law’s face as she attempts to set up placecards or some shit and the guys are running around shirtless, whipping each other with their ties. I have seen harried limo drivers haphazardly careen down the interstate in the opposite direction of the venue while sloppy newlyweds dance on the stripper pole. I have seen the wrong girlfriends stumble into the wrong boyfriends’ rooms (none of my business). Recognizing and diverting from these situations that jeopardize the ceremony is a skill I’ve developed over a storied decade of keeping my wits about me when others abandon theirs — and why I would be a valuable asset to your tuxedo rental boutique.

Or consider, in lieu of a raucous affair marked by excessive consumption, a gentleman not as endowed by quantity of friends as others. Here is a good opportunity for a veteran placeholder to offer direction, encouragement and entertainment while the customer avoids the embarrassment of standing solitary at the altar (minus his fiance and officiant, of course) or having the girl’s dog be best man or some other shenanigans.

I propose that a partnership between your haberdashery and my freelance groomsman services could be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Placing business cards in all the rentals’ breast pockets for final-minute fill-ins is an example of another good idea I just had. I hope we can walk down this aisle together soon.

Yours in love and harmony,