My sister Kelly can be credited with naming the “Sorry You Suck” letter. They are the letters that start, “We so appreciate you taking the time to apply…” or “Thank you for your interest in our program…” Somewhere in the middle of the letter there is an “unfortunately.” “Unfortunately, due to the high caliber of our applicant pool…” “Unfortunately, due to the limited space in our rigorous program…” “Unfortunately, due to your incredible ineptitude and under achievement…” They close with either “we hope” or “we wish.” “We hope you will apply again next year.” “We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.” “We hope you understand our decision does not reflect personally on your skills or abilities.”
My rejection letter from Yale (and believe me, I hoped for nothing more than a lovely “Sorry You Suck” letter on Yale stationery when I applied*) ended with: “We realize this decision may be disappointing to you. We hope you understand our decision is final and cannot be appealed. Seriously. Don’t even try. We will shut you down immediately and bar any future children you ever have from attending our prestigious school.” Okay, maybe just that first part.
There are several levels of “Sorry You Suck” letters. There are the crushing ones. These are the college application rejections. Getting turned down for the job you were hoping for or the program you wanted to get into. These are the ones that hurt the most. They come in a small envelope, where a big one would’ve indicated success.
Then there are the panic inducing ones. Like the letter I got last week stating, “We’re sorry you thought you graduated from college. You didn’t, really. Please enroll next quarter.” It’s all sorted out. I promise, mom. These ones are frightening at first, and then a pain in the neck, usually indicating that the matter you thought was resolved is very much not resolved. Other frightening “Sorry You Suck” letters include the words, “our records indicate…” You hope not to receive them from educational or financial institutions.
The lowest level of “Sorry You Suck” is the kind of letter that companies send in response to your own ineptitude. It’s more of a “We’re Sorry We Suck, But It’s Actually You, but We’ll Imply That It’s Us So We Don’t Lose Your Business.” Maybe this one should actually be called the “We’re Sorry You’re Kind of Dumb” letter.
Dear Ms. Brenna,
Thank you for your enrollment request to XX*Xxx. Unfortunately, we were unable to process your request because the account number provided is our routing number. Please locate the account number on your current statement and complete another request. If you need further assistance, please contact a Member Services Representative at xxx-xxx-xxxx, select option 3, Monday through Friday between the hours of 6:30am and 4:30pm PT. We apologize for any inconvenience this security measure may cause.
Notice how they diplomatically avoid saying, “the account number you provided.” They also lay the blame on this bothersome “security measure.” Yes, the security measure of providing them with my actual account number. Darn banks these days with their crazy security procedures.
*Of course I kept it. That way, when I cure cancer I can hang it on my wall and everyone will get a laugh out of it.