Yesterday I posted a piece about my recent run-in with a rude, incompetent applicant for an account coordinator position. Little did I know that this is a widespread phenomenon, to judge by the feedback I received from folks around the country.

Indeed, I received direct e-mails from commiserating professionals in Florida, Georgia, New York, Oklahoma and Texas, and from abroad in Australia, Canada and Germany.

Here are a few of the e-mailed notes I received in response to my post:

My search firm encounters many “Janes” each year.

In my opinion, people like Jane lack two essential qualities: raw ability and proper manners.

The lack of ability can be blamed on the so-called institutions of higher learning who send their graduates forward without even the slightest bit of knowledge about what the real business world is all about.

The lack of basic manners lies squarely at home where the Janes and Johns of this world are told that the world is their oyster and all you have to do is ask and you will receive. What ever happened to working hard for everything you have?

Good article.

I’m sure many of your readers commiserated with you.

Wow, I just read your story on This is an extreme and unfortunate case but sadly this sort of thing is more common nowadays. In our firm, we recently had a similar experience where a junior staff member left to go to another firm. We wished him well and he responded by sending a long e-mail detailing all the ways in which we had “failed” him while he worked here. To use your word, we were gobsmacked. Not only do we take pride in treating all of our employees with respect and fairness but we are very well connected in a very small world here.

I have to start this e-mail by apologizing. This post made me laugh for 15 minutes straight. I am very sorry to say your trip into the Twilight Zone with this young “lady” brightened up a long day of job searching for me.

That being said, I have come across many people such as Jane. Sometimes they are new grads and new to the industry, many are old enough to know better. But they all have the same cockiness and “confidence” (if this is what you want to call it, I call it narcissism and neuroticism) about not only their abilities, but themselves overall. Dealing with these types of personalities is definitely NOT funny. I think you missed a bullet here.

I enjoyed your article on “How Not To Get A Job in Public Relations.” As a long-time PR practitioner who for the past seven years has taught public relations courses, I can identify what your experience with “Jane.” While I get some outstanding students, I also get some like “Jane” who have both lousy skills and a bad attitude. In my public relations writing class, it is clear that many students aren’t used to having their work critiqued and don’t like it one bit. Most of my students become better writers in the process, but the snarky ones get even with me by writing nasty evaluations at the end of the semester.

Buck. This is a gem. I will be providing it to my PR students. You did the right thing. But it would have been harrowing.

Good morning: Jane’s attitude is becoming all too prevalent. Your statement that the South Florida public relations community is “not all that big” is like saying Mars isn’t all that far away. I hope Jane doesn’t cross the Alley with hopes of landing a job in the Naples/Ft. Myers area. What a nightmare.

I read your post, “How Not to Get a Job in Public Relations,” with great interest, as I also find myself in similar situations. I was wondering if you would be willing to share your tests with me. I’ve been looking for something to test job candidates, but have not found something I find suitable. If you can’t share your tests, would you be able to point me an appropriate direction for sources?

This one was my favorite:

I just read this story on your Web site. I’m graduating in May with a degree in Public Relations from Texas Tech University. I’ll take the AP test! I’m attaching my resume and a letter of recommendation. Thanks for your time!