Desert and Merit (2)

An unplanned installment in my series on “desert and merit,” care of Labcorp Drug Development. I applied to the job mentioned below three months ago, after spending eight months cleaning hospital operating rooms. I leave it to the reader to decide what conclusion to reach about my just deserts, based on my merits (or not) as a cleaner.

Dear Irfan,

Thank you for applying to Labcorp Drug Development as a Cleaner.

We know searching for the perfect career opportunity requires a great amount of personal attention and consideration. That’s why we take the time to carefully review each profile and do our best to offer a transparent candidate experience.

After reviewing your skills and experience, we have decided to pursue other candidates at this time. We do encourage you to join our Talent Network to receive job alerts aligned to your career interests and continue to search for open opportunities at

We wish you success with your ongoing career search and hope you will stay connected with Labcorp Drug Development.

Kind regards,
People Experience (Px) Team

3 thoughts on “Desert and Merit (2)

      • An anonymous author at The Atlas Society on this topic:

        Does the pyramid of ability mean that you are unworthy if you are a janitor? Plainly you aren’t a productive titan, at least in that role, and you are paid accordingly. Your pay is a measure of the values others place on your work. The pyramid concerns the size of a person’s contribution to society. But the standard of life success for any person derives from that person’s own needs, capacities, and purposes.

        Say there is a person of modest abilities, who has little education and who does the job well, and who likes taking care of the place. Then being a janitor is an achievement and good way to work for that person.

        I’m morbidly curious to know who wrote this. Because doing so would help imagine a conversation between this author and Hercules after his Fifth Labor. It’s somehow unsurprising that the same people who invoke the “Augean Stables” as an elegant literary allusion think that janitors are adequately compensated at $14 an hour.


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