#2. They Wipe Their Ass With the Application
I've seen everything on an application from footprints to blood. Now to be fair, I can see some of this happening, because accidents will happen, things will be spilled, and so on ... so the point gets a bit of forgiveness. But that forgiveness only goes so far when someone returns one wrinkled to hell and with dirt ground into it from top to bottom. It's obvious that it's just been lying on the floorboard of their car for a week, and they couldn't be bothered to fill out a new one.
I'm also perfectly aware that this may have been one of our personal pet peeves, but the one that really used to piss us off in the office was pig shit. No, seriously, pig shit. As in the actual animal eating food, then digesting that food, then expelling the unused nutrients from its asshole, which then ends up smeared across an application for employment.
Sometimes, they'd turn one in with a whole pig attached to it.
See, we live in a farming area, and many of our potential hires were the teenage sons of those farmers, looking for something to replace their current chores of shoveling animal poop. The problem is that many of them wouldn't change clothes before making the trip to town. And even though they were wearing knee-high rubber boots to keep the shit off of their pants, the shit was still on their boots, dried up chunks falling off onto our just-mopped floors. Then when they got the application, they'd toss it in the back seat and forget about it for a few days. Eventually, those boots would make it back there, too, and boom: shit-stamp.
Look, I'm not suggesting that you treat a job application like the fucking Dead Sea Scrolls, but holy shit, you're turning that thing in with the hope of getting a job. The condition of that piece of paper is a pretty good indication of how seriously you're taking it. Even if it's not on the extreme level of pig shit, simply leaving a pop can ring and Cheetos fingerprints all over it is enough to show them that you just plain don't give a fuck. Or at the very least, that you're an incredible slob who will treat the premises with the same "Fuck it, my mom will clean it up" attitude.
"Why does your application smell like pizza and balls?"
#1. They Misspell Virtually Everything
My favorite application of all time came from a 25-year-old dishwasher who had just lost his job at Cracker Barrel, a family restaurant that you can find every hundred feet in the Midwest. We knew it was going to be a good one when in his work history, he referred to the business as "Cracko Barrow." This was made even worse when we realized that he could clearly see the restaurant's sign from where he was sitting. But it gets so much worse, you're going to swear I'm making this next part up. I sadly assure you that I am not.
On the "How will you get to work?" question, he wanted to write the word "bicycle," but didn't know how to spell it. He made three attempts before giving up and drawing a stick bicycle, complete with a stick man riding it, and an arrow pointing to the bike itself. Obviously, I don't have the application, but this is my best, unexaggerated re-creation of what we saw on that page:
At first, we felt kind of bad for laughing at it, because what if he had some severe learning disability ... but aside from those two things, the rest of that application was perfectly fine. What wasn't fine was when we saw a steadily growing pattern of teenagers' applications being turned in written partially in text speak. For instance, in response to the question "How far from the business do you live?" we'd get answers like "not 2 far frm u mybe 3 mls."
And from an employer's perspective, it's extremely hard to not immediately think, "Man, this person is a complete fucking idiot. Put it in the folder marked 'Only if we legally have to.'" I've seen people misspell their own fucking name who didn't get ridiculed as much as a person who fills out an application in text style. It just sends such a clear message, intentional or not, that says, "I don't have time to fill this shit out. And I most definitely don't have time to learn how to write in my own language. Let's just whip through this shit and move on."
"I've got some goddamn back flips to do, baby!"
But, hey, if all else fails, just draw a stick figure of what you mean. At the very least, you'll become a legend at the job you were never hired at. Or if you set the bar really high, you could end up being made fun of in a Cracked article.