The Most Perfect You

Okay, time to fess up.  I’m NOT perfect.  I know I know… this probably comes as a great shock to many of you.  <ahem, sarcasm> 

Recently, I did something I’m not proud of… I sent THE email that I should have deleted (or maybe not composed at all).  But, I thought the thought and decided to flame broil a relationship in an unrecoverable way.  Rome is toast.  Normally, I’m smarter than that.  But for whatever reason, I broke.  Again, I’m not proud of what you’ll read in a moment… so, please understand that it is with sadness and remorse that I use my own mistake as a tool for learning… mine and hopefully yours.   

So, please read the email, and note… adult language is dispensed like candy canes at Christmas. #nfsfw



You have balls the size of cannonballs. And, that’s not a compliment by the way. I put you on a special list of CEOs that I periodically (read once a quarter) updated with cool new conferences, marketing opportunities, things that I would NOT personally benefit from. And, in the 15 years that I’ve emailed HCM software CEOs… no one… no one… has ever asked to be deleted from the list. The list has 1200 names on it, mind you. You’re the lone wolf. Which in some demented way probably makes you proud. Because you think of yourself as a scrapper… self-made… Detroit, blue collar… do-it-differently-than-everyone-else-guy.

But, the truth is… you just don’t know WTF you’re doing. So, you asked to be off the list… that’s easy enough. I deleted you moments after you asked and really haven’t given it much thought… other than to think that you’re probably the dumbest guy I’ve ever talked with.

I go on about my business… only to receive a non-personalized email, ahem, InMail… that’s poorly organized and marketed that is clearly trying to sell someone that has no interest, no budget, no company of size… suffice to say… you SPAMMED me.

And when I called you on it… you called me sensitive. That’s cute. But, turns out, I know who the fuck I am… and sensitive is not even close. So you don’t think you did anything wrong… see… that’s hubris at its finest. Good for you… dumb and arrogant. A wicked combination you are.

In short, you don’t give a shit about what I think, I don’t give a shit about what you think. Done. Let’s just agree to NEVER meet in person. As that would surely go badly for you.

Now, go fuck yourself.



*Email is completely unedited.

See, what you just read is me.  That’s me at my worst—my darkest.  Occasionally, I wish I could be different… more perfect… more conservative… but truthfully, at 45, I’m probably never going to be that perfect guy.  The email above IS me.  Clearly broken in some ways, and dare I say great in other ways.  And those of you (lucky?) enough to keep up with me via Facebook, Instagram and the like… you know that I walk the line of inappropriate daily.  But then again, I’m not sure social is a great gauge for what is the “real” person versus what is the curated, perfect person that most people put forth.  I mean, rarely do people really put their failures, struggles, mistakes, insecurities, biases, etc. forward as who they are.  Most people put forth a positive rendering of themselves via the socials.  Wife, great.  Kids, perfect.  Job, awesome.  Life = Winning.  It’s like the 80/20 rule… 80% of the social content about ourselves is positive and 20% well, not so much.  But is that how we really are? 

Try this on for size: Review your own social footprint from the last 7 days—everything.  Is that an accurate portrayal of the real you or the most perfect you?  And don’t bullshit a bullshitter.

BTW, this moment of weakness… this email that I should have deleted… it got me thinking about candidates for our lovely jobs. I know right… I can make anything a HR story—I’m an uncanny guy like that.  Would you rather have a candidate that was real… meaning, warts and $h!ttty emails OR would you rather have a candidate who is perfect?  Really think about it.  The answer isn’t obvious.

Please let me know via the comments.

FOT Background Check

William Tincup
William is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He’s written over 200 HR articles, spoken at over 150 HR & recruiting conferences and he’s conducted over 1000 HR podcasts. William prides himself on being easy to find on The Internet, Google him and connect with him via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Not up to speed in the social media game? Reach out via email. William serves on the Board of Advisors for Talentegy, Wellocity, GlitchPath, Talent Ninja, Universum Americas, Engagedly, Echovate, VibeCatch, Continu, Hyphen, Bevy, Happie, RolePoint, Causecast, Work4Labs, Talent Tech Labs, and SmartRecruiters. He was previously an advisor to PeopleMatter (sold to Snagajob Q2 2016), Good.Co (sold to StepStone Q1 2016), Smarterer (sold to Pluralsight Q4 2014) and a board member of Chequed (merged to create OutMatch Q3 2015). William is a graduate of the University of Alabama of Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


  1. i appreciate your warts and farts. we’ve got the Hate Man in Berkeley: he won’t even talk to you if you won’t first say “fuck you” to him. The relentlessly upbeat will beat you down. So, good luck, and try not to get any on anyone.

  2. Torin says:

    Curated. That was the biggest word within your piece. That question of are we curated is a real struggle for all of us if we’re honest. In our day to day we (often) vascillate between personas based in the engagement, objective and/or situation. You were an honest broker having used your keyboard to challenge each of us to align with an inner “true north.”

  3. Jim Durbin says:

    I don’t want the real. Most people don’t. And let me tell you why using a story.

    An executive interviewed a candidate. He got real answers. He hired, because real was supposed to be honest. But real wasn’t honest. Real turned out to be crazy.

    The above is pretty bad. You knew that when you posted it. And yes, you burnt a bridge, but you’re also never going to work inside again for a 9-5 job as an employee. You can make mistakes like this. You can overcome them. But a corporate worker? An HR director who did the same thing? A regional sales manager making $200,000? Not a chance. That email is a career ender for a lot of people.

    But it is the real you. The tone was wrong, but the message was right, and people pay you for the message. They don’t pay you day in and day out for the message.

    So what is the real candidate? If someone comes to work and does their job and doesn’t rock the boat in two years but is actually a raging asshole, do I really care? Did I want honesty? Did I want them to “open up” at work, or did I want them feeling social pressure to conform?

    Would this letter have crippled your career at 25? Would your CEO want you to be this real, or would they have preferred to decide if they wanted to torch the prospect or just move on?

    “Real” in recruiting isn’t about real. It’s about uncovering potential problems and piercing the “perfect” candidate’s well crafted persona to figure out how they plan to work. When you ask for “real,” or applaud it, as my executive did, you are validating that behavior in the interview process.

    So by all means let’s strip away the bad lies told to get a job, but let’s make sure that we aren’t granting a free pass to ignore all social convention. Raw honesty has its purposes, but you can’t be raw all the time.

  4. Todd Raphael says:

    Jim has a point. So much of the advice I see out there relates more to people who are CEOs and consultants, not people having to navigate all the difficult waters of a company, coworkers, the boss, people trying to feed their families, not be the one on the layoff list, and so on.

  5. So much to like, learn, and be entertained by here. Thanks William. Jim–also, you make some great points about the corporate perspective and being real. I think a better gauge is are they authentic, honest, trustworthy, and not full of B.S. or crazy.

  6. Breanne says:

    I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed every second of that letter and the fact that you are in a place to own it. We’ve all written that letter before…at least mentally. And I dig it.

  7. Karie says:

    “Thank you,” are the two words that come to mind. Transparency is the next.. We are nothing if we are not genuine and transparent; truly authentic. You have simply put into words, thoughts we have all had. Was it right? Meh, who are we to judge? And, if I am reading right, you are not asking. Do we get it? Hell YES. So, my hat is off to you as you perpetuate an example of authenticity.

  8. Leo Daley says:

    William, I love the real, the rawness and the honesty, but you are your brand, I just amplify one. I do much prefer the real to some crafted “personal brand” that isn’t, but as a brand representative, I have to behave and avoid the George Carlin 7. As for Facebook, the filtered phoniness is pretty much why I bailed from it. It’s just everyone’s mini-reality show that isn’t real.

    Oh, and your email wasn’t all bad. You did compliment his testicles.

  9. Ginger Dodds says:

    Jim said it best!

  10. Tracy says:

    I need to be your friend on FB!

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