Faulkner, you’re fired.

I found this paper years ago in Robert Kroetsch’s archive. A photocopy of an article that somebody (Michael Ondaatje, if I remember correctly) mailed to Kroetsch. The article looks like it came from the Nov. 21, 1970 New Yorker, and is a copy of the letter that Mark Webster, a Mississippi postoffice inspector, sent as the first step of firing William Faulkner.

Among the reasons they fired Faulkner:

“… you are neglectful of your duties, in that you are a habitual reader of books and magazines, and seem reluctant to cease reading long enough to serve the patrons…”

“… you have a book being printed at the present time, the greater part of which was written while on duty…”

“… you are indifferent to interest of patrons, unsocial, and rarely ever speak to patrons of the office unless absolutely necessary…”

“… you do not give the office the proper attention, opening and closing same at your convenience…”

“… you can be found playing golf during office hours…”

“… you mistreat mail of all kinds, including registered mail [and] have thrown mail with return postage guaranteed and all other classes into the garbage can by the side entrance… this has gotten to be such a common occurrence that some patrons have gone to this garbage can to get their magazines, should they not be in their boxes when they looked for them…”

“… you have permitted … unauthorized persons to have access to the workroom of the office … and have permitted card playing in the office…”

I can see it now… William Faulkner in POSTAL CLERKS, directed by Kevin Smith.

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