Barney the Volunteer

Volunteers are great people who do good work at low rates. But sometimes their work is worth what you paid for it. This email exchange is an example of the latter.

To: Derek
From: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

Dear Derek,

Dr. Tom Majors, the nonprofit executive director, told me you were hired to rewrite my grant from last year. I voluntarily authored last year’s grant because I am launching my career as a freelance grant writer. If I knew last year the agency was willing to pay, I would have charged them myself. LOL! It was a lot of work to write that grant. I’d like to work with you on the revision. I have some new ideas for it. Mr. Majors said that would be a good idea. I am willing to share the Microsoft Word files with you so that you can tweak my narrative that was almost funded last year. Please let me know if you’re willing to work together and I’ll send you the files so you can read up on the grant, then we can schedule a few hours to meet and make revisions.

Yours in grant Writing,

Barney

To: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
From: Derek
Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

Dear Barney,

Barney, It was kind of you to voluntarily write the grant last year and thank you for your offer to work with me to co-author the grant; however, I must decline as I work alone. I don’t find group writing to be a productive exercise. Thank you for offering to send me your electronic files from last year but I prefer to write from scratch. I find that re-writing someone else’s grant is more work than writing original copy. I will not need your assistance but thank you kindly for your offer.

Sincerely,
Derek

To: Derek
From: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

Derek,

I don’t understand why you’d want to write from scratch when my narrative is finished. Did you know it was almost funded last year? I know that with a little tweaking here and there it would be brilliant. I know my narrative would have been funded last time around if I didn’t get biased readers. Even though you said not to send it, I am attaching my narrative for you to use; perhaps you didn’t see it. I hope you won’t allow pride to stop you from working with me, working together would help you because I have a AA in English and I am fully certified by the ACME Grant Writer’s Association. I told Tom that I’d be in touch with you to offer my files and expertise and that we’d collaborate. He was delighted.

Regards,
Barnard

To: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
From: Derek
Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

Hard G,

Thank you for attaching the files, but I’ve deleted them. I don’t download anything that my computer identifies as a potential virus. Tom gave me a hard copy of last year’s grant and the readers’ comments. I’ve just returned from a weekend retreat at a Buddhist Monastery where I spent two days in the Lotus position staring at a sand painting trying to get your narrative out of my head. I am grateful to have the scrap paper though because my kids are on a school holiday and making paper airplanes is all the rage around here at the moment.

Karmacally Yours

To: Derek
From: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

My MS Word files were not contaminated by a virus. My narrative received excellent scores last year except for one biased reader. I think you’re putting down my writing because you’re afraid that your lucrative contract might be undermined by a volunteer with superior talent. I can’t understand why Tom hired you in the first place since I was willing to revise my grant at no charge. I know all my narrative needs is a few minor adjustments to win the money. Your narrative won’t score any better than mine did and it’ll probably score worse. It is an inappropriate use of agency resources to let your kids make airplanes out of my grant.

B.C.G., CGW

To: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
From: Derek
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

As you plan a career as a freelance grant writer, the first thing to learn is that a high score of 37/100 among a three reader panel is not a strong result. These scores infer that you submitted a grant narrative version of Naked Lunch to the competition. The following passage from your narrative just flew onto my desk in the form of an F-16:

Another characteristic of our migrant population is their lack of means to access early intervention services. This results in detainment and many times, total lack of identification of special physical, emotional or cognitive needs for services to these families, which often have children qualifying for school accommodations or special education supports. Access to early intervention saves tremendous amounts of money in reaching the at risk students, and beginning participation in programs addressing their special needs, if neglected is often not identified until well into his/her school age enrollment.

I have no idea what that means, but after 40 pages of similar incoherent gibberish, your readers tend to infer you were shooting heroin and hallucinating about black centipedes in your kidneys. It was not a strong effort Barney.

Regretfully yours

To: Derek
From: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

My name is not Barney, it is Barnard. Will you please use my proper name? You took that paragraph out of context. Of course it is confusing without the rest of the section. I’ll have you know that I earned a distinction in my Certified Grant Writer coursework from the ACME Association of Grant Writers. I took all of their courses, some twice, and my instructor told me I was her most consistent student in many years. I’ll also have you know that I have never used heroin or any other drug. I do not eat lunch in the nude either. Is that what you did at your retreat?

Barnard

To: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
From: Derek
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

G. Chesty, I’m sure you were a big hit with the instructor. I find that anyone who pays me exorbitant sums of money for something I should give away rises in my esteem. I am reminded of a woman at my garage sale recently. She was a fan of some show called Antiques Road Show. She paid me $25 for a Norman Rockwell picture which my sons cut out of a magazine and glued into a frame for Father’s Day. Her enthusiasm told me she was inspired by my progeny’s craftiness, so I scraped off the 25 cent sticker on the back with my thumb and took her money. To this day I hold her in high esteem indeed.

Given your level of education, I am surprised you don’t know that Buddhist Monks are modest souls and do not eat lunch in the nude. You could go and suggest the practice; I’ll send you the address. The Monks may enjoy a change in routine, but bring your own heroin if you plan to do any writing whilst there.

To: Derek
From: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

I do not use drugs, and I did not buy my AGWA distinction. I have a certificate on my wall and I’ll bet you don’t have one. I doubt that the AGWA would certify a raving, cynical lunatic like yourself anyway. And my name is Barnard, not Barney, Hard G, or G. Chesty.

You suck.

Barnard

To: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
From: Derek
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

Dear G-man,

I don’t have time to continue our banter; I have a grant to write. Even if your writing was less than appalling – a distinction it exceeds – I wouldn’t want to write with you. But don’t take it personally; I work alone. Perhaps after the grant is funded you’ll be invited to cut out construction paper gingerbread men for the after school arts and crafts program. I’ve no doubt that dull repetitive tasks are your strong suit.

Sincerely Busy,
Derek

To: Derek
From: Barnard G. Chesterfield
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

Derek

I hope your grant is read by ignorant, biased readers like mine was last year. I can’t wait to hear that your grant is rejected so I can call Tom and remind him how much you stink.

Drop dead.

Wishing you failure,
Barnard

To: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
From: Derek
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

Barn,

I have an inspired idea, the next time you submit a grant, attach copies of your distinction certificate as an appendix so the readers will appreciate your talents and won’t be mislead by your narrative.

Helpfully yours,
Derek

To: Derek
From: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

I detest you.

Most sincerely,
Barnard

To: Barnard G. Chesterfield, CGW?
From: Derek
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

Dear B-Nard,

I checked your CGW status online. Did you realize it expired? As a protection to our industry, I called ACME and reported you for falsely using CGW behind your name. Since email crosses state lines via the Internet, I am pretty sure it’s a federal offense.

Let me know what your visiting days will be,

Derek

To: Derek
From: Barnard G. Chesterfield
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: Grant Rewrite
Date: March 29, 2013

PLEASE open the attachment.

Barnard

trojan.docx
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