Dear Ms. Ambrose,
Thank you for allowing me to examine your case. I went over your files, which you gave in the 5th day of May 2008. I saw that you are 16 years old, a graduate of high school through tests conducted by the General Education Development (G.E.D.) in February 6, 2007, and has earned 15 semester college hours at the New Jersey City University on the first semester of S.Y. 2007-2008. It is also indicated here, in the files that you submitted on May 5, that you scored a good 71 on your Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, which should earn you the right to enter the U.S. Navy here and then, especially that you are about to turn 17 years old this coming month.
When I took your case to the office on the 8th day of this month, the numbers show that, for the enlistment of 2007-2008, G.E.D. graduates have filled up the 5% allowable applicants only this past week or specifically in April 30, 2008. You have filed your request of application in the 5th of May 2008, but you will still get the chance to file again, since we are always open to applicants who are willing to join and launch an enjoyable career. We should wait, however, for the next set of enlistments, which should be offered by August 2008. By then, you should have turned 17 years old, with no reason for not being accepted in the navy.
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If you want, I can send another application to you once the door is open again for enlistment applicants. That will only take about 2-3 months from now, which is only a little time, as compared to the vast opportunities that you will be having for the following years ahead. I am sure that you will have no problems by then, especially if you earn more semester college hours, which you can still take in these three months that you have. For the meantime, it would be best to wait for the next luck, which should arrive this August. This can be an opportunity to get better standing, which should reflect well in your upcoming files.
Good luck and see you again this August.
SH1 (SW/AW) Jermaine Moore
United States Navy Recruiter
NRS Bossier City, Louisiana
The principles that were used in creating the letter above are mostly from the article of Joel Bowman (2002) of Western Michigan University. I tried to be as logical and believable as I can be, without getting too formal, so that the reader will feel the concern of the letter writer (although not very emotional). I tried to indicate that what I was relaying to her was nothing very tragic or sad because another set of enlistments should arrive by the following 2-3 months.
The letter mirrored that what was happening was for the best of both the writer and the reader—a win-to-win situation—and even if the applicant’s request for admission has been denied, there are other opportunities in the future, which the writer would be pleased to accompany the reader. I tried to show that the event was reasonable and legitimate, with the intention of offering the reader some alternatives that might help in her getting accepted in the next opportunity.
This is to compensate for the shortcoming, which makes the letter forward-looking (instead of backward-looking), motivational, and not very negative to read. It makes the reader realize that the letter does not really indicate refusal or rejection but more of a delayed opportunity. I tried to minimize the impact by trying to point out that the opportunity is not lost but would come again in the months ahead.
Following the lecture of Bowman (2002), the letter that was presented is composed of the following: (1) The ‘pace’ portion that, in this letter, dictates the thankfulness of the writer for allowing him to examine the case, as well as the information that the writer has received concerning the case. (2) The ‘lead’ portion that dictates the major episode that has led the writer to create a letter for the reader, which should include the negative message that is the reason for filing the negative letter. In this letter, it reflects that G.E.D. applicants were accepted only until April 30, 2008. (3)
The ‘blend outcomes’ portion that changes the angle of the letter from negative to positive; it turns the message from backward-looking to forward-looking. In this letter, this part says that the reader will get the chance to file again by August of the same year. Finally, (4) the ‘motivate’ portion, which dictates why the alternative would suit and benefit the reader, with the decision to offer support and promote goodwill; this presents the reason on why the letter is not entirely negative, as it presents more positive opportunities that offer the reader some benefits.
- Bowman, J. (2002). Writing negative messages. Business communication: managing information and relationships. Retrieved May 8, 2008, from Joel P. Bowman Homepage: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~bowman/badnews.html.
- Carroll, A. (2004). Letters… we get stacks of letters and business notes. Retrieved May 8, 2008, from Dr. Jay’s Write Homepage: http://www.csun.edu/~vcecn006/lettr.html.
- Sittenfeld, C. (1999, March). Good ways to deliver bad news. Fast Company Magazine, 23. Retrieved May 8, 2008, from FastCompany.com database: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/23/buckman.html.
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