Please Fuck Off

A PFO is a type of communication (normally a letter, although these days it might be an email or even a text message) commonly received by job seekers, novelists, freelance journalists and other supplicants. This purpose of this communication is to formally tell the applicant/supplicant, in as polite a fashion as possible, that their application, submission or solicitation has been utterly rejected, and that they may now fuck off and die.

The archetypal PFO is that received in great numbers by job applicants the world over. In the course of any job hunt, the job seeker must steel his/herself to the fact that he/she will accumulate reams of polite letters from HR managers in countless different companies, politely informing the job hunter that his/her services and indeed very existence are of no consequence to the potential employer. The rejection slips accumulated by most struggling authors are also a form of PFO.

Lest I be accused of making this up, it should be noted that PFO is the common terminology used in recruitment and human resources for this type of letter, at least in the UK and Ireland. For example, "I've decided to interview these three candidates, can you type up the PFOs for the rest?"

For the purposes of illustration, here is a sample PFO which might be received in response to a job application:

Running Dog Industries
Human Resources Section
15th Floor
The Hugh Jass Building

Mr P. Cringer
Garret 2
34 Desperation Street

25th December 2001

Re: Application for the position of flunky

Dear Mr. Cringer,

Thank you for application, dated 12th October 2001, for the position of flunky with Running Dog Industries.

Our advertisement for this position attracted a great number of applications from candidates with various profiles in terms of previous experience and skill. Our team has taken the time to carefully evaluate each application, to ensure that we only call for interview those candidates whose profile fits the job description for the role of flunky.

In this light, I regret to inform you that we will not be calling you for interview on this occasion.

Thank you for your interest in Running Dog industries, and may I wish you the best of luck in securing appropriate employment.

Yours sincerely,
Amelia Farquahart
Human Resources

PFO is also an acronym for persistent felony offender. "Persistent felony offender" is the phrase used, at least within some court systems, to describe a person who falls under what are commonly known as repeat offender or three strikes laws. These laws are used to increase the sentence handed down for a person convicted of a second or third felony. Often, the defendant must also meet other criteria, e.g., the convictions occur within x number of years of each other or the defendant must be at least a certain age, for the PFO statute to come into effect.

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