Jan. 28, 2002: Dear Boss,

You are no doubt up-to-date on the latest incident of resume padding at Georgia Tech. The new assistant football coach, Rick Smith, has confessed that he didn’t play football or baseball at Florida State as his resume claims. Happily, the good folks at Tech have told him not to worry about the oversight. They have had some experience with this sort of thing in the past.

However, I suggest that we stay ever vigilant and not let any more people skate by with puffing up their resumes with fictitious accomplishments just to land a job. You can rest assured that I am on the case and eager to assist in uncovering any future examples of misfeasance or malfeasance or whatever you call saying you did something you didn’t do.

Before I join this crusade, I do need to make a couple of small, technical changes to my own resume. Unlike what has happened at Georgia Tech, t most folks would not even notice these are really minor things, but I don’t think it would look good for me to be actively exposing resume rogues if even a scintilla of inaccuracy appeared in my own materials.

First off, I didn’t actually win a Medal of Honor as my resume states but I have seen every movie that John Wayne made. “Flying Leathernecks” was my all-time favorite.

On one of my previous resumes, I recall saying that I was a member of the Georgia General Assembly. I figured most people in the state wouldn’t care enough to check that out and that I could get a lot of free lunches from the lobbyists and might even get elected Speaker of the House. But then, I figured I needed to protect whatever little reputation I have, so I took that out.

And then there is that pesky reference to the Nobel Prize for Literature. I am a little sensitive about that one. I wrote a book on the 1996 Olympics entitled, “And They Call Them Games.” I wasn’t very nice to the Atlanta newspapers and they, in turn, refused to review my book – the only one written on the biggest event to hit Atlanta since General Sherman came to town – saying it was “not of general interest.” I have no doubt that cost me the Nobel Prize and if you have no objection, I would like to leave that one in my resume. I think I was robbed.

I am willing, however, to drop the mention of the Oscar. Admittedly, I became a little carried away about my acting performance when I was stopped by a Laurens County deputy for driving 71 in a 55 mph zone. With equal amounts of charm and humility, I managed to avoid a ticket. The county mountie went back to his patrol car thinking he had just had a conversation with Jimmy Stewart. I was that good.

If Senior Counselor to the University of Georgia bothers you, we can talk about this one but I think it is pretty accurate. Everybody who knows me knows that I give unsolicited advice to anyone I can lay my hands on at UGA, including President Mike Adams and Athletic Director Vince Dooley. I also spent a lot of time at the Journalism College suggesting how the professors raise up the next generation of reporters. It is a wonderful service that I offer my alma mater and I do it for free. As to how successful I have been, I really can’t tell you although one of the journalism professors recently called me a “flack,” which means somebody must be listening.

Finally, you will notice the reference to my having played three years of football at the University of New Hampshire, while getting my Masters at NYU. I decided that at this advanced stage of my career it would be fun to be the head football coach at Notre Dame and I thought a slight exaggeration wouldn’t hurt anything. Now, I am ashamed of myself, not for having put it on my resume, but that George O’Leary thought of it before I did.

I promise I will clean up my resume promptly and send you a new copy so that never again will you have to worry about the accuracy of my background. Thanks for your understanding.

Dick Yarbrough

Member, Order of the British Empire
…and former Apollo astronaut.