Dear Sir, I do not speak Japanese but am willing to learn ...
Should Employment Minister Eric Abetz find himself in need of a more compelling campaign than ''one in the morning, one in the afternoon'' to sell his innovative plan to flood businesses with about 40 million job applications a month, he could hardly ignore the chance to turn Dawn Budgel into his poster girl.
Ms Budgel has the advantage of being a character in the marvellous literary novel The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, though she didn't make it into the movie of the same name, leaving her wide open for a makeover and introduction to the YouTube generation.
Dear Sirs: I recently saw your advertisement in The Globe and Mail for a research assistant. Although I do not speak Japanese I am willing to learn...
She spends her days in the novel frantically and hopelessly tapping out job applications, spraying them across the land.
Two job applications a day - one in the morning, one in the afternoon: Employment Minister Eric Abetz Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Her goal is 25 letters a week, every week, which comfortably exceeds Senator Abetz's requirement that each of Australia's unemployed should apply for 40 jobs a month, which is but 10 every working week.
Ms Budgel is an example to them all.
''Dear Sirs,'' she taps. ''I am writing in response to your ad for a Spanish-speaking clerk. Although I do not speak Spanish I have a B. E. in Maritime Traffic Engineering and will relocate. I enclose...''
Such initiative. Willing to learn another language, keen to try her hand at clerking with no experience at it, prepared to ignore her hard-earned qualification and even relocate across the continent. Senator Abetz could only hope for such obeisance to the requirements of the job market among Australians.
''Dear Sirs,'' Ms Budgel writes to another firm. ''I recently saw your advertisement in The Globe and Mail for a floral designer. Although I do not arrange flowers I am willing to learn...''
The determined Dawn Budgel is but 26 and has a university degree that has turned out to be useless. She studied pharology, the science of lighthouses and maritime signal lights, right about the time lighthouses became automated.
It's the story of so many in Australia's job market, Senator Abetz might caution. Too many mortar boards when all that's needed is a willingness to slap mortar on brick.
Happily, in this era of the end of the age of entitlement, Ms Budgel's back story proves she is no leaner.
''Went to university, scholarships and all,'' we're told in Proulx's book.
''Absolutely no work in her field. She's been doing lumpfish processing at the fish plant to fill in - when there's work - and then scraping along on unemployment insurance.''
That, of course, might not sit well with Senator Abetz, who, redefining the idea of scraping along, doesn't want the unemployed aged below 30 to get unemployment benefits at all for six months.
He could, of course, skate over it in his creation of the Dawn Budgel poster girl get-a-job campaign, for by the time she makes her appearance in Proulx's book, she has managed to get a bit of uncertain work upholstering boats for maritime re-fitters in remote and frozen Newfoundland, which is a bit like a North American version of Senator Abetz's Tasmania.
And she keeps tapping those job applications every chance she gets, often into the night.
''Dear Sirs: I recently saw your advertisement in The Globe and Mail for a research assistant. Although I do not speak Japanese I am willing to learn...''
''Dear Sirs: I am writing to inquire about the position of Auto Sales with your firm. Although my experience is in shipping traffic...''
We are never told in The Shipping News whether the brave Ms Budgel ever got a reply, let alone a job. She simply moves with the little boat upholstery outfit to St John's, Newfoundland, which is a bit like moving from Strachan to Hobart, and disappears from the story.
It would be a suitable fade-out to the government's YouTube get-a-job campaign, for the most creative writer would be hard-pressed to come up with a plausible or halfway happy end to a story that begins with a government forcing its most vulnerable and confidence-busted citizens to apply for a job every morning and another in the afternoon, all the while requiring many of them to work up to 25 hours a week for sustenance - or none at all.
You'd trust that no one crafted into the campaign a subliminal link between the initials of Dawn Budgel's name and the two words (one of them a near-anagram of her surname) that not even Senator Abetz or his colleagues will utter aloud these days, but may as well, given their apparent attitude towards the unemployed.