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Soho House Rejection


Several months after I applied for membership to the Soho House, I wrote a letter to follow up on my application. 

A few days later I received a brief email informing me that I had not been accepted but that my application would be

reconsidered at the next committee meeting. Naturally I remained optimistic.  


Several more months past and I was getting anxious. So I decided to follow up, again. 

Dear Membership Director:

Would you please provide an update on my membership application? I've just been accepted as a member of (1) the local book burning club and (2) the beekeepers club of Chicago. Needless to say, I'm enormously flattered as both clubs are very selective. Beekeepers more so than the "burners", to be honest. (Beekeepers commemorative 2014 poster attached if you wanna join too.)

Both clubs have rather expensive membership fees and I wouldn't be able to pay the Soho House annual fee if I joined either of these super fun clubs. Book-burners also has a pool but it's mostly used as a source of water to control/extinguish fires that "get away from us", as they say. It is, however, nonetheless, a pool.

I haven't heard anything from you in a while so I'm guessing you're (1) waiting for better applicants and are too polite to tell me or (2) you lost my application or (3) you're super busy with the holidays still -which I get.  

Please let me know as soon as you can so I don't keep these other fine clubs waiting for a response to their membership invitation. 

By the way, I did get the "best supporting actor" award in seventh-grade for my "competent" portrayal of Murry, the cop from Neil Simon's The Old Couple. I've got the award and can prove I am not messing with you. It's a small figure of a Buffalo -Old Trail School's mascot.

Thanks, Phil


      Soho House Response


Hi Phil


Thanks so much for getting in touch.


Unfortunately your application has not yet been successful. However it will of course remain on the waitlist pending re-review at the next meeting in late April.


If successful at that point you will be notified via email by early May.


Kind regards


Rachel Doyle-Hobbs

Membership, Soho House Chicago


                                                                                             My Response






















I recall from my last correspondence with you that the membership committee would meet again to review pending membership applications.

God, I hope I fared better this time. Sorry if I keep coming across as needy. You see, I was born with a clubfoot and was always picked last, if at all, for team sports at school.  On a positive note, I was really good at rope climbing as the use of crutches gave me amazing upper body strength. Too bad for me that rope climbing isn't a team sport, huh? Are there ropes for climbing at the club?

Seeing that summer is just around the corner now, I've attached a photo of me and my wife on the beach last summer. I think we'd fit in quite nicely at the rooftop pool. That's our dog, Frito, by the way. We won't be bringing him to the club unless it's okay. I'm pretty sure it's not. 

I've also included an image of me without my wife but in my scuba gear super-imposed on a photo of the rooftop pool (Hopefully not copyrighted. If so, very sorry.) I don't know whether you even allow scuba diving in the pool so don't focus too much on the gear. Hopefully a mask and snorkel would be okay but we can talk about that if/when I get accepted.

Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to apply.

Fingers still crossed, so to speak.


Ps. The one time I was invited to the club I noticed the famous actor John Cusack enjoying some kind of beverage at the bar. Don't worry, I didn't interrupt him. But I was thinking that I should mention that I once had a bit of an acting experience myself. While I was living in Japan during college I appeared on a popular game show called, "Feeling Couples." I won in fact! Anyway, I know this doesn't make me a celebrity like John but maybe it counts for something in the eyes of the committee since they seem to like actor-types.  



Soho House Response



Hi Phil


Thanks so much for getting in touch.


Unfortunately your application has not yet been successful. However it will of course remain on the waitlist pending re-review at the next meeting.


Kind regards


Rachel Doyle-Hobbs




                                                                                   My Response



Dear Rachel:


I was wondering if I could apply to work as an intern while I wait for my membership application to come through? I noticed on your website that you offer an internship at the new Soho House in Chicago. This could be a great interim step toward membership. A chance for me to impress!


I'll admit I don't have any experience in the hospitality industry but I have taken care of animals, professionally. I worked for three years at the Petco on Elston Avenue picking up dog poop, cleaning the rodent, reptile, bird and fish cages. I love animals and didn't mind the least bit. I sometimes worked in the dog-grooming department though this might not have much bearing on my internship application as I don't think you have a hair salon at the Soho House.  If you cut hair at the Soho House Spa then please keep this in mind when considering my application.


In terms of taking care of people, my mother worked at a retirement home in Oak Park when I was in high school. Quite frankly she hated every minute of it but she did tell me lots of detailed stories about how she constantly took care of people who couldn't take care of themselves. I'm sure your guests don't use bedpans or need to be cleaned with a hot sponge twice a week but if they do I would  know how from listening carefully to my mom's complaining.


Given my lack of experience in the hospitality industry, I think it makes sense for me to apply for an internship in your housekeeping department. I'm guessing that housekeeping is the lowest possible position available and the easiest to get. If it's not the easiest to get then sign me up for whatever job that is and let me know at your earliest convenience.


Assuming it is housekeeping where I'll be doing my internship I know I'll be great for several reasons. My mother always enforced a "clean and tidy bedroom" policy when I was growing up so I know all too well what a correctly made bed looks like with the whole bounce-a-quarter-off-the-bed-once-it's-made test. I also know how to clean ash-trays as my dad was a devoted "Camel man", as he liked to put it at first. 


I also know my 3-T's: toilets, tubs and tile. And, of course, I know firsthand there's no "I" in "Vacuum that up now!".  I could go on but I won't because it  probably isn't rocket science.  I'm guessing it's more like tedious, boring work that I'll be doing for free. Which is fine because I know from my dad that you have to have your spirit broken before you learn what hard work really is. I love the Soho House so I'm glad it's you that will be breaking my spirit. So, thank you in advance.


Assuming this all works out, am I allowed to keep the tips I find in the rooms? I'm not sure if your customers ever leave tips but I've heard that many of them are millionaires on account of technology so I would assume so. We can sort this out in the interview process I hope.  


So I'll start there, in housekeeping, please. Do I need to send a recommendation if I start out working for free cleaning toilets? My old boss at Petco would have written a kind letter about me but he's dead. His name was Fred Reailsing (sp?). If you feel you have to confirm this, you can call the store on Elston but I really wish you wouldn't.


If I do need a CV, please let me know and also what that is.


I do have a ponytail, by the way.  If I need to cut it off to get the internship I will.





Soho House Response


Thank you for reaching out, Phil. You have quite the varied work history. We’ll forward this along to our Human Resources team and they’ll be in touch should an opportunity open up that fits your skill set.




Soho House Chicago
113-125 N Green Street
Chicago, Illinois


                                                                                   My Response

Hi Kalan.


You probably don’t remember me. I applied for an internship about a year and five weeks ago. While I’ve been waiting to hear back from you, I’ve come to suspect that maybe I wasn’t ready to work for free for such an exciting company.  Well, I am ready now is the good news I’d like to share with you today! What’s changed? A lot! I just completed a year-long online training program at It was truly an amazing program that enriched me a ton. I’m hoping now you’ll reconsider me for an internship at the Soho House and give me a chance to demonstrate my pampering skills on your tired, aching membership. (I’ve also learned some general first-aid as well as how to help colicky babies “find the tit”, as they say online.)


I'm still incredibly committed to the Soho House and even if I have to wait a little longer to become a member or an intern, I’ll continue trying to do interesting and exciting things so that others might find me more interesting and exciting. I honestly feel like I’m making good progress. Would it surprise you to learn that I’ve made a few new friends who are actual members of the club? I hope not. Would it surprise you to know that my brother Dennis is now a member of the club? He's a super talented musician so I get why the membership committee fell in love with him and not me.  


Well, guess what? My brother Dennis has been stealing silverware and what looks like fine china from the club for almost a year! I know this is true because I've seen it at his house. I hope this doesn't make me an accessory and jeopardize my membership potential but I know you’d want to know about this serious matter.  In addition to silverware, he has dozens of pool towels and several complete sets of cups and saucers prominently displayed at his house -right this very minute! He also has hundreds of those cute sample-sized Tabasco sauce bottles. I doubt anyone could prove he stole these from you but I’m sure he did.


If you want me to appear as a witness in a lawsuit against my brother, I'm more than happy to help. (He and I are not particularly close since the jet-ski “accident” in 2013.) I don't know if the Tabasco sauce will stand up in court because a lot of restaurants leave this kind of stuff around for customers to steal. Initially I think we should just focus on the flatware and the towels because this stuff has the Soho House logo on it. By now you can probably tell that I've been involved in lawsuits before. Yes, I’ve seen the scales of justice first-hand and I’m proud to say I know how to “play the game”, especially in Cook County. Once Dennis is behind bars, I’m happy to help you put a great case together. I'm really good at being deposed, by the way. We can talk more about this stuff later.


In conclusion, whether it's a membership, a paid internship, a free internship or simply helping you prosecute my brother Dennis, I'm ready to prove myself to you and your spectacular worldwide brand. Do you know if the new Fulton Market Ace Hotel is going to be like the Soho House? Just curious.



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