Scott wrote about his recent experience with job applications and what he had to do to get a response to a cover letter, even if that response was "Don't ever talk to me that way again".
He has his own theory on why and how people get hired, but I think it's all about being docile. Employers aften say that they want creative people who can think on their feet and have excellent skills, but I've never really found that to be true. Employers want somebody they can control. They especially want someone who will defer to them, which is why Scott got the reply he did. They need applicants who will fit into the power structure.
Scott's problem came out because he followed up his application with another letter. In real life, employers want their employees to keep track of the progress of their work and projects. In application land, however, they don't want to hear from all the applicants. In employed land, they want engaged employees who are excited about work, but in application land, they want to be left alone because they don't want to waste time on people they aren't going to hire.
In short, being the sort of person that gets things done and stays on top of things is just the sort of thing that can kill a job application. It reminds me of "Hassler Syndrome" which I read about in an article about MBA program applications. They interpret this sort of behavior as needy. I say it's "Let's get this done and move on." Employers really want someone who will be a pain in the ass to other people, but not them.
Employers don't want to see your skills in action before they hire you, and if you do have mad ski11z (CPAN author, book author, etc), they know they can't own you so they aren't interested.
Once you start down the path of independence, you'd better be ready to stay on it.