A recent query arrived in 16pt Bold Exasperation font, dripping with frustration. The first paragraph said the writer had spent years trying to get an agent's attention by following the guidelines and had gotten nowhere. Now s/he was just saying the hell with it, here's my ms, let me know if you think you can sell it.
Ya kinda gotta sorta admire the honesty. At least s/he told me why s/he'd disdained the bare minimum guidelines (like not attaching anything.)
Unfortunately, that opening paragraph meant I wasn't even going to respond to the query, let alone read the work.
Setting aside the piquant notion that guidelines are there to help you (I know it doesn't feel like that) remember the SECOND purpose of a query letter? It's to demonstrate that you, the writer, are not an asshat. In other words, show me you're someone I can work with over a long period of time (we both hope) and through what can be trying circumstances. No one wants to think about trying circumstances and I'm not going to give you a list, but let me just assure you: they're damn real.
This querier demonstrated that when the going gets tough, s/he gets impatient and throws stuff at the wall. This is an ineffective technique for dealing with frustration most of the time (after the toddler years), and certainly as an introduction to an agent. It will not get you what you want. It will not even tell you anything about your work because I Did Not Read It.
If you're getting nowhere with your query, of course you're frustrated. And angry. And probably convinced it's my dimwittery, not your writing, that's the problem. Maybe it is, but knowing that and getting me to read your work are two VERY different things.
The way to deal with it is to stop querying and start getting some eyeballs on your work. There are lots of ways to do that: conferences, classes, critique groups.
Or if you're sure I'm a dimwit, self-publish and see if the book finds an audience.
Publishing is a very long game and it's filled with all sorts of things that would make even Carrie Nation turn to drink (for medicinal purposes only of course.) Learning to both control your impatience, AND to not let that impatience seep into your emails is a really important part of the process.
There are more good projects out there than I have room for on my list. Even if this querier wrote as well as Patrick Lee or Jeff Somers or Laird Barron, I still would say no. Life is too short to work with people who make my job harder than it has to be.
Unfair? Hell yes. Who the hell told you publishing was ever going to be fair?