Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Job No. 59 - Valet (Graveyard)

This being All Hallows Eve, I decided to see if I could find myself a suitably themed job application - and, after spending some time looking through the Simply Hired website, I found myself with two exciting options for the evening...

Firstly, I found an opportunity to live out all my childhood Ghostbuster fantasies, as it seems that C.A.S.P.E.R Investigations (Central Arizona Specialists in Paranormal Event Research) are looking for a Paranormal Investigator. However, my initial excitement at the job soon began to wane when I realised that, not only do C.A.S.P.E.R suffer from a distinct lack of PKE meters and Ghost Traps but also - from the photos on their myspace page - it appears that they have no Proton Packs!

The remainder of the job application failed to reassure my concerns:

"It would be great if you had your own or some of your own equipment. (voice recorders, digital cameras, video cameras, emf detecor, digital thermometers. etc)"

And the final straw to break the back of my opportunity to pretend to be Bill Murray was the fact that C.A.S.P.E.R are a non-profit organisation so this is strictly a non-paying gig. Well, I don't know about you, but I don't think I'm quite ready to challenge ghouls, ghosts and giant Marshmallow Men purely for the fun of it...

So instead I turned my attention to my second choice vacancy - Valet (Graveyard) for the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach.

I'm not entirely sure why the Balboa Bay Club & Resort feels it is necessary to provide an on-site cemetery - perhaps it's merely a marketing ploy to differentiate them from other nearby resorts - but I assume it has proven to be a success since they need to take on extra staff. I have to say, although I'm not particularly squeamish, I did find some of the job's duties to be a little on the distasteful side:

"
Greet all guests; park guest vehicle safely; provide assistant to guests relative to transportation needs and/or concerns."

I realise that the Balboa Bay Club is a highly prestigious and luxurious resort but greeting all the guests seems a little over-the-top - after all, they're surely unlikely to complain (at least, very loudly) if I don't bother to say hello when they arrive. However, if the job truly requires it, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to pop the lid for five minutes and exchange brief pleasantries...

Having never driven a hearse, I'm a little unsure about my ability to park guest's vehicles but I'm sure it's something that I'll get the hang of after a while. However, my biggest concern is with regard to the guest's transportation needs - I can only theorise that this particular graveyard is so high-class that the dead are moved around so they don't get bored of the view. I'm hoping they'll at least provide me with gloves for this part of my work.

Nevertheless, feeling that I could well be the man for this particular job, I decided to write a covering letter to demonstrate my understanding of the position:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing with regard to the Valet (Graveyard) position and have attached a recent resume for your consideration.

I believe that it is vital to treat your guests with respect and to ensure they have a restful stay. It would be my pleasure to handle any transportation requests they might have and to transfer them between sites where necessary.

I feel good hygiene is essential when dealing with guests and imagine that a stout pair of gloves may well prove to assist with this aspect of the job. I also know that, while I need to adopt a lively manner, it is unacceptable to attempt to fraternize with any of the guests. While some may take this position with the expectation of interacting with the guests, I take a more professional and detached viewpoint.

I trust you will give my application serious consideration and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards

Oliver.


I'm certain that this Lord Tennyson inspired "valet of death' position is likely to catch on and, before you know it, all the major hotels will be finding room for a small cemetery on their grounds (perhaps converting the odd wine cellar here, reserving a room there). And I could be in there, right at the very beginning - ready to then capitalise on the forthcoming expansion of the industry. Oh yes, the market may well be a little dead at the moment...but in a few years it might just be really dead...

Minor Update - TFM Interview

Well, it took me a while to getting around to processing the audio file of last week's TFM interview but I've finally managed it!

Contained within this week's interview, you can also hear a short snippet of the newsreading demo I recorded at the TFM Studios - have a listen to it here: http://www.solsbury-hill.co.uk/tfminterview7.mp3

Monday, October 30, 2006

Job No. 58 - Rap Writer

I found myself a curious vacancy this evening while using the remarkably helpful Simply Hired site (which enables you to search through the jobs of a whole variety of sites) although the actual vacancy was listed on the New Haven version of Craigs List. It seems that someone out there is seeking a Cleavage Model...

"Cleavage Models needed...no sex. Amateurs welcome. Just need a great chest...send picture for consideration..."

I thought this might be a useful area of work for me and so took a couple of sample pictures - but, if I'm honest, my cleavage was a little on the disappointing side. Perhaps it's simply a case of practice and, once I've sorted out my angles properly, I'll be able to show off my chest in its best light...but, until then, I think I'll pass on the cleavage modelling...

So, instead, I turned to the Atlanta version of Craigs List, where I found an advert for the position of Rap Writer. The heading asked 'Can you write for a rapper?' - which is something I'm sure I could do when I'm not writing their songs for them. I am hopeful that this is not a sad indictment of rapper literacy levels but is, instead, merely a testimony to how busy life is for the modern rapper - they have such a hectic schedule that they need to hire people to write things like shopping lists, telephone numbers, etc. However, aside from these mundane writing chores, the position also required the writing of songs:

"I am looking for a Songwriter that can write a rap for an aspiring artist...You will be paid for this service."

I liked the fact that you will be paid for this service - for a moment I thought I was going to be doing this purely out of the kindness of my heart - and I'm sure that I can deliver suitable raps for an aspiring artist. I decided that, in my application, I should include an exciting rap verse that would pique their curiosity and get them coming back for more...I just needed a subject to rap about...

And then, as I sat on the sofa, pondering deeply what subject would prove universal enough to bridge the physical and cultural gap of the Atlantic, I realised that I needed to rap about something that everyone could relate to whether they were young or old, black or white, rich or poor, male or female. So I decided I would rap about cheese...

[Verse]
Girls they flock to me, all wantin' somma my cheese,
I let them talk their talk, but they can just breeze.
They can hustle up close, try an shake ma tree,
But no cheddar for you babe, you don't get my brie.
Only girl who gets it is one who wouldn't ask,
Gotta find me that honey, ain't no easy task,
Cos girls love cheese and girls love dough
You think they hang around me cos they likin' my flow?
Crowd me like a marathon on Queensborough Bridge,
But I know she just a digger wit her eyes on ma fridge.
Well honey I hate to havta take the wind outta your sail,
You ain't gettin your hands on ma Wensleydale.
Eyes on ma cheese, but that's all you gettin,
Try to touch my cheddar, baby you gonna regret it...


I sent off my rap effort - secure in the knowledge that they would appreciate my ability to generate rap about vital and exciting topics - but shortly afterwards was perturbed to discover during a perusal of the 'Rap Dictionary' that the word Cheese has the following common meaning within the rapping community:

cheese

money; material wealth. "Big pimpin' spendin' cheese" -- Jay Z (Big Pimpin')

-may be referred to as cheddar. "keep your money, she make her own cheddar, all she want from me is respect like Aretha" -- Wyclef Jean (To All the Girls)

I am now concerned that all my hard work may have been wasted and that they may inadvertently misinterpret my glorious ode to the wonders of fermented dairy products (and the dangers of girls who are only interested in you because of it) as an altogether more tawdry and avaricious verse. Perhaps I should send them a follow-up email to clarify matters?

Week 8 - Update

Well, the halfway mark is well behind me and now I'm looking ahead to the three quarter mark, which is only a couple of weeks away now...and, beyond that, lies December 12th which I've got marked down as the day on which I will apply for my 100th job application...

Still no news back from Santa Barbara about whether they can assist with travelling expenses for the Sheriff's Correction Officer interview - I'm crossing my fingers! And, I've had a hectic weekend so, my apologies for not having got around to processing last week's TFM interview and putting it up on the blog - I will try and find a way to sort it out today.

In other blog type news, I need your ideas...

When I began the blog I calculated that I had just enough money to get me to the very end but, it appears my financial factoring was a little askew (obviously being an accountant would be a very unsuitable job for me) and that - unless something happens to improve matters - it's going to be pretty tough to find a way to not take some kind of job (read: any kind) before I get to the 100th application. Right now, funds are running low and I've managed to max out my credit card.

I did think it might be an idea to look into whether there was anyone who might be interested in sponsoring the blog - but I'm not really sure who would want to. So, I need your ideas on how to make some money to keep 100 Unsuitable Jobs well and truly afloat until the end of my quest! Answers on a postcard to the usual address or, failing that, feel free to send me an email!

Emails from reclusive billionaires with lots of money to spend on blogs about unsuitable job applications are especially welcome...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Job No. 57 - GT Racing Driver

Tonight I was using a new recruitment site, Snagajob, when I found a vacancy that seemed like it would be intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding - being the Chick-Fil-A Cow mascot for the Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The job seems to largely (well, totally) revolve around the concept of dressing up as a cow - aside from that, there are no udder duties for you to perform. However, just as I was beginning to get excited and planning my trip to Raleigh, I read the final line of the job description:

"For aspiring actors or actresses this could be your big break!"

Suddenly, I began to worry - was I really ready for the worldwide fame, plaudits and general admiration that could follow from my role as the Chick-Fil-A Cow mascot? Could I deal with the constant hounding from the paparazzi and the endless rounds of premieres and gala luncheons? I could feel my pulse beginning to pound at the very thought...

It is a little known fact that Sir Laurence Olivier had a life of acting and fame thrust upon him thanks to his appearance dressed as Nipper, the RCA records dog, in 1930 - which catapulted him into an acting career of hundreds of film and stage roles. I wasn't sure that I could deal with such instant stardom so I decided to pass on Chick-Fil-A and its opportunity of a lifetime...

Instead, I decided that I would tonight apply to be a racing driver. It seems that Kruse Motor Sport are looking for someone to drive their Courage C65 race car in a variety of races, including the Le-Mans 24hr event. The Courage C65 is rather quick - it is about as powerful as a supercar (like the Saleen S7) while weighing about as much as a Smart Car - and I'm sure it would be considerably more entertaining to drive than my current Ford Focus 1.8 diesel...

I think this could be just the job for me - although I've never actually driven on a race track (unless you count the M6 Motorway) I've garnered a wealth of experience from my time spent playing on the Gran Turismo series of videogames on my Playstation and Playstation 2; in fact, I've managed to secure all my international licenses. And, while I seem to spend a large part of my virtual driving time either on the grass, in the gravel or going round in circles, I'm certain that in real life the whole thing is probably a lot easier.

And - since there are some people in the USA who argue that first person shooters can gift people with the shooting skills needed to be killers (despite using a joypad or a mouse rather than an actual gun), I'm sure that the altogether more realistic simulation provided by Gran Turismo and a steering wheel is surely enough to allow me to walk into the position of lead driver on their team...

In my application letter, I highlighted my extensive racing experience but didn't feel it necessary to mention that it was earned on my Playstation - after all, I'm sure it wouldn't really make much of a difference to how they consider my application:

Hi

I wish to apply for the advertised position of driver and have attached a recent CV.

I have extensive driving and racing experience - everything from Touring Cars to the GT series - and have all the relevant international licenses.

Recently, I have been putting in a considerable number of laps at the Nurburgring with my modified Pagani Zonda C12S and I make an effort to drive on a number of circuits around the world. I have experience of driving the Le-Mans Circuit de la Sarthe and believe that, given an opportunity, I could take my driving to the next level and drive the Courage C65 for you.

Regards

Oliver


I'm sure they will be impressed by my racing heritage and I hope to be jetting out to their headquarters in Cologne to put down some practice laps in their car very soon. Of course, I can't see myself being with them for too long - they're merely my stepping stone into the far more lucrative world of Formula 1...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Job No. 56 - Gender Advisor

While browsing the New Scientist job pages, I discovered a position that looked like it would be relatively stress free and which would also give me an opportunity to get some much needed practice at my Christmas present wrapping skills - Packaging Assessment Manager for Nirex.

Now, Nirex - from what I understand - are in charge of developing solutions for the safe disposal of the UK's nuclear waste and are quite open about the problem they face:

"...the UK has been generating radioactive waste since the 1950s and has accumulated a large volume, some of which will remain hazardous for tens of thousands of years. Even without additional nuclear reactors, that amounts to about 460,000m3. Nirex sets the standards and specifications for packaging that waste..."

So, as Packaging Assessment Manager I'd have to make sure that the wrapping was neat and orderly, that not too much sellotape was used (after all, Nirex aren't made of money) and that the gift tags were neatly written (it would be a shame for them to end up in the wrong hands). In addition, Nirex intend to use the Phased Geological Repository Concept - basically put, this involves all the boxes being wrapped up and then put into a big hole in the ground (with a handy note attached saying 'not to be opened until Christmas, 50,000AD).

However, I was a bit worried about the effects of wrapping nuclear waste on a day-to-day basis - after all, just think how many paper cuts I'd get and I always seem to find a way to catch myself on those sellotape dispensers - so I decided that I would instead look for something less hazardous to my health. And, thus, my attention turned to the Antipodes...

New Zealand is regarded by many as one of the world's top travel destinations - its varied climate, culturally diverse cities and rugged natural beauty making it increasingly popular with tourists - but, just beneath the surface, lurks a problem that has largely escaped the media's attention. It was only while scanning through the Guardian job pages that I discovered the deep-rooted sociological and cultural confusion that riddles much of the population - evidenced by the New Zealand International Aid & Development Agency's attempt to hire a Gender Advisor.

I'm not sure exactly when and where this confusion arose - although some scientists have pointed to the launch of the Guyliner range of cosmetics as being the tipping point that sent the whole problem firmly tumbling into the abyss - but I'm certain that I can help solve the problem.

I would recommend a cursory (and fully clothed) physical examination for starters - with more detailed examinations only being required for those specific individuals who arouse my scientific curiosity. For example, when considering the current crop of New Zealanders, I feel that Peter Jackson would only require a long-range physical examination (and quite possibly not even that - I could probably do it over the phone) while it is possible that supermodel Kylie Bax may demand slightly more attention...

I wasn't hesitant when the application form asked me "what contribution do you think you would make if you were appointed to this position?":

I believe that I would bring a fresh approach to the problems faced in this area; combining an empathic nature with a scientific methodology. I think it is important to develop a suitable screening process that allows for issues to be resolved in distinct phases - determining which individuals can be dealt with from a distance and which will require considerable personal interaction. I feel that, if I were appointed to the position, I would be able to contribute a great deal and help reduce the percentage of individuals who have to suffer.

Hopefully, they'll give my application serious consideration and let me deal with New Zealand's burgeoning gender confusion issues - I'm sure I can sort them out...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Job No. 55 - Global Team Leader

Having already applied to be a Country Director, I knew that I would have to find a pretty impressive job if I was going to top it, and was therefore initially thrilled to discover a vacancy for an Ocean Manager with DHL...

However, it rapidly became apparent that the position wasn't quite as good as it first sounded. Firstly, there was no mention of which ocean you would be managing - which is a fairly important matter when you consider the vast differences between Oceans; the Arctic Ocean is just 14 million square km (much of which is frozen - and hence very easy to manage) while the Pacific Ocean is far larger at nearly 180 million square km and positively teems with action all of the time...

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I was more than a little concerned by the amount of paperwork that would be involved; the job description said that you'd need to "Maintain employee records and complete yearly employee performance reviews" - I can't even begin to imagine how many living things are contained within the average ocean but, at a guess, I'd say lots. Which means I'd have an absolute bugger of a time trying to catch up with everything - I can just imagine the sort of queries and problems that would be cluttering up my working day: "Have you got the dental records of the 654 colonies of penguins to hand? Could we see the performance appraisal of Julian the Albatross? The
Union of Great White Sharks is annoyed that they've been downgraded from 'terrifying' to merely 'intimidating'..."

It's enough to drive you mad! So, instead I turned to an even more grandiose title - Global Team Leader with Primacy Relocations (although I'm not sure who put them in charge of things, possibly it's something to do with the fabled New World Order).

As Global Team Leader I would, of course, be in charge of everything - however, Primacy Relocations have clearly thought about the complexity of the role since they have given the Global Team Leader the ability to delegate to an unspecified number of Global Consultants who exist to do the Leader's bidding. I may see if I can change their title to Global Minions as I think this would sit much better with my understanding of their role. They could be the Darth Vader's to my Emperor (although, hopefully, without the skin problems)...

I was particularly excited about the fact that the job description asks candidates to 'handle escalated problems' - which I'm assuming is stuff like the problems in the
Middle East, Climate Change, Nuclear Proliferation, etc. I'm sure I could have that all sorted out by the end of the weekend if they give me enough freedom in my actions - next Wednesday at the latest...

In my application letter I stressed my qualifications to be the Earth's overall leader (and general overseer):

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to apply for the position of Global Team Leader, as advertised on the Careerbuilder website, and have attached a recent resume for your consideration.

I believe I am extremely well suited to the job as I have led a number of teams in the past and would be able to apply the same management systems (albeit scaled up) from within the bounds of this position.

I have a broad knowledge base of science and politics that I feel would be helpful in undertaking the position and believe that I would be able to wield the various discretionary powers of the role with a high level of equanimity - making sure I am deeply involved with any 'escalated problems' that may arise within my sphere of operation.

I appreciate the responsibility of the role and wish to assure you that I am fully capable of taking the reins and improving the standard of operations.

Regards

Oliver.


I'm sure that when they look at my CV, they'll see I'm the right person for their plans of world dictatorship. And, while they say that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, I can't think of a better person than me to enjoy such a situation...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Job No. 54 - Flight Instructor

This evening, while exploring the wonders of an assortment of recruitment sites, I found myself confronted with a job that sounded as if it would require somebody with, not only immense charisma and confidence, but also a unique talent - Solid Waste Practise Leader with LFR...

Now, this struck me as a rather personal matter for one to have to deal with on a daily basis - in fact, I imagine it could be quite a strain when you consider that the position requires for you to 'mentor and develop staff'. I anticipate this would be accomplished during some form of group session - with you leading by example, before encouraging the group to demonstrate their abilities. Although, with such a demanding job, if you were to achieve all of your goals, you would likely be flushed with success...

However, to me, it felt like a role where I just be going through the motions all day - so I decided to cast about some more for a vacancy that suited me a little better...

Drawing upon the inspiration of the old adage "those that can do; those that can't, teach." I took it upon myself to apply to be a Flight Instructor for the Phoenix East Aviation Flight School.

Now, I've played Microsoft Flight Simulator once or twice, and it seems to me to be quite easy - apart from the fact that, contrary to expectations, pushing up on the joystick makes the plane go down and pushing down on the joystick makes the plane go up. That seems rather silly to me, but I'm sure I'll get used to it given enough time...

Besides, I've watched enough movies to know that, apart from taking off and landing, all the pilots do for the rest of the time is stick the plane on autopilot, put their feet up, and then plot how best to seduce an air hostess when they land. Thankfully, the seduction aspect is part of the 'on the job' training so I will chiefly have to teach them how to switch the autopilot on and how to put their feet up (preferably without disengaging said autopilot).

Taking off and landing is meant to be a little more difficult - especially when you get mixed up between the up and down controls - but I think the former is largely a case of putting your foot down and giving the joystick a good yank, while the latter just involves following the white lines (but stopping before the big terminal building at the end). However, to be on the safe side, I'm going to pop a copy of Ace Combat 5 on my PS2 later and get to grips with some of the more acrobatic manoeuvres - I'm sure they'll so impressed by the fact that I know how to execute a full barrel roll that they won't bother to ask me whether I can take off and land...

Another area of flight instruction that I'm happy to be involved in is tutoring the dos and don't of airline speak - for example it is perfectly acceptable for the Captain to say "We are experiencing some technical difficulties and will be forced to make an unscheduled landing to resolve these; there is no reason to worry and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you." but considerably less acceptable for the Captain to say. "The engines are a tad buggered, we're looking for somewhere vaguely flat to put down - but, frankly, it would be helpful if you knew how to swim..."

With such a combination of manual dexterity and piloting etiquette, I'm sure the Phoenix East Aviation Flight School will have a hard time turning me down...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Job No. 53 - Force Arson Reduction Officer

I was browsing the USA variant of Monster this morning when I stumbled across two particularly gruesome jobs...

The first vacancy was for a Hand Packer with the recruitment agency Manpower - a job whose primary skills were listed as 'inspecting, sorting and packaging' - but I didn't think it was really quite the job for me. As anyone who has ever received a present from me will readily testify, my packaging skills usually involve covering said present in a tangled mess of paper and then using thick swathes of sellotape in order to prevent the present from being opened without the use of an oxycetelene torch...and I'm sure hands are nothing if not difficult to pack...

The second vacancy, and very much along similar lines, was for a Hand Sorter working for Ocean Spray. I can only deduce the harvesting process of cranberries is such a haphazard one that they need to employ people to remove the variety of digits that accidentally end up amongst the fruit. However, even this seemed to require a level of manual dexterity several levels above mine - you see, I'm all fingers and thumbs when it comes to things like this...

So, instead, I took the advice of Nellie who posted a comment suggesting that I apply for the position of Force Arson Reduction Officer with Thames Valley Police.

Obviously arson has gotten to be such a large problem within the Thames Valley Police that they've decided they need to hire a full-time employee dedicated to stamping it out - and I say, it's about time. For far too long police officers have been able to get away with acts of wanton arson - and being bored, or having nothing to do and nowhere to go, is simply not an acceptable excuse...

There is a feeling amongst some police forces that a degree of arson is to be expected from their officers and they're prepared to turn a blind eye to minor acts, such as setting fire to wheelie bins or throwing fireworks into people's front gardens, as long as they don't escalate into more serious acts involving people, pets or major government buildings (or, indeed, any combination of these three). But, clearly, Thames Valley Police want to take the lead in tackling this problem and aim to show that they are not prepared to tolerate firebrands on their team...

In my personal statement, I hoped I would come across as an individual who wouldn't tolerate any kind of arsonist tendencies within serving police officers:

I believe I could assist Thames Valley in reducing the incidence of arson within its force area by acting to inform those who are thinking about committing such acts of the danger it can pose to themselves and others, and also trying to make them understand that just because they're at a loose end and are looking for something interesting to do, doesn't justify setting fire to something.

Too many police forces aren't tackling this problem with enough priority and, unless this type of programme is mirrored across the country then the dangers posed by arson are only likely to increase - without a comprehensive policy to stop this dangerous behaviour, I can only assume officers will continue to see a rise in this type of behaviour.

I also think that acting to catch potential arsonists early on would be beneficial - perhaps using the existing teaching network to point out any pupils that they feel are showing these types of tendencies. There are some police forces who consider this to be a low priority, as long its force is dealing with more visible crime, but I think Thames Valley should be congratulated for its endeavours in this area.


I'm sure that, if given the job, I will be able to find ways to reduce the incidence of police arson - hopefully by finding more productive activities for the police to channel their boredom and aggression into or give them somewhere to go so they're not just hanging around the streets all night looking for trouble...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Job No. 52 - Psychic Medium

In the past I have come across jobs that seemed interesting, I've come across jobs that looked a possible match and I've even come across the odd job that felt right - but, up until now, I'd never come across a job that was my destiny...

Today, while take an afternoon stroll around the internet, I stumbled across a vacancy for a Psychic Medium in Glasgow (on a Wednesday) - and the advert stated that "Only those who feel that working with the Tarot and the Psychic Arts is their destiny need apply". Well, I have to admit, I wasn't sure whether it was my destiny or not, so I decided that I should check by using the full spectrum of paranormal fortune telling at my disposal.

1) First of all I tried an online tarot reading - which gave me the following answer: "The essence of air behaving as water, such as a refreshing mist"

2) Then I decided that I should try out Stichomancy - which basically involves asking a question and then selecting a random passage from a book which is meant to offer insight. My tome of choice was the Yellow Pages and I received the following answer: "Peking Chef, Chinese Take-away, 01642 767070."

3) Finally, I decided to consult the I-Ching which turned up Hexagram 42 to represent the future giving me the answer. "There will be advantage in every movement which shall be undertaken, and it will even be advantageous to cross the great stream."

Now, this all made perfect sense to me.

First, we have two references to water - a refreshing mist (which clearly relates to the drizzle forecasted tonight in Glasgow) and a mention of 'crossing the great stream' which, I'm sure you'll agree, relates to my need to cross the River Tees in order to get there...

But, the clincher for me was the Stichomancy reading - this was pure dynamite. Peking Chef is a Chinese restaurant and China is in the East - and Glasgow is in the West. Which would seem to be a negative but it's a Tuesday today and Peking Chef is always closed on a Tuesday! Not only that but, my favourite items on the Peking Chef menu are number 15. Singapore Style Rice Noodles, number 11. Curry Sauce and number 12. Chips...and, by using numerology, we can see that my favourite items equal the number 2 (1+5+1+1+1+2= 11 = 1+1 = 2) - with the New Age definition of this number meaning "Hidden influences at work."

I rest my case. I am destined to take this job. I decided I should emphasise this fact within my application letter:

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to apply for the position of Psychic Medium, as advertised on your website.

Although my working life has been spent in the field of computer game design, I have always possessed a strong psychic ability and am an expert in the field of tarot cards. I have attached a suitable reference at the base of this email who will be willing to testify to my abilities in this area.

I am especially keen on 22 card spiritual readings, but am also fully capable of performing mundane readings with a full deck. I believe in the use of Orris root and the necessity of a cleansing ritual for cards prior to use (and keep my deck wrapped in purple cloth and within a walnut box for spiritual purity).

As soon as I saw the job I felt a tangible pull to the North West and I felt certain that my destiny lay with you. However, to be on the safe side, I performed a number of rituals to see whether our auras would be properly aligned and I was delighted to find that we would form a natural balance. In my divinations, the name Sam was prominent - I'm not sure if this means anything to you?

I feel certain you will feel the same spiritual bond when you read these words and can sense that I will be hearing from you very soon....

Regards

Oliver.


If ever there was a job that was a cast-iron certainty, surely this is it! Already I can sense strong positive psychic waves telling me to get ready to deliver my spiritual message to the people of Glasgow....

...on Wednesdays.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Job No. 51 - Executive Director

I began this afternoon by attempting to apply to be the new voice of the speaking clock - a job that is open to any UK resident by means of entering a competition at the BBC Children In Need website...

However, it seems that, even in a competition that is open to anyone, my application did not go well. I made the phonecall (which costs £1.50) and gave them a sample of my best speaking clock voice before being given the chance to answer a qualifying question that would allow my entry into the competition. Given three options, I selected the correct answer - but it appears even giving the right answer won my no favours with the BBC as a female voice told me "That is not an option. Goodbye" and immediately cut me off...

So, with my wallet £1.50 lighter and yet still no nearer to being the voice of the speaking clock I began to browse the Guardian jobs site rather randomly (it is a very good site to explore, especially if you approach the process with no sense of either purpose or direction) until I found myself in a position to answer a higher calling.

There are many, many Executive Director positions advertised on a myriad of recruitment websites but very few can boast of divine inspiration; you see, this position would see me - quite literally - on a mission from God as I would be working for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) as an Executive Director of Operation Noah.

As the job advert said, "Climate change is humanity's biggest challenge. Help the Churches lead the way."

I think this is excellent forethought on the behalf of the CTBI; after all, back in the day, Noah had to do everything himself without even the hint of a schedule or effective project managerial leadership. The initial contract is for two days per week for twelve months so I'm assuming things aren't too desparate just yet and there's plenty of time left for ark construction and animal gathering.

The position is based at the London HQ of CTBI which, rather helpfully, is only a couple of hundred yards from the Thames - thus allowing for the ark, in times of flood, to simply clear its moorings and float down Stamford Street before bearing hard to starboard and using Hatfields to majestically sweep its way past the BBC Television Centre and into the Thames (from which point, things become far easier in terms of navigation).

I'm hoping, as Executive Director, I would be given a little leeway in animal selection this time around as this idea of taking two of every species is surely a little old now - for example, I'd rather hope we can leave the wasps behind as they seem to be of very little use. Also, I'm certain the CTBI could make an absolute bundle if it were to sell space in the ark (perhaps to celebrities and their pets?). I was sure there would be plenty of opportunity to discuss these sorts of ideas during the course of my interview but wanted my personal statement to, at least, hint at them:

I am extremely interested in your project as I believe it is a necessity for the Church to take a lead in this area. The Church can be unfettered by the restrictions that a similar project would have in the commercial, or even governmental, arena and this means Operation Noah can be a huge success.

I have plenty of experience of managing complex technical projects against strict timescales and believe that this experience would be essential for the success of Operation Noah.

I am also creative and imaginative and would hope to be intimately involved with the decision process to ensure that we don’t rely on out-dated ideas. It is vital for Operation Noah to truly represent the 21st century and I feel that there are means to develop funding streams through the course of the project – especially with regard to celebrity involvement.

I'm certain, with me at the helm, Operation Noah can be a tremendous success. I plan to give London Zoo a ring tomorrow and see if I can negotiate some kind of sponsorship deal up front to show the CTBI I mean business...

Week 7 - Update

This week has been a busy one for me; I've had an interview on TFM, I've got the final piece of paperwork needed to complete my male escort application and I got a letter telling me that I'd been rejected by the University of Teesside as an Employer Engagment Co-ordinator as well as another rejection from ITV for my application as a Broadcast Journalist (apparently the standard of applications was high!)...

Of course, the big news of the week was being offered an interview for the position of Sheriff's Correction Officer in
Santa Barbara but, unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to attend as my funds don't quite stretch to a return flight to California at the moment! It's a shame, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be...

Oh, and some breaking news as I type it - Bleed The Sky have announced they've ended their search for a new guitarist. But it isn't me...I can only guess that my application got lost in cyberspace somewhere...

I'm not disheartened though; after all, I'm sure the right job for me is just around the corner...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Job No. 50 - Warehouse Wizard

Today marks the halfway point in my (almost epic) quest to apply for 100 unsuitable jobs...

Having applied for fifty jobs, it now feels like I've at last begun to make some significant progress - that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting a little bit closer - so I chose to celebrate with a couple of Tesco's finest pecan pies (which I can heartily recommend) and a cup of tea before promising myself that tomorrow would definitely mark the beginning of my all-new health and fitness regime...

I found today's job while taking a stroll through Craigs List - more specifically, the Los Angeles version of the list - and my interest was immediately piqued at the prospect of becoming a Warehouse Wizard.

At first, I must admit, I was a little wary - I've seen quite enough Paul Daniels and David Blaine TV shows to last me a lifetime and the thought of having to pull rabbits out of hats or conjure coloured ribbons from thin air for the entertainment of my warehouse colleagues left me almost entirely uninspired. But, just as I was beginning to doubt whether this was the right vacancy for me, I read further into the job description and found that the applicant needed to be:

"Not afraid to pick up a broom and chip in where needed"

This was wonderful news! Instantly my impression of the vacancy changed - no longer did I have the image of myself trying my best to impersonate David Copperfield; instead I could see that this position was more focused on true paranormal abilities. Like a warehouse-bound Harry Potter, I would be expected to levitate crates, magically wrap parcels and perhaps ensure that the post owls are well fed and groomed...

My previous experience of warehouse work had been as a teenager when I worked part-time for B&Q - but my main memories of this time seem to be of hiding in the warehouse to avoid having to answer tannoy calls to mix paint, sunbathing outside when the boss was away and driving the forklift truck (despite having no license). But, despite this extensive warehouse experience, my knowledge of magic is severely limited - I'm hoping that this is an area where training can perhaps be given on-site? I decided to find out some more during the course of my application letter:

Dear Carly

I would like to apply for the position of Warehouse Wizard, as advertised on the Craig's List website and have attached a copy of my resume and references with this email. I was also hoping that you could clarify a couple of aspects of the job...

Although I have extensive warehouse experience, I think that it is possible that I would need some training on-site in order to fully adapt to your requirements. That being said, I am an extremely quick learner and I'm sure that - given decent tuition - I could soon be carrying out all your wishes.

I noted that the applicant needs to not be afraid to pick up a broom and chip in - well, I'm certainly not afraid to chip in! I'm always interested to get involved and help out; the only slight fear I have is vertigo but as long as I wasn't required to operate at too great a height, I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem.

I trust you will give my application serious consideration and look forward to hearing from you soon...

Regards

Oliver.


And so, I now intend to go and reread all of the Harry Potter books (even the last two that I found not quite so interesting) so that, by the time they call me in for an interview, I am fully conversant on the more topical issues in modern sorcery...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Job No. 49 - Substance Misuse Trainer

Today, after only a limited degree of job site wandering, I found a position on the Guardian website that would allow me to help many, many people - Substance Misuse Trainer for the Children's Society...

The area of drug and alcohol usage amongst young people is clearly one that needs to be addressed - it seems obvious to me that too few children and teenagers are being given enough accurate information about the various substances that can be abused and, when looking at the figures, it is apparent that there is considerable room for improvement...

A recent survey commissioned by MTV revealed that 35% of those questioned had attended school either on drugs or while drunk, with 49% having tried cannabis and and 12% ecstacy. Additionally, a separate study shows that 29% of 15-16 year old girls, and 26% of 15-16 year old boys regularly binge drink.

I'm not sure whether the project is aimed purely at tackling the numbers or whether it's also concerned with encouraging a greater level of sophistication in the youths it deals with. For example, it seems to me to be relatively easy to simply raise the figures (perhaps a campaign whereby free Alcopops are given away outside school gates) but would it not be better to educate children in what types of substances are the most effective? Too often it's possible to see gangs of youths drinking from a two litre bottle of Strongbow or sharing a four pack of Tennents Super - instead we should be encouraging them to move onto higher grade spirits such as Tequila and Vodka (perhaps through some kind of discount voucher scheme?).

With regard to training children in drug misuse, I believe we should try and supply them with more information on the pricing and potency of individual drugs and then find a way to move the dealing network directly into the classrooms. In fact, seeing as how teachers often find it so hard to make ends meet, it would be a sterling idea to combine the role of teacher and dealer so that it is possible for teachers to make a little extra cash on the side. It may even help improve discipline in the classroom - "Be quiet at the back Johnny or I won't sell you any smack until tomorrow..."

With a wealth of equally innovative substance misuse training ideas bubbling away I decided to strike while the iron was hot and apply, ensuring that I at least hinted at the fantastic initiatives I'd managed to come up with this afternoon in the supporting statement of my application:

Although I am not trained in Substance Misuse, I still feel I could make a considerable difference to the children within your project.

I have a wide range of ideas on how to improve matters - from making sure children have access to the right information, to giveaways outside school gates and even looking at ways in which teachers could adapt to act as an important supply conduit that will further reinforce the aims of the service.

I hope my enthusiasm will be given due credit and I would be happy to discuss my ideas with you at greater length if necessary.


Hopefully they'll forgive my lack of professional qualifications and recognise the power of my vision, for a world where all children are trained how to properly misuse substances...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Job No. 48 - Senior Reporter

Today I decided to gather up my small collection of writing skills and try to put them to use in the highly competitive world of journalism...

And while newspaper journalism is sort of interesting (and may win you pulitzer prizes), I knew that I wanted to aim for loftier goals, I wanted to set my sights on writing for a publication that would not only satisfy my ego but also my artistic soul. Which is why I did my best to apply to Heat Magazine - I even researched and wrote a sample article - but, unfortunately, it seems that the publishers of the magazine (Emap) don't appear to be looking for any journalists at the moment.

What to do? It seemed such a shame to waste all my effort and research so, I decided that rather than simply abandoning my fledgling article, I should try and find another journalism job where I could salvage it. Which is why, today, I decided to apply to be Senior Journalist for Off License News.

The job advert said a knowledge of wines, beers and spirits would be helpful and, while I can certainly testify to some first hand experience in this area, I knew that I would only really impress them by showing them that I could do what they asked and 'produce exclusive and eye-catching articles'. All I needed to do was to rejig my earlier celebrity story a bit and, voila! - an Off License centric article was born:

"Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been struggling to get along recently, alleges Ellie Harbaker, who claims to have seen them arguing at her local Off License in Wigan.

"They were shouting and cursing each other in the wine section," explained Mrs Harbaker, 49. "Brad wanted Blue Nun but Angelina was putting her foot down and saying she wouldn't settle for anything less than a bottle of Black Tower.

***

In a surprise announcement, Tom Cruise revealed today that the Scientology movement is hoping to strike a deal with well-known British Off License, Threshers, which will see Scientologists operating from all 2,000 of the company's stores including The Local and The Wine Rack. The news comes as blow for the South England based Off License, Unwins, which had been in negotiations with Scientologists for the last few months.

***

Kate Moss and Pete Docherty were spotted leaving a London Off License at the weekend, holding hands in a gesture that seems to be intended to quash rumours they are close to breaking up again. Kate was wearing a crushed velvet gold top, short black skirt, a Dior belt (on the hips rather than cinched), Marc Jacobs ankle boots and her trademark oversized sunglasses.


Admittedly, I had to rejig a smidgen; I had to change the location and the reason that Brad and Angelina were arguing, and I had to change absolutely everything about the Tom Cruise Scientology story (it was hard to work in the Off License angle otherwise) but I only had to change one small detail in the Kate Moss story so I figured that balanced things out in the long run...

I was certain that my journalistic genius would shine through but thought it best to let them know that, while previously celebrity journalism had been my aim, I could write on any subject, in any style:

Dear Claire

I wish to apply for the position of Senior Reporter for Off License News and have attached a recent CV for your consideration.

My principle journalistic focus has tended to be the cult of celebrity but I am keen to expand my expertise into other areas and prove my writing skills aren't one dimensional. I believe that I could help you produce the exclusive and eye-catching articles you are looking for.

I have also attached a sample of a recent article as a demonstration of my writing style. I very much look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Oliver


I'm certain they will be back to me quite soon - no doubt asking me to do an exclusive and eye-catching feature on 'too-thin celebrities who are addicted to off licenses and want to adopt children from Botswana' or something similar...

Special News Update - Part 3

Well, my BIG news of the day is that I have had my first request to come in for an interview!

Unfortunately, the interview would require a bit of travelling as it's for the position of Sheriff's Correction Officer in Santa Barbara on November 4th...

I have a desire to go to the interview dressed in a pin-stripe suit, a bowler hat and while adopting the most plummy English accent I can manage - and do my level best to improve their etiquette while I'm there (always best to show them you mean business early on!). Now I just need to find a kind hearted philanthropist willing to donate to my travelling expenses...

Special News Update - Part 2

Today, I was invited into the TFM studios to record a proper newsreader demo - special thanks to Giles Tanner, Producer at TFM who recorded and mixed my demo so that it sounded totally professional (well, as professional as I can sound!).

I recorded two small snippets of video diary today; the first is while I'm at home, prior to going to TFM, and the second is while I'm in the studio, just after I've recorded my demo...

I'll post an extract of my official newsreading demo a bit later...

Special News Update - Part 1

Well, this morning, I received an interesting letter through the post - it came from Scotland Yard and it told me, officially, that the police have no record of me (I find it always helps to use a false name when out committing crimes!). What this means in the grand scheme of things is that I now have the final piece of the puzzle with regard to completing my very first job application...

I will now return my form to Cavendish Knights and, by next week, I may well be on the list of male escorts on their website...

Update - TFM Interview Online

Just a quick update to let you know that, if you would like to hear the interview I did yesterday with TFM, you can do so now by going here: http://www.solsbury-hill.co.uk/tfminterview6.mp3

I also hope to have some interesting news later!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Job No. 47 - Director of Fabricated Services

While looking through the US version of CareerBuilder, I thought it might be an idea (after applying to be Head of Medical Affairs the other day) to apply to be an Infectious Disease Pharmacist...

I'd be working for a non-profit medical organisation whose aim is clearly to ensure that they are able to maintain the rate of infectious diseases within the mid-Hudson Valley area of New York and, thus, ensure that they keep their fellow clinics and hospitals in business. However, I wasn't too sure about the idea of exposing myself to all manner of viruses on a daily basis and, I have to admit, my conscience was pricked slightly at the thought of all the innocent customers popping into the pharmacy to grab some shopping, and leaving with a lot more than they bargained for...

So, I took the decision to pass up on infectious diseases and instead look for something else; a job where I would feel more at home, a job where I could put my skills and experience to good use. And, obviously, I earned myself some good karma by ignoring the evil pharmacist job because only a few minutes later I found myself this beauty - Director of Fabricated Services.

Working in the Steel Industry, the job seems to entail directing services that don't actually exist - which seems the chief ingredient necessary for an extremely relaxing working day! I also think it's nice that they've dressed up the title somewhat - after all, Director of Fake Services would have done just as well or perhaps Director Who Lies (although, admittedly, this title may not have narrowed you down quite enough within the corporate structure).

I decided that the only way to impress them was to use a considerable amount of fabrication in my application letter:

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to apply for the position of Director of Fabricated Services, as advertised on the Career Builder website.

I have more than twenty years experience in the business of fabrication and believe myself to be something of an expert in this area...

I am an accomplished lecturer and researcher in the area of carbon steel - indeed, my grandfather invented many of the most common forms of carbon steel production - and I have lectured as far afield as Brunei and Papua New Guinea on advanced methodologies. I also provide extensive economic advice to the UK's Prime Minister, Tony Blair and frequently play tennis and lawn billiards with Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.

More recently, I have been studying requirements for the production of exotic matter, using the pseudo-negative pressure density produced by the Casimir Effect as a template for the creation of non-baryonic particles - which hopefully will lead to the possibility of structural reinforcement of Einstein-Rosen Bridges.

Outside of work, my interests include chess (I am ranked in the world's top ten), endurance swimming (I intend to swim across the Bering Strait next summer) and race driving tuition (I have tutored a number of current Formula 1 drivers including Fernando Alonso). However, I don't allow my private life to interfere or encroach upon my career.

I look forward to hearing from you soon...

Regards

Sir Oliver Davies


With at least eleven direct lies, I'm sure that there was quite enough fabrication in my application letter for them to see that I am definitely the man for this particular job...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Job No. 46 - Research Director

Today, I decided to embark upon another foray into the world of Higher Education after seeing an advertisement for a role that I was surely well equipped to handle. After all, having recently been considered both as a Graduate Assistant to Stephen Hawking and Deputy Director of NASA's Exploration of the Universe Division, I thought I may well have just what it takes to be appointed as Research Director of the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering at Harvard University in the USA...

Harvard is, by all accounts, just about the finest University in the world (at least, according the Times World University Rankings) and has seen a fair few recognisable alumni (Theodore Roosevelt, John F Kennedy and T.S Eliot to name but three) since it opened in 1636. But, more importantly, the salary is between $100,000 and $170,000 - and I'm quite prepared to direct just about any kind of research you want for that sort of money...

The job advert requested a 'broad scientific background', which is obviously something I can definitely boast having studied not one, not two but three different sciences. Admittedly, my scientific research in the fields of Physics, Biology and Chemistry was carried out between the ages of 11 and 14 and involved topics such as the reproductive cycle of the frog, making people's hair stand on end using a Van De Graaf generator and learning the best method of setting fire to your chemistry partner's pencil case with a bunsen burner...

I ignored the bit about needing a PhD in Physics (since I'm sure a bit of paper will not make a huge difference to my chances) and decided to focus on the requirement for excellent written communication skills - which I decided was surely something that I could demonstrate during the course of my covering letter:

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to apply for the position of
Research Director of the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering and have included my CV for your consideration.

I have an extremely broad knowledge of science and am interested in a wide range of subjects, with my personal interests running the gamut from reproductive science, to the mechanics of electrostatic physics, to the practical applications of thermodynamic chemistry. Science is a subject whose subject matter is, to all extents, limitless and consequently even though I have many years of experience I still feel there is always more for me to learn.

I possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, have experience of both team and fund management and believe I could assist Harvard attain new levels of success in the fields of Quantum Science and Engineering.

In addition, I was recently considered for both an important position with Stephen Hawking's Relativity Group and a senior NASA position.

Regards

Oliver Davies.


I am sure Harvard will be impressed by my scientific pedigree and my cunning (and very subtle) name dropping at the end of my covering letter are certain to secure me extra brownie points (and a swift reply and interview request)...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Job No. 45 - Head of Medical Affairs

I began today thinking that it would be quite nice to apply to MI6 (or SIS as it seems to prefer being called these days) as a secret agent - after all, quite a few people have suggested it over the past couple of weeks (perhaps thinking, after having seen me doing my James Bond impression, that I look suitably dashing). However, my agenting dreams were firmly dashed when I read on the SIS recruitment website that you aren't allowed to discuss your application with anyone - which would rather limit my ability to write much about the process....

So, instead, I turned my attention to a position that requires similar levels of discretion and secrecy - Head of Medical Affairs...

Now, I've watched enough episodes of ER and Nip/Tuck to know that the Doctors and Nurses spend far more time checking each other's vitals than they ever do looking after the patients so it comes as little surprise to me that it is necessary to employ a member of staff purely to manage these complex relationships.

It is, I'm certain, likely to be an arduous role - making sure I'm there to answer the phone for Doctor Jones and tell his wife he can't come the phone because he's hard at it in the operating room; or steering Doctor Smith's boyfriend down a corridor to make sure he doesn't walk in on her while she's giving one of the interns a thorough physical examination - but I'm sure I'll still be able to get on top of everything...

I also noted in the job description a requirement to be an expert in infectious diseases - I mean really! You'd think Doctors would know better, wouldn't you? But it seems that even they sometimes forget to practise what they preach...

My application letter highlighted my discretionary values:

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to apply for the position of Head of Medical Affairs, as advertised on Monster.com, and have attached a recent CV for your consideration.

I am very much aware of how important this role is in the smooth running of your company and I would hope that I could provide not only clear management but also assist in developing relationships across the board. I have excellent interpersonal skills and would be keen to demonstrate my sensitivity to the issues, while showing that I can tackle any problems that may arise during the course of my duties.

Regards

Oliver.


And while I look forward to dealing with the assortment of delicate issues that will present themselves during the course of my duties, I decided that I would draw the line at a similar position that was advertised on the same recruitment site...

Somehow I think Mortuary Affairs Supervisor would be an altogether less pleasant assignment...

Special Update - Newsreader Demo

A number of weeks ago, I applied to TFM for the position of Newsreader and, last week, they got back to me to ask if I could submit a demo for them to have a listen to...

So, yesterday I recorded a short demo of me reading the news, which can heard if you go here: http://www.solsbury-hill.co.uk/news.mp3

Now - since this is a demo for a Teesside based radio station, I had to slant the news for the North East. Consequently, there will be many people out there who have no idea what a Parmo is. And I say to those people, rejoice! However, if you are a brave soul and would like to know more about this particular delicacy, then you can go here to find out about the wonders of Teesside cuisine. But please remember that I did warn you...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Job No. 44 - Chair Statistics

I almost applied to be a Wind Tunnel Operator today, when I discovered the vacancy on the Daily Telegraph jobs site but, although the salary appeared to be quite reasonable, I decided it wasn't really quite the job for me. The position called for:

"A practical hands-on approach."

But, I thought to myself, would I really get a great deal of job satisfaction from flicking a switch to turn a wind tunnel on and off a couple of times a day? Sure, it wouldn't be the most stressful or tiring of jobs, but it's hard to imagine how varied the work could be. I can almost imagine the exciting work related conversations that take place as the Wind Tunnel Operators chat over lunch about how many times they have each turned the wind tunnel on and off that particular day. "I did it five times this morning!" "Five times? Pah - five times is nothing! I did it seven!" And then there's bound to be a wizened old operator who'll sit back in his seat, twiddle his greying moustache between his fingers and say to himself (in a voice loud enough for the whole canteen to hear). "When I were a lad, we used to have t'turn wind tunnel on fifty times every morning - and that were before we even got t'work..."

No, a life in wind tunnel operation is not for me...

So, instead, I decided that I would apply to be a Chair Statistics at the University of Otago in New Zealand. My understanding of the role is that one prepares and analyses all forms of statistical data as and when it relates to chairs - which surely can't be that often one would have thought...

I decided that, in order to impress upon them my seriousness in the matter of chair statistics, I would need to conjure up some highly interesting facts for them. So, armed only with an old musical Casio calculator and a Google search engine, I worked hard to come up with the following personal statement:

I have a great interest in statistics and have developed the following statistical information in order to illustrate my love for the subject, and statistics in general:

The cinema with the most chairs is the Radio City Music Hall in New York with 5,910 seats. However, if the entire population of China were to be filtered through this cinema, it would take 221,035 viewings before they had all managed to see the film. Assuming they all watch Star Wars Episode IV (A New Hope), with a running time of 2hr 1min, and it takes an additional ten minutes to fill and empty the cinema (using a highly organised system) then it would take 55 years and 33 days for the entire population of China to be able to watch it.

Furthermore, assuming that each person attending the cinema eats one 85 oz. container full of popcorn (113g) and drinks one 32 oz. cold beverage then, in total, over the fifty five year period, the population of China would consume 147, 613 tonnes of popcorn and 627,030,629 litres of cold beverage.


I am certain my display of statistical acumen will highlight the reasons why, at the very least, they should pay for me to fly to New Zealand and give me an extended tour of the facilities...

Week 6 - Update

This week, I received a reply from the Barrafina restaurant about my application to be their Head Chef; unfortunately it seems that they have decided to ignore my catering enthusiasm and love of raw ingredients and, instead, promote from within:

I am sorry we didn't get back to you back in September. We have decided to appoint our sous chef at Fino as head chef for Barrafina. I am sorry but off hand I can't remeber your CV. If you would like my comments on it please send it through again and I would be delighted to give you some feedback.

I, of course, was only too happy to send my CV again in order to get the opinion of a well-renowned restaurant owner but did confess that it was, perhaps, "skewed a little in the wrong direction" - something he agreed on in his reply:

I have looked at your CV and you are right it is a little skewed for the catering profession. We would expect anyone applying for the position of Head Chef to have at least 8 years experience working in professional kitchens operating at a high level..

However, it then dawned upon me that, in my initial application for the position, I had failed to include mention of my extensive catering experience! So, as quickly as I could manage, I wrote back to explain that:

"...I realised, after sending you my CV, that I had not included my experience of working in the kitchen at the Loyal Lodge pub (as part of my bar keeping duties). I prepared a range of meals including steak and chips, gammon and chips (with a choice of egg or pineapple) and jam rolly-polly (with custard). I hope this omission didn’t harm my chances too much…"

I've not heard back from him yet. But I'm sure it's only a matter of time...

In other news, I've finally got around to sorting out an mp3 of last week's TFM interview; so if you would like to hear it, please go here: http://www.solsbury-hill.co.uk/tfminterview5.mp3

And finally, no news yet to report on the book front...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Job No. 43 - Bodyguard

While browsing through the jobs available on the USA version of Monster, I found a job that was obviously the sort of thing I should be doing with my time - being a Bodyguard in Los Angeles with Gavin De Becker & Associates...

Having almost watched The Bodyguard (with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston) on at least three separate occasions, I figured that I was pretty au fait with the general concept - but, just to refresh my mind, I checked out out one of the movie posters and learnt that there are actually three rules in the bodyguard business:

1) Never let her out of your sight.
2) Never let your guard down.
3) Never fall in love.

I'm not sure how literally you have to take the first rule as it seems that, if you follow it to the letter, you will end up with a very intimate level of knowledge about your client - which may well, indirectly, lead to a breach of rule number 3. Hmm. It appears that the world of bodyguarding is perhaps not as straight forward as I had first imagined...

However, aside from my worries about possible rule contradiction, I now felt fairly secure in my knowledge of what it takes to be a bodyguard...

The job advert said that they were seeking "Men and women with integrity and high ethical standards", which made wonder where exactly ethics comes into bodyguarding. Perhaps they are looking for bodyguards who will refuse to protect certain clients on moral grounds? This, to me, sounds a good excuse to blame your ethics if everything goes tits up and your client ends up dead on your watch. "Cowardice doesn't come into it! I would have got in front of that bullet but you see, it would have gone against the grain of my ethical belief system..."

They also asked for "resourceful problem solvers" - which is possibly related to the logic problems I've identified within the three rule system - and set out a physical requirement test that all bodyguards have to pass, which is as follows:

40 Push-ups in 2 minutes or less
40 Sit-ups in 2 minutes or less
5 Pull-ups (Overhand, starting in a dead-hang)
Bench Press 100% of your body weight
1 Mile Run in 8 minutes or less


Now, I go to the gym (when I remember) but I'm not in amazing shape by any means - so when I tried out this test this afternoon and found that I could do it, I found it rather worrying. You see, to my mind, if I was going to pay thousands to hire a bodyguard, I'd expect him to be super-fit - not passably fit. Still, it's Gavin who makes the rules, so if he thinks that I'm in adequate physical shape then I guess I must be...

In my application letter, I set out my high ethical standards and my knowledge of the three rule system:

Dear Gavin

I wish to apply for the position of Bodyguard, as advertised on the Monster recruitment website, and have attached a recent resume for your consideration.

Although I have not worked as a Bodyguard before, I have studied the subject in-depth and have learnt, by heart, the important three rule system that encapsulates bodyguarding etiquette and logic.

In addition, I possess both integrity and high ethical standards and would be willing to do my utmost to protect the right client.

I look forward to hearing from you soon...

Regards

Oliver.


Assuming I can pass the physical test on location, I may soon be walking the mean streets of LA, protecting the likes of Snoop Dogg and Britney Spears...assuming they can pass my moral litmus test, of course...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Job No. 42 - Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator

Today was one of those days when I found two exciting jobs (both of them on the Daily Telegraph jobs pages) and then proceeded to mentally struggle all afternoon over which of the jobs to actually apply for. Now, the sensible thing to do in such situations would surely be to apply for one of the exciting jobs today, leaving a second exciting job to be applied for tomorrow. But, since I'm not very sensible, I instead wrestled gainfully with the decision...

The first job sounded like it would allow me to replay some of the more enjoyable moments of my childhood as I would be employed as a Lunch Time Play Manager - where the job advert invited me to "come and hop, skip and jump!"

I envisioned being able to organise games of conkers, to be the one who counts in a game of hide-and-seek, picking the sides in a game of football, being 'it' in a game of tig - but just as I was about to put pen to paper on my application letter I realised that my picture of childhood seemed to have been taken straight from an Enid Blyton novel and that today's Lunch Time Play Manager was more likely on hand to sort out PIN-code locked mobile phones, fix iPods and handing out condoms. It didn't seem quite so romantic then...

So, instead, I decided to apply for a job that promised to be exciting, challenging and guaranteed to make me extremely unpopular with a large swathe of Leicestershire - Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator. I would be working for North West Leicester District Council where I would be part of a team that was intended to "enable, influence and direct local agendas/activities."

I have to assume that the vast majority of anti-social behaviour in North West Leicester is rather uncoordinated; a gang of youths smashing a couple of windows here, a display of public lewdness there; and, consequently, the council are rather ashamed of how poorly they are performing in this particular area in comparison to other districts in the UK such as Moss Side and Lambeth. With this appointment, it is clear that the council hopes to not only find ways to develop the potential of local anti-social behaviour but also wishes to document these changes - since one of the primary responsibilities is to "maintain accurate records in a thorough and organised manner."

I'm sure that, with decent co-ordination, the level of anti-social behaviour could be suitably increased while also enhancing effectiveness. I would suggest using mobile phone and PC technology to ensure that all forms of anti-social behaviour are properly managed - for example, sending SMS messages in order to let people know that we are beginning a drive to increase levels of public drunkenness, or using emails to inform people on more practical subjects such as how best to organise illegal raves. In my application's supporting statement I made sure they knew I had lots of ideas on the subject:

I believe I could help North West Leicester District Council achieve their targets with anti-social behaviour. I believe that with proper co-ordination, it would be possible to take the performance of the Council to a level that would put it on par with the very best in the country. I also feel communication lies at the very heart of tackling current problems and that, if we work to deal with this we can improve matters considerably. In addition, information is key - we need to disseminate information to the public so they are properly equipped and motivated in this area.

Hopefully, my commitment to success will be rewarded and I will be co-ordinating acts of wanton vandalism in the very near future...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Job No. 41 - Dreamer/Poet

Today was a bit of a strange day in the sphere of job hunting...

First of all, I was meandering my way through the film and television roles that are currently being cast at Mandy's Film & TV Production Directory when I happened across a role that seemed absolutely perfect for me in a short film called Dragonfly, which was described as follows:

"The film follows an oblivious sleeping man in bed as he is transported out of his bedroom through the countryside and finally positioned on a stage in front of a full house of avid theatre goers. Surreal and Slightly Absurd"

Obviously, there was only one part in the film that interested me and I was amazed to find that the description of the person they were looking for to be their sleeping man wasn't a million miles away from me:

"Male, 31-40yrs old, any ethnicity. A young dreamer with a subtly funny face, curly hair. Afro would be good."

Ok, so I haven't got an Afro and some would argue that there is little subtle about the funniness of my face but - apart from that - I'm surely made for the part. And, for those of you saying 'But Oliver, you've never acted in your life, apart from in the school play when you were eight (which doesn't really count)' I refer you again to the film description...

My role entails sleeping. In a bed. While being carried around.

Obviously, I'll be asking the Director what my motivation is in sleeping all this time - and will be depriving myself of sleep for six days prior to the shoot so I can be as authentic as possible. I put it to you that they will struggle to find another 31-40 year old, curly haired, subtly funny faced dreamer with anywhere near the amount of screen presence I'd bring to the role...

However, since that application felt like little more than half a job application (especially as it's low/no pay!) I decided to follow the advice of Gill who suggested, in my comments, that I keep an eye out for a daydreamer/poet position and decided since I had the dreamer part, I now needed to find a poetry vacancy...

Well, I cheated. Not a lot. Just a little tiny bit.

You see, I didn't find a poetry job, but I did find a poetry contest - so I figured that one low paid acting role and one poetry contest when added together just about averaged a full application...

My task for the poetry contest was to submit a poem of no more than twenty lines, on any subject, in any style. Therefore, I decided to pull out the dependable old rhyming couplets and write a poem about my blog...

This is a story, in just twenty lines
About a man who, for one hundred times
Applied for jobs he didn't quite suit
After being out of work (frankly, they gave him the boot)
He sat down and wrote a fantastic CV
Then applied and applied for all he could see
That he was lacking in skills, mattered not a jot
Good job and bad jobs, he applied for the lot
He'd sit by his PC and wait for an answer
(and even applied as lap(stroke)pole dancer)
A Director of NASA and an officer of correction,
Assistant to Stephen Hawking (providing reflection)
Thrash metal guitarist, presenting news on TV
Just a few of things he attempted to be
People would ask him, are you quite mad?
But he told them that it stopped him feeling so sad.
As time went on, his madness grew deeper
(and applied as a part-time Antelope Keeper)
How this story ends, it's still hard to say,
But he'd love a writing gig (with really good pay!)

You never know, maybe there's an opening for a deputy Poet Laureate somewhere?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Job No. 40 - Country Director

Ever the fan of grandiose job titles, I couldn't help but being impressed today when - while browsing through the ever dependable USA Jobs website - I found a vacancy for a Country Director working for the Peace Corp...

Now, I had to do a bit of checking to find out exactly what a Country Director does but it seems that the job entails you being in charge of hundreds of Peace Corp volunteers plus up to fifty Peace Corp full-time employees and a multi-million dollar budget. Which sounds quite easy...

Not only do I have plenty of experience of managing teams (by my reckoning I've been in charge of at least five game development teams over the last ten years) and wasting multi-million dollar budgets but also, if there's one thing I've learnt from being in the game industry it is that the further up the management ladder you manage to climb, the less work you actually have to bother doing. Consequently, by the time you have clambered all the way to the very top of the greasy career pole to be a Country Director, you have dispensation to do absolutely nothing all day long...

I can already imagine how my average day is likely to go; breeze into a suitably exotic country on a late morning commuter flight from Teesside, walk swiftly through the office nodding in the vague direction of my minions (communication via nodding is taught at management school as an essential tactic since it saves the nuisance of having to learn the names of your underlings) before shutting myself away in my office for an hour while I check out what's been happening on my favourite websites (aided only by a fresh pot of tea delivered to me at regular fifteen minute intervals). With the hard part of the day out of the way, it's soon time for an extended lunch; returning in time to have a twenty minute meeting with my senior staff where I eat biscuits and delegate any work that might hinder my ability to relax. With that done, I can wander the office delivering glib motivational one-liners for half an hour or so (to make sure team morale is at its optimum level) before retiring to my office, secure in the knowledge I've done my bit, to spend the afternoon sharpening my all-important Solitaire skills. Then, before you know it, it's 4pm and time to march out of the office (carrying a bulging briefcase and laptop for effect) with my best harried expression (which I practise each morning in the mirror), handing out a few curt nods on my way, before catching an early flight back to good old Blighty...

However, I realised an important piece of information was missing from the job advert - the country that I would be directing.

This is, I'm sure you'll agree, very important. After all, I imagine it is much easier to direct a small country such as Monaco than it is to direct a far larger country such as, say, India. Equally, if possible, I'd like to try and direct somewhere that's not likely to see any kind of civil war, insurgency or popular uprising and where they have clement weather and you can get a decent cup of Earl Grey (I've heard St. Barthelemy is meant to be quite nice). I decided to delicately touch upon the issue in my application letter...

Dear Marc

I wish to apply for the position of Country Director, as advertised on the USA Jobs site, and have attached my most recent resume.

Not only do I have extensive experience of team management and handling multi-million dollar budgets but, during the last six years of my consultancy work, I have been responsible for the vision of the projects I've worked on. I always make sure that, while my primary responsibility is to manage the team, I am mindful of the fact that we will always be judged by our results.

I have extensive experience of dealing with the media - most recently being interviewed for BBC Radio 5 - and believe I have the necessary skills to succeed within the role.

The job advert did not specify exactly where the position would be stationed and, while I am obviously prepared to travel wherever the job takes me, I would be especially interested to know whether you have any current roles available in the Caribbean?

Regards

Oliver


I feel sure this marginal bending of the truth will be enough to convince them that I am, indeed, the man for the job and, before long, I could be directing a country (not so) near you...