The knowledge that, thanks to this bloody virus, I may soon find myself looking for work has slowly, slowly, slowly eaten its way into my consciousness. At some future point, considerably earlier than originally anticipated, I will find myself unemployed and, in the absence of any discernible talent, trying to persuade somebody that it would be in their interest to offer me work. It is almost forty years since my last formal interview – and, truth be told, I wasn’t very good at it then. I am by nature nervous and when anxiety kicks in I have a tendency to lose control of my mouth. I anticipate that, should I be fortunate enough to secure a meeting, I will suffer from a level of nervousness similar to that I endured the first time I dared to pull up my own zip, possibly leading to a degree of incoherence most often associated with a Tarrantino outtakes reel. There can be little point in memorising a string of pithy epithets if they are to be delivered in the kind of rambling babble employed by politicians when addressing an audience that they do not consider worthy of their time. (Actually, I’ve just read that sentence through and realised that I could have stopped at ‘politicians’.)
For the first time in my life, I am contemplating my CV and its companion, the personal statement, with absolutely no idea of what they should contain. It doesn’t help that I have a skill-set that would embarrass a Lilliputian imbecile. Faced with the question, ‘So, what do you think you could bring to the party?’ I would have to answer, honestly, ‘A trifle.’ I have been trying to think what I might have to offer; what might make me attractive to a prospective employer, but I can’t actually get beyond ‘Cheap’.
In this country, it is (theoretically) illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age, never-the-less, I must hope that any prospective interviewer is even more short-sighted than I, if looking for a man in his prime: they can be very creative in inventing reasons not to employ you, e.g. you’re rubbish.
So, in the hope that I can produce something that will entice an offer of employment rather than a fevered phone call to the emergency intervention team, I have made a few notes, in the expectation that you may be able to advise me what it’s best to include. Please feel free to contribute…
I have been married for forty years and so have no problem whatsoever in doing as I’m told. I am willing to learn, although sometimes a little slow on the uptake (I have only just realised that the Pied Piper of Hamelin is not a variety of potato). I am presentable enough and used to wearing a suit, although I don’t do so well with ties these days: having a neck like an all-in wrestler’s thigh, I keep finding the knot has migrated to a spot just below my left ear and that I cannot swallow without making the kind of gurgling noises usually associated with a surfacing submarine. I am happy to wear a uniform, although I don’t feel that I am best-suited to lycra and polyester brings me out in a rash. My teeth are all my own, although they do have rather more ‘growing room’ than they did in my prime.
I am very much a ‘people person’ and I do suffer fools gladly (which is just as well, since I am one). I tend to thrive in a team environment – as long as it does not undertake anything that could, even vaguely, be described as ‘gruelling’. I am probably too reliant on regular showering and easy access to flushing ‘amenities’ to be of much use in any team-bonding exercises that are not centred around fully catered lunch and dinner breaks. I cannot sleep to the sound of insects and I am allergic to tents.
Fortunately, my work-time memory is very good and providing the toilet doors are clearly labelled there should be no problems for me there.
I am a good time-keeper – sorry, I have a good time-keeper. It was given to me by my father. I wind it every day and it goes for most of them. Occasionally it tells the same time as the TV, but only during repeats. I am never late and am extremely reliable. You can depend on me to always do the best that I am able, even if that’s not very good, which it isn’t, if I’m honest… I do have my own pen.
I am completely trustworthy and have never been in trouble with the police – unless you count the incident in the orchard in 1969. The constable ‘clipped my ear’ then. It never did me any harm. Well, it did: it perforated my ear-drum, but it taught me an important lesson – don’t get caught. That was a joke, by the way. I do that. People say that I am the life and soul of the party. I am good for morale as I give everybody else someone to look down on.
If you decide to employ me, I will not let you down. I will turn up on time, I will not leave early, and between times I will probably be quite adequate at whatever it is you might ask me to do. Possibly. Depending upon what it is that you actually ask me to do. Providing it doesn’t involves snakes. Or confrontation. Or people that raise their voices…
May I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read my CV. I would be delighted to hear from you should you have a suitable position available and not just because you want to call me a moron, obviously.
In these difficult times, I have taken the liberty of printing on absorbent paper. I hope it helps.