Last week, I discussed how it felt to find myself unemployed and to go out looking for work when you have a family to support.
This week, we discuss one of the most essential parts of the job application process: The Job Description.
If you’re unemployed, then the chances are, you’ll be prone to depression. If you are unlucky to be depressed, then the process of applying for jobs becomes a lot harder. Your mind almost deliberately sets out to sabotage your mission: Small things become big things. Friendly corporations become scary hell-dictatorships staffed by bastards. Job descriptions become hopelessly intimidating.
Presented below is an example of what a job description can read like if you are lacking confidence, low in self-esteem, and you have already been knocked back a few times, but you still gotta keep on applying for job after job after job after job…
Thingummy Wotsit is a committed leader in the business of work. For the last 38.73 years we have forged a reputation for hard work in the field of work, with plenty of jobs going to people who want to work in return for some money. Now that business is up after a period of down, we are looking for more people to do busy-busy worky work-work.
We are looking for a brash, yelling, confident, energetic person to join us in the BIG LOSER department who will be dedicated to operating without fault, reproach, or mistake in order to facilitate the smooth running of the Loser department, while providing never-ceasing support and indentured slavery to the Director, the Administrator, the Overseer, the Supervisor, and “The Boss”.
The Applicant will work closely with the Senior Loser to run our busy and depressing office in an industrial estate in the most dreary part of the whole of England. Your view every day will be of a grey car park fringed by spindly, twiggy saplings which are bare for most of the year, with the constant backdrop of a slate-grey sky and the thrumming soundtrack of the A48239 ringroad that circles endlessly round your provincial town of Erewhon. The majesty of Glencoe, the dragon-haunted valleys of Wales, the rolling wheatfields of the mythical Albion of William Blake, the dynamic pulse and skyline of the city of London, and the golden summer beaches of the Southwest from your childhood’s memory are a long way away right now, and forever more will be out of reach. You are an adult. You are at work. You will really need to name those saplings in order to survive.
There will be opportunities to work occasionally on large offsite projects that will consume your mind and become an obsession; but you will keep being told “No, this project isn’t a priority right now” for months before everyone demands that you drop whatever you’re doing and come up with the offsite project in a weekend. Also you will be required to do the most menial and humiliating tasks imaginable (tea making, bin emptying, photocopy machine wrestling), apart from when we get a work-experience teen in for bullying purposes.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Provide day-to-day administrative incompetence to the Administrator, who despite only being 8 years older than you, will talk to you as if you are a child.
- Maintain the Business Diary. This is NOT a diary like your own secret diary where you write down every trauma you ever experience on an hourly basis (“Dear Diary, my period started today, and I’m a man!! FML”), but a diary where you write in appointments, meetings, schedules, doodles, and insulting messages to anyone who might peek into it.
- Regale us with your oh-so “fascinating” stories
- Surreptitiously look at Buzzfeed
- Get beaten up by frogs
- If you didn’t watch Broadchurch last night, we’re not fucking interested in you
- Maintain and manage the digital archive, by updating files and backing up systems and not downloading porn and viruses, even though you’ll be damn tempted to
- Maintain and manage the analogue archive by putting pieces of paper into cardboard folders and closing the drawer of the filing cabinet
- Maintain and manage the physical archive by hammering sigils onto tablets and then burying them in the ground for future civilisations to discover
- Maintain and manage the ephemeral archive by imagining files, and placing them in another dimension, in a crystal castle where everything is kept in order by the Sacred Priests of Noldor
- Maintain the maintaining of the maintenance maintainer
- Provide assistance in helping to aid others in collaborating
- Liaise with the Marketing Shit, the IT Bellend, the Administration Bitch, the HR Cow, the Finance Prick, and the Board of Director Twats
- Be the first point of contact on phone and email for all stupid enquiries
- Keep secrets from colleagues
- Find ways to “beat the system”
- Get caught
- Receive a bollocking
- Join in engaging with light-hearted sexist banter
- Get really offended by any banter concerning you
- Make complaints
- Be told to “man up and get back to work”, which if you think about it, is a bit sexist
- Have appeal brushed under the carpet
- Receive a final written warning
- Give up and go to the pub with colleagues
- Drink far too much
- Conduct affairs
- Cover up affairs
- Spend too long making tea and daydreaming
We are looking for a dynamic, highly organised and self-motivated individual with outstanding abilities in organisation and administration. You’re not that person. You’re a bit inept, quite lazy, socially awkward, quite nervous, and not very enthusiastic about the role, but we fully expect you to use those work-related buzz-words in your Personal Statement on your application form. The ideal candidate will have at least two years’ experience in experiencing things, and must be prepared to enter what most proper adults refer to as “The Daily Grind”.
Right now, as you’re reading this, you’re feeling a bit anxious about the role, and maybe you’re wondering if Thingummy Wotsit would employ a sweaty, foul lump such as yourself. Given the choice, they wouldn’t, but throughout human history, millions of people have blagged their way into roles they are incapable of doing, and yet they have somehow thrived and achieved positions of responsibility.
You somehow need to summon up the bullish attitude we’re looking for, and in interview, we will tell you we’re looking for an individual (but we’re also looking for buzzwords such as “initiative”, “facilitate”, “co-imagineer”, “blue-sky thinking” and all that corporate fecal matter) and not someone who will read off a script. Someone who is prepared to think outside the box! And yet we’ll expect you to be as compliant as the average honey bee. Individualism is to be quashed in our New Corporate Order.
- Be literate and numerate (talk wordy good, wryt propaz, do big clever sumz lol)
- Speak Bocce like a second language
- Must have own teeth
- At least 17 years experience of working in an office with some right cunts
- Be hygienic
- Ability to obfuscate any incriminating data amongst reams and reams of spreadsheets
- Be familiar with all standard computer packages, including Microsoft Worthless, Microsoft Excuse, Adobe Bootpolish, Adobe Moustache
- Detailed knowledge of Management Systems. No, we don’t know what that means either. Perhaps you could tell us? We’d really like to know.
- PhD in epidemiology, or similar
- Column in The Sunday Times
- Experience of Middle-East peace negotiations
- Able to work with children and vulnerable adults without making inappropriate remarks or non-PC jokes
- Must be able to make a good cup of tea
- Have the love and pride of your parents
- Have the audacity to question authority
- Be experienced with…Nah, you know what? You might as well not bother. You’re not going to get this job, and if you apply, we won’t tell you if you’re unsuccessful
- Awww! Thanks for noticing!
(This is how we wrote it…):
Excellent communication skills including high‐level interpersonal skills. Excellent literacy and numeracy skills. Ability to juggle multiple priorities effectively. Resilience within a busy environment. Ability to negotiate and for lateral thinking to resolve problems. The ability to manage others fairly and calmly. The ability to work independently and as part of a team.
(…and this is how you read it):
You must have communication skills on a near-telepathic level, including higher levels of consciousness. Your literacy skills must be that of a Cambridge Professor of Emotive Poetics, and your numeracy skills must rival that of Stephen Hawking. You must be able to juggle a crushing workload with an overwhelming range of multiple crises – both personal and professional – at any given moment. You must be way more tactful than you really are, able to simultaneously negotiate your way out of an armed robbery and take a MENSA test without crying. You must be able to relate to other humans, even if they are powerfully smelly and obnoxious, and must have the patience of a saint to work with them. You must have the ability to work as part of a team, and not stomp off and sulk in a quiet corner somewhere. We know (because your mother told us) that you can be quite stupid and clumsy. This is why we write these Essential Skills bollocks, so that we weed out the pathetic wastes such as yourself, and you don’t waste our time in applying for jobs like these, you clattering bumfuck.
|Perspective||Demonstrates interest in the most effective and efficient running of the business and support for the creative team to deliver tasks||Struggles to find enthusiasm for anything other than food or drink. Would often love to pull the duvet over my head and pretend the world doesn’t exist in my cushiony womb. Has to really work hard to have enthusiasm for myself, let alone a twatty company such as this|
|Managing information||Actively extends the quality, relevance and distribution of information efficiently||Garbled information being something of a speciality.|
|Solving problems||Analyses and solves problems and makes timely and informed decisions||Gets overwhelmed by simple problems. Tends to scream and run away from decision making throughout adult life. Struggled over the selection of my socks today, if I’m honest|
|Partnerships||Promotes partnerships that exemplify good practice||Promotes petty resentment of other partnerships to the detriment of all|
|Engaging and motivating||Thinks and acts in ways that encourage others to participate willingly||“I’m on my fucking fag break, and I don’t give a shit any more. Why should you? WHY SHOULD ANYONE??! This job, indeed this entire company, is an exercise in futility and will not leave a mark on this unhappy world!”|
|Team‐working||Thinks about what the team need before they ask.
Grasp what makes team work well.
|Insensitive, obstructive, prone to sulking until frustrated, and then a gamma-ray outburst of rage erupts, and I accuse everyone else of being appalling and of having no respect for me. Has no friends, doesn’t play well with other children.|
|Alignment, focus and planning||Focuses on how their role can support others, on the needs of the company, decides priorities and how to achieve them||Focuses on the need for another coffee break, hates the whole ethos of the company, can’t organise a ‘to-do’ list, and has an overflowing inbox full of meaningless crap|
|Communication||Conveys information effectively and timely to internal and external people||Grunts, sighs, forgets stuff, writes crappy post-its and fails to stick them on people’s desks. Doesn’t convey timely information, and results in the entire office wallowing in recriminatory crap for weeks on end with everyone blaming everyone else for my failure to mention a deadline.
(Note to self: my litany of failed relationships and friendships lie testament to my lack of communication skills and poor choices. But suck it up and blag, otherwise the slightest hint of this shit and I’ll be unemployed for millennia)
|Change||Embraces sound new initiatives while retaining relevant current approaches||I am phobic about the concept of further development.|
Hours of Work:
Monday to December. Holiday entitlement of 2 days off per annum, plus you’re demanded to work Bank Holidays and every time you have a family engagement or your child has something on at school that you need to attend.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications should consist of a simpering covering letter and an Application Form.
Please send your application by email to email@example.com by Jonsday 13st Thenuary at 14am.
Should you need to submit your application by post like a fucking Victorian, please mark the envelope CONFIDENTIAL, YEAH? DON’T READ THIS THEN, YOU NOSY PRICK and send it to:
The HR Cow
5138008 Bumsnatch Road
Hell’s Business Park
Busy Busy Work Town
If you have an enquiry about the position, please email and we will ignore as soon as possible. Closing date for applications: Mopday 2th Wedtember 20013 at 42pm like we said up there. Did you read it? No you didn’t. READ IT AGAIN. You have 24 hours to comply by throwing together a panicked, badly formatted application form complete with a whole range of errors.
Interviews date to be advised shortly. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted by phone, email, smoke signal, telepathy and semaphore as soon as possible after the deadline purely on the basis of whether or not we like the cut of your jib. If you have not heard from us by Frugnesday 17.8th Crumgust, please assume that we have binned your application and we hate you.