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Walk past a "Heavy Plant" warning and wonder vaguely if the trees thought it was for them; if whoever put it up had enough imag...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Give us a job...

The following post is provided for entertainment value and as an indication of the state of mind of the writer. Any similarity to organisations or people living or walking-dead, whether implied or implicit is unintentional, honest. It is also and an indication that you need to find a new job...

Dear [insert bland first name]

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today and answer my standard questions aimed at unpicking the ambiguous and confusing job title advertised on SEEK.com. I have read the role description published on your website and am still none the wiser. I can see from this that you have decided who the role will report to and avoided specificity in all other areas so that applicants remain ignorant of the degree to which they will be used as a dogsbody. Clearly you have no idea what this role will actually entail and have rolled together as many indefinite responsibilities as you can into a single list. I have also noted that whilst your advert states that there are ample opportunities for progression and personal development with the organisation that there is absolutely no concrete commitment to this process in any of your literature and not even a suggestion of it in the role description.

Despite the obvious risks to my career, happiness and wellbeing involved in taking on a role that your organisation is clearly incapable of defining and whose exact nature you are attempting to conceal from applicants, the job title would look good on the increasingly elaborate work of fiction that is my CV and I would like to apply for the role. I have recently arrived in Australia on a four year business sponsored working visa. Since August I have been working for a large boring financial organisation doing something far less interesting and important than I can make it sound.

Prior to this I spent two and a half years working for a UK Children's mental health charity staffed largely by mental children. This was an exceedingly challenging and diverse role where I was made to implement secretive descisions made over my head and against my advice. My major responsibility was to plan, schedule, resource, coordinate, track and report on the complete cycle of training projects to unreasonable timescales and tiny budgets for overdemanding and ignorant clients with the absolute minimum of guidance and supervision.

I also undertook ad-hoc projects which were better suited to the remit of more senior members of staff but were evidently too tedious for them to undertake. These could be as varied as: generating strategically significant marketing collateral that the organisation was too cheap to outsource to a professional service; designing and implementing department proceedures for members of staff to bypass; and coordinating organisation-wide events designed to alienate valued employees or expose organisational weaknesses to competing providers.

I see my major skills as:
  • Guesswork - Being able to read my superiors' mind and act on half-impressions in the absence of proper guidance
  • Bullshitting - Producing written information given as fact based on targets rather than achievements, constructing budget assumptions based on logistically impossible sales targets and being the point of first contact for clients and customers who have bizarre and frightening questions that no one could have feasibly anticipated
  • Manipulation - Strongarming people, cajoling, lying, blackmailing, pleading, bursting into tears and when all else fails asking nicely to get my way
  • Panicking - Arriving at interim solutions that somehow are never converted into full processes, working out of hours, completing tasks well outside my job description and taking the easy, expensive option when important tasks become urgent ones
I want to continue to develop and continue utilising these skills in an organisation that has a reputation for incompetence, an atmosphere of buckpassing, belligerence and recrimination.

I look forward to hearing from you.