Monday, January 21, 2008

But What If The Beard Got Stuck In The Photocopier? Health And Safety, You See.

When I was a Very Important Executive, as opposed to the idle layabout that I am now, one of my more dubious management perks was that I would automatically receive all of the CVs sent in by people applying for jobs with us.

Normally I would read through these with a view to reaffirming my own snobby prejudices viz. that the entire country's education system is going to the dogs, with the result that young people these days can barely spell their own names, let alone muster the intellectual nous and wherewithal to, say, write a press release unaided*.

However, despite a frequent lack of grammatical expertise, not to mention a widespread tendency to sprinkle apostrophes where they were not needed while omitting them from places they should have been, most applicants at least managed to put together a fairly robust argument for why they should be considered for the job in question.

Except one.

This was a CV from a jobbing actor who was applying for a position with us - presumably because poncing about pretending to be someone else practising 'the craft' wasn't bringing in enough loot to support day-to-day existence in The World's Most Expensive CityTM.

As well as including a number of moody headshots and listing his screen appearances, the applicant in question also reassured us that among his key skills were the ability to:

a) Adopt a Yorkshire or Birmingham accent upon request


b) Grow a convincing beard in three days.

As these weren't necessarily attributes we were looking for in an office administrator, he didn't get invited in for interview.

I often wonder how things would have turned out if we had given him a job, though. Maybe we could have opened up a lucrative sideline as an undercover detective agency specialising in Northern and Midlands-based cases. Maybe we could have added another trophy to the groaning shelf by spectacularly winning the prestigious All-London Marketing Agency Facial Hair Growing Contest. Maybe we could all have been extras in an episode of Heartbeat. Who knows?

* A prejudice not actually borne out in reality, but that's the lovely thing about prejudices, isn't it - you can just ignore anything that doesn't fit them and only focus on the things that appear to back them up.


Tabby Rabbit said...

Ha ha ha. I must go now and smack smack slurp slurp. Ha ha ha ha.

Tim Footman said...

Maybe I'd be in more gainful employment if my CV had incorporated my ability to impersonate John Hurt in The Elephant Man.

Chaucer's Bitch said...

Hey Patroclus, have you seen LC lately? Is he OK? The blogosphere is becoming concerned.

patroclus said...

TR: Oohooo, like the Giant Rat of Sumatra, the case of 'smack smack slurp slurp' is a story for which the world is not yet prepared.

Tim: But were you impersonating John Hurt in The Elephant Man that time when you had intimate relations with Julie Burchill?

CB: Fear not, LC is fine and dandy and is (I believe) even now preparing for his glorious return to the blogosphere.

Billy said...

Actors' CVs always have crap like that in. I'm often been tempted to incorporate it into my CV, but I'm rubbish at accents and my beard is uneven.

cello said...

Yeah, but could he play the xylophone while driving a heavy goods vehicle? That's far more useful in an actor - and a PR executive for that matter.

Valerie said...

Beards — especially ones that appear that quickly — really are of concern. Though as the magnificent J in a recent issue of the esteemed blog Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century points out, "It is sensible... to allow undercover officers to retain their various beards. They do mingle with outcasts and criminals of society and it would not do to look out-of-place."

Clearly this young man would have cast a pall over the rarefied atmosphere of your former company. You did well to exclude him from your ranks.

Dave said...

As a bearded ex office manager, I am pleased to state that I never had any hair-caught-in-technology related incidents.

Sean McManus said...

"Right, team meeting. F, you speak French. You can do the case study with Peugeot. S, you speak German, so you can call Daimler. Quentin, we've got a new client. This is tricky. I hate to ask, but it's Jaguar. They're based in Coventry. Do you think you can swing the dialect..?"

Arabella said...

It's all very well being able to "adopt" a Birmingham accent. It's the ability to sustain one without coming over all Welsh that gives the job-seeker that edge.

Spinny said...

just how 'convincing' a beard?

Are we talking ZZ Top? You should have hired him!

llewtrah said...

I shall have to consider such useful skills should I ever move elsewhere. I'm sure my skill with accents is far more important than my skill at preventing embarrassment by making sure the stuff we ship actually works!

Stef the engineer said...

Best comment I've seen on a candidates CV:
"Can drive confidently on either side of the road."
Since we weren't looking for a stunt driver, I didn't employ him.