My name is BENEDICT LE GAUCHE and I was born on 02/05/83 which makes me 28 and ripe as a lemon. I’m looking for a job I’ll like. As a man of integrity I’m not about to try and give you the impression that all the jobs I’ve had previously were brilliant learning experiences tailor-made to equip me for precisely the job I’m applying for (hello you) when in reality they have been, for the greater part, boring and drudgerous and disheartening. I should state I was not bad at them. The capacity to bear such trials whilst retaining an at-most-times sunny disposition might be called something like ‘the ability to work under pressure’. Yes. I wasn’t bad. I was good in fact – I can’t think of a job I wasn’t good at. (I can: a call centre job at a company called GOVNET – ‘a communication tool that government uses to communicate with the third sector’ and home to the most disastrous horseshit I’ve had the pleasure of peddling, commercially.) So, but via some kind of weird pride or fear of being disliked I have hitherto been inspired to perform above averagely for every company I’ve ever worked for and believe that I can harness this same fear in the furthering of your company goals. Who knows? I might even like the job! Though this is statistically improbable. Some short sentences about me: I excel at customer service – really fly, you should see. I can lift more than it looks like I can lift. I like working on my own if there isn’t anyone fun to work with but can also stand the company of people I hold in contempt and am, in this sense, versatile. I can work incredibly long hours, and will work for very little money. I have ginger hair and for a lot of people this is a talking point. Sometimes I do not feel like I am completely in control of myself and I have to pinch myself very hard. I like the great outdoors. As of the 11th January 2011 I am free from all venereal disease. Thanks for taking the time out to read my application. I’ve tried my best to be honest. I really excel at customer service and do, through great force of will and habit, hide the worst of my qualities.
Cleaner/Caretaker; The Women’s Organisation, Manchester ; 11/08/2010 – Present
Duties include: Working out how dirty I can let the building get without Lisa complaining and then cleaning to this exact standard. Composing lewd/crass emails to Alison. Enjoying the reversal of gender stereotypes. Pride swallowing. Key holding.
Host: Zion Arts Centre, Manchester; 02/02/2011 – 28/07/2011
Moving chairs from one place to another place. Tables, sometimes. I sat on the front desk. I colleced printouts from the office which is 300 meters away from the desk and I brought them back. When people passed the desk and made little jokes in a kind of we’re-in-this-together spirit I laughed even if the jokes were not at all funny. This made me feel hollow. I tried to fill the hollow by eating stem ginger biscuits that I stole from the cafe. The biscuits were delicious but they did not fill the hollow. Duties included: Checking that the toilets were still there and that it was ok in them, still. Keeping a log of this information on an A4 that was taped to the back of the toilet door. Taking orders from people who are conspicuously younger than me.
Copywriter ; Tailormydesign.co.uk, the internet ; July 2010
Duties included: Writing about fabrics and tailoring like they were something I thought were exciting and meaningful. Researching the exact tone of condescension invariably used in the Q&A sections of trendy fashion websites and overcoming an astonishing sense of dread in order to copy seven shades of shit out of exactly this tone. Wondering whether I preferred prostitution of the mind or of the body. Wondering whether this made me a writer. Wondering when it would end.
Waiter/Barista/Kitchen Porter ; Koffee Pot, Manchester ; I did this job like five times in 2010
Duties included: Washing up until somebody told me it was time to wash the floor. Washing floors. Pretending I was cooler than I am and that I was ok with all this washing up.
Commis Chef ; Stock Restaurant, Manchester ; 28/09/2009 to 15/12/2009
Duties Included: The preparation and presentation of fine-dining dishes. Intimate acquaintance with panic. Embracing with grace and good cheer being called ‘Julie’ by most of my colleagues. Teamwork. Because I personally went in to resign instead of anonymously skulking off I was commended for my bravery and forthrightness though I really only went in to collect my ipod and my terrifyingly sharp knife.
Telephone Guy ; GOVNET, Manchester ; 15/8/2009 to 28/8/2009
Duties included: Pretending to be on the phone. Joining my irrevocably compromised colleagues in the morning chorus of ‘I’M GOING TO SELL SELL SELL (my soul)!’. Trying to work out what it was the company did and what part of that I was supposed to be doing. Hiding.
Bookseller ; Blackwell University Bookshop, Manchester ; 01/06/2006 to 10/12/2008
Where I was kept on after temping because I was more than willing to share my social time / pass notes on Belle and Sebastian with the full-time staff. My meteoric rise to ‘Fiction Buyer’ – I was for a time featured on their website as an ‘expert’ – was tempered only by my devil-may-care attitude toward punctuality and what was termed in meetings with management as my ‘attitude problem’ (FUCK OFF). Having achieved a dream I attributed après coup to my traumatic childhood at such a tender age (the dream of being able to buy ‘all of the books’) I withered on the publishing vine and hit the bottle. I eventually left, to Denmark, in pursuit of dubious love. Duties included: Daily use of the full suite of Microsoft Office programmes. For two years. So now I can’t look at a latticed window without seeing, in my mind’s eye, Excel and everything that follows.
Weekend bookseller ; Books Etc. Manchester Printworks (now a Cafe Rouge) ; 02/08/2005 to 20/12/2005
Where I ignored signs that the world of bookselling was not quite as I’d pictured it in my dreams (signs included: Simon’s cadaverous skin and desperate smell. Eve’s quiet fury at how unlike the dream of youth real-life-retail-maturity had turned out to be. And Richard’s faltering attempts to allay this same fear and same desperation by writing plays that no-one ever performed, no-one ever saw, drunk, as was I, on the promised authority of the author over his and all possible worlds.). Duties included: Cashing up. Data input.
Retail man ; NEXT, Market Street Lancaster ; 06/09/2001 to 01/02/2003
Duties included: Resisting the desire to fold my arms. Resisting the desire to yawn. Resisting the desire put either of my hands into either of my pockets. Resisting the desire to scream aloud. I learned how to separate women who’re clutching with their dear lives to the same knitwear without ruining the knitwear. Learned how to dress wounds. Learned what it means to be a man (thanks Wendy).
Education // Trainings
Customer Service Certification ; Mary Gober International ; June 2007
After a two day course in a hellhole hotel deep in suburban Leeds my self-satisfaction is up from 46% to 79% and number of written complaints I receive down from 400 to 35 (all statistics in line with their website)
BA (hons) Philosophy (2:1) ; Manchester Metropolitan University ; 06/06/2002 to 06/07/2006
A levels, English Language (C), English Literature (C) Mathematics (D) ; Preston College, Preston ; 06/06/1999 to 06/07/2001
I learned that I was not nearly as clever as I’d always assumed I was. A difficult pill to swallow.
GCSEs in all manner of subjects (4xA, 2xB, 3xC and 1xD ); Garstang High School, Garstang, Lancashire ; 1994 – 1999
So unfathomably long ago that I can remember only vague scenes and almost certainly nothing of value.
I read, I brood, I play squash, I collect Nina Simone and Fats Waller and Billie Holiday records because they are beautiful. In order that the cheques do not stop I sometimes spend time with the family. I like going to parties (If ever I sit next to you at a party it is likely that I will talk to you about the author David Foster Wallace in a way that you will find dreadfully boring and it is likely that you will start looking around in an increasingly frantic manner for your friends. I will be hurt by your obvious attempt to escape and I will most likely betray this hurt by rhythmically stroking my ironic tie). I play the piano and the guitar. Sometimes I’ll give a cigarette to a tramp. I draw pictures of my friends and give them to them as birthday presents. I like to close my eyes and pretend I am Darth Vader. I pursue love and happiness like anyone else, with about the same level of success.
Facts and Figures
- Average time I stay in a job: 357 days
- Average wage: £6.15p/h
- My weight, as of June 2011: 56KG
- Number of friends on Facebook: 289
- Age at which I was 100% sure I’d passed puberty: 21
- Average number of letters in my eight ex girlfriend’s Christian names: 5
- Number of letters in current girlfriend’s name: 9
- % of customers satisfied: 97% (up from 74% thanks to The Gober Method)