Archive for July, 2011


زه په کې ډوب هك پك د چې تاسو ته به مې دا مني، وريجى تر ټولو غريبانو عذر خواهئې*


*This is solely for any Pashtos reading and translates as ‘I am deeply sorry for confusing you with Pasta, please accept my most humblest apology‘ though the depth of feeling is hard to express in English and is probably more like ‘every point of my body wishes it were lower than the last‘.

Sorry guys.

On to six?

1 Comment


Will Writer, Compliance Co-ordinator, Complaints Handler*, Global Head of Managed Risk Services Fraud, Swim Lifeguard, Physician in Charge**, Urology Sales Representative, High End Numisamatic*** Sales, SHORT TERM and PART TIME ARMED GUARDS, B2B Sales…

Business to Business sales!

When I receive rejection emails I always write straight back to the employer to ask how I could improve future applications.  I try and make the request sound bright and friendly so that they’ll think that I’m a real human being like they are.  Because I am, generally speaking.

Janice from Interaction Recruitment responded to one such request:

Forthright and Personal?

Aren’t these qualities yankee dollar in the world of recruitment?

A whole new CV? 

Reader I want you to know that I’m not always above a low blow.  I was upset that she suggested I buy a CV.  I got caught up in the moment and if she hadn’t blocked my email account I’d apologise to Janice.  And in her advice that I rewrite the CV in a ‘more professional, business oriented manner” she might have identified the reason why I haven’t been invited to a single interview despite applying for an unholy amount of jobs****.  This requires some thought though and I’ll get back to you.

In the mean time, some responses are rays of sunshine and warm hearted and well written and make you want to marry Bryony:

I understand Bryony is married.  Which is a shame.  But this isn’t about upgrading to a partner who shares my own sober and 100% correct assessment of my excellent capacities (and is maybe willing to repeat said assessment at bedtimes).

This is about finding a job:

I have applied for every one.

Assuming that ‘French Teacher’ requires as much French language as a TEFL does English and that ‘Pashto’ is a special kind of pasta I have enough faith in my own personal skill-set to be able to say: “I don’t expect you and I will be corresponding for much longer” with a degree of certainty.

Still no word from the junior I.T. folder.

STILL no word from Danniii.  How many emails does a girl need to put together a respectable harassment case?


*  This, complaints handler, being the one that led to the call where I was told off for swearing on the CV – I handled the complaint in an impeccably professional manner and sent the consultant another copy of the CV with ‘PROFANITY’ in lieu of ‘horseshit’, ‘shit’ and ‘FUCK OFF’.  I think my polished handling of the call might go some way toward landing me the interview and I am waiting to hear back.  If you too are offended by the nature of the language in the CV feel free to contact me and I’ll send you the anodyne version, gratis.

**  Physician in Charge: I think I have decided I would like a job whose title makes it completely clear that I am ‘in charge’.

***  High End Numisamatic Sales: sic, but probably ‘numismatic’ and about selling collectable coins that you can’t use as cash money.

****  I was told by a man who gets paid to write CVs, someone pays him to write CVs,  that the strength of a CV is determined by:

number of applications / number of interviews,

The nearer your result to 1, the stronger your CV.  So that if Rajesh applies for ten jobs and gets five interviews his CV scores an impressive 2 and good luck with your interviews Rajesh!  Be yourself and everything will be fine.  When we work out the strength of my CV – conservative estimates suggest that I have applied for four hundred jobs and have got zero interviews – so we have:



On to پنځه  ?



I have been interfacing with the recruitment consultants on the telephone.

Some are calling to tell me off for swearing in the cv, some to say variations of ‘that was very nice Benedict but there are no jobs here for you’.  Most recruitment consultants, though, are calling because they are curious.  They want to see that I’m not plain crazy.   I had one such call from a bewildered-but-abidingly-professional lady who spent six minutes of our lives trying to work out what it was that I thought I was doing before I asked whether or she was contractually obliged to call me (a question from my own well of curiosity and asked in all earnestness).  The question provoked in her the kind of reaction excited in an android when you ask it what love is.  She hung up.  I hope she is ok.

So but I didn’t want all of these conversations to pass us by.

I made notes today.*

I had a call at about 16:41.

It came from a real life number and it went like this:



No name**: Hello is that Benedict?

Yes, hello!

No name: Thank you for your time.

Thank you for your time?


My voice rose in that last sentence like bubbles in lemonade.

Very short, very confusing, the call.

Well easy to annotate.

Then, at 17:01, this from a NO NUMBER:



Peter: Hello is that Benedict?

Yes, speaking? (I always say ‘speaking’  as if I’m asking a question. I’ve never been sure if I were asserting that yes, it is I speaking or if it was an abbreviation of who is speaking?‘ perhaps we could use this space as a forum to clear that up)

Peter: Hello Benedict, my name is Peter, I’m calling from ————- recruitment agency.  How are you?

Yeah fine, um, I’m at work.

Peter: Oh – are you alright to talk?

Yeah, uh, the first floor toilet is clean, now, and I did the second floor toilets yesterday so, yeah, how long are we going to be?

Peter: Five minutes?

Five minutes, yeah that sounds alright.

Peter: So I’ve been looking through your CV.

Right, right.

Peter: And I was wondering what kind of roles you were looking for.

What role did I apply for with you – sorry I’ve applied for a lot of jobs.

Peter: Pensions Administrator.

Any luck?

Peter: Not really.


Peter: So what kind of roles are you looking for?

Do you have any fulfilling roles?

Peter: What do you mean?

Well I was thinking: you’ve looked through my cv haven’t you Peter, sorry it is Peter isn’t it?

Peter: Yes.

Well and so I thought maybe you might have an idea what I ‘d be suitable for.

Peter: Nothing.


Peter: It’s a joke.

It’s a joke?

Peter: I can’t put you forward for any roles


Peter: It’s a joke.

Then why have you rung me Peter?

Peter: To tell you that your CV is a joke.  Its a joke CV isn’t it?

Well actually there’s only one joke in it, I slipped it into the ‘fact and figures’ section, the ‘age at which I was 100% sure I had passed puberty’ do you remember? that one was a joke but the rest is all true.

Peter: It’s an absolute joke.

You don’t like it?

Peter: It’s awful.

Ok then so how about some constructive criticism – which bits should I change?

Peter: All of it.

All of it?

Peter: All of it.

What about the testimonials?

Peter: What?

The testimonials.

Peter: Shocking.

Facts and figures?

Peter: Shocking.

Extra Curricular Pursuits?

Peter: Shocking.

You’re going to say shocking to all of it aren’t you Peter?

Peter: Shocking.

So with the CV as it is you’ve got nothing for me?

Peter: Nothing.

Nothing at all?

Peter: Nothing.

You’re sure?

Peter: (thinks)… Well I’ll just have a look.


Peter: Where do you live?

———-, But I’m willing to go where the work is!

Peter: Would you move to ———-?

Some of my best friends live in ———-!

Peter: Right, I might have something temporary for you.  Hold on…

(Suspiciously long silence)

Peter: Yes, it’s a temp thing, it’s only for six weeks?

Ok, what is it?

Peter: Dancing around in a Mr. Blobby costume.

In a Mr. Blobby costume?

Peter: In a Mr. Blobby costume.

Alright then, how much does it pay?

Peter: Five pounds an hour.

Five pounds an hour?

Peter: Yes.

Peter you’re a recruitment consultant there’s not a job on earth you could legally sell for five pounds.

Peter: Ok seven pounds an hour.

I’m relocating here though – that’s hardly a relocating figure now is it?

Peter: I’m sorry then I’ve got nothing for you.

Ok then.

Peter: …

Peter: Ok, We’ve got your details on file.

You’ve got my email right?

Peter: Yeah we’ve got your everything on file.

Ok then Peter, well…


I finished saying ‘ well have a nice evening’ but Peter never heard that because Peter had hung up.

And so today I turned down a  job.  And in another, more realistic way, I did not.

Nothing from the I.T. folder.

Nothing from Danniii.

* The conversations follow as closely as memory and notes (scrawled in the white alleys of newspaper pages) allow.  Obviously there is a measure of trust involved here, on your part, and since we’re only three posts in and I’ve not even told you my surname or invited you round for dinner I’m kind of asking something of you when you have asked literally nothing of me and I’m sorry about that.  Also, I’m obviously out to make myself look loads better than Peter and you should probably give him, rather than me, the benefit of the doubt if you have any.  Doubt.  He is probably a ‘really good guy’.


On to four?



Reader, I have been busy.  Here are some of the positions I have applied for:

Well Analyst, Women’s Football Coach, Data Uploading Executive, Asbestos Consultant, High Volume Data Entry Clerk, Chair in Experimental Particle Physics, Data Entry Administrator, Drug Safety Administrator, Collections Advisor, Deputy Food and Beverage Controller, URGENT! Customer Sales Advisor, Account Manager…

Account Manager!  Yes, I had a response to that one.  Danielle is a Sales Operations Manager who likes to spell her name in two different ways.  She responded by asking the question a lot of people ask after they’ve seen the cv.

Thought 1: She is under the impression that the cv is some kind of ‘joke’ and is registering her dis-taste/belief that I sent it to her.

Thought  2:  She can’t believe how good the cv is.

I’m an optimistic kind of fellow:

It is important to get the level of dress right in interviews – I did not want to turn up wearing knitware and boaters if the occasion called for a step collared single-button suit and risk making the kind of first impression that would have be difficult to change with my arresting and to-the-point answers to her interview questions.

After reading this the rest of Friday night’s caretaking shift was hard.  Hard because I was hurt by Danniii’s tone.  Hard because I didn’t know what ‘trolling’ was.  I was so distracted I could not give the first floor toilets the 100% concentration they require and deserve.  I had to take measures:


And, after nearly a week of lip-biting, this:

Nothing yet, but here’s to hoping.

Hmmmm, lets see…

Freight Account Manager,  Automotive Service Advisor, Advertising Field Sales Maternity Cover, Buyer – Knitware, Executive Jet Broker, Spa Hotel Receptionist, TEMPORARY SWIMMING TEACHER, Dance/Cheerleading/ Gymnastics teacher, HAVE YOU SOLD TRAINING COURSES??, B2B Sales Executive, Telesales Manager, Telesales Executive,  Lead Generator, Powersports Sales Manager, IT Expert,

IT Expert!  Yes, I’d almost forgotten.

Isn’t Simon nice!  Nice doesn’t get me a job though does it?


* I am about as pleased with the standard of proofreading in these emails as you are.

On to three?