Sunday, November 12, 2006

Job No. 70 - Top Gun Conference Planner

This evening I discovered an interesting vacancy on the Guardian jobs website that appeared to offer a lot to a creative individual like myself - Prison Exit Officer.

Now perhaps this is a symptom of the huge changes that have occurred within the prison system, or even of the raft of human rights legislation that has been drafted over the course of the last decade, but it would appear that not only can the modern prisoner expect to have access to playstations, get paid to play scrabble and eat three course meals but also they no longer even have to suffer the stress of planning their own escape attempts...

Back in the (good) old days, prisoners would have to rely upon their own ingenuity in order to effect an escape - creating moulds of keys from an old bar of soap, constructing ropes from twisted sheets and sketching maps of the prison sewer system inside bibles - but in the 21st century, this type of freethinking is discouraged. This is due, in part, to health and safety rules; there is a concern that a prisoner who, while making a key mould from a bar of soap, slips on said soap and injures himself could sue the prison service for extensive compensation. Thus, it is far safer for prisons to have a member of staff on hand that can organise escapes by the safest means possible - preferably by simply signing off on paperwork that says they've been rehabilitated and are ready to rejoin the community...

And so, when it dawned upon me that my plans of re-enacting scenes from Colditz were destined to come to naught, I realised that I should turn my attention to something else - more specifically - to the idea of applying to be a Top Gun Conference Planner for Wolters Luwer Health.

I'm not entirely sure why a medical information service wants to plan a conference for the US Navy Fighter Weapons School but, I'm certain it's something I could handle. I imagine, quite apart from the complex scheduling of flights, a great deal of care has to be taken to hire the right sized room as, with so many huge egos in one place, things could get a little cramped (and that's not even counting my own!). Catering is also a vital aspect since it is well known in military circles that the US Navy Fighter Weapons School refuse to eat anything other than salmon & cucumber sandwiches (with the crusts removed), pickled onions and sponge cake...

The job application asked for candidates to possess extensive experience in a range of Microsoft software (which, strangely enough, I have) but, rather worryingly, did also require candidates to possess a - frankly - phenomenal level of manual dexterity:

"...who can juggle and keep 15 balls in the air..."

I have to admit - I can't juggle at all (apart from that fake juggling thing where you throw one ball while passing a second between hands while the first is in the air) and I can't believe that any amount of practise is going to get me to that level of competence (indeed, the world record for juggling doesn't even approach this standard!). Consequently, in my application letter, I asked that they find it in their hearts to overlook my failings in this area:

Dear Sir/Madam

I wish to apply for the position of Top Gun Conference Planner and have attached a recent version of my resume for your consideration.

I have extensive experience of project and conference management, am familiar with a broad range of industry standard software, possess excellent communication skills and can prioritise my own work and set, and achieve, deadlines.

My levels of manual dexterity are a little below the standards you may be hoping for but I would like to think my strengths in other areas will compensate for this particular shortcoming. However, it is an area I am committed to practising and improving upon...

I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Hopefully they'll be in touch with me soon so I can help organise their Top Gun conference, or indeed any kind of military air force get-togethers...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm quite surprised you didn't do a whole "Top Gun" themed letter and say something like;

"Dear sir,
I wish to apply for 'Top Gun Conference Planner', I have attached my resume for your review and consideration.

I understand that on March 3, 1969 the United States Navy established an elite school for the top one percent of its pilots. Its purpose was to teach the lost art of aerial combat and to insure that the handful of men who graduated were the best fighter pilots in the world. They succeeded. Today, the Navy calls it Fighter Weapons School. The flyers call it: TOP GUN, this is something that I want to join.

I saw a MiG 28 do a 4g negative dive whilst I was riding my motorbike, and as I have a 'need for speed' and can fly right into the 'danger zone', I believe I am A material for your Top Gun academy.

'The Maverick Iceman'"

Or something like that - but with more pathos