Saturday, May 29, 2010

Job No. 92 - Operational Officer

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Operational Officer? Really? Operational Officer??

After all, Operational Officer sounds like a rather dull job that would involve considerable stapling and possibly the use of spreadsheets - it's surely a job nowhere near as exciting as, for example, being a part-time Antelope Keeper, a Sock Designer or a Psychic Medium...

But you'd be wrong. Oh so very wrong. So wrong, that if you went any further, you'd be right (see my earlier circular theories).

You see, Operational Officer is actually the politically correct, dressed up for the 21st Century, term for a James Bond. Yes, that's I have applied to be a member of that sterling British establishment, MI6.

Back in Bond's heyday, a military career was an obvious requirement for such a job but times have clearly changed. Now you don't need to be able to shoot a perfect 600 in the 25 metre rapid-fire-pistol range - instead you just need a 2.2 degree and strong awareness of global politics. Which, on one hand, is rather disappointing but - on the other - suddenly opens the door to people like me (who only score 592 on a good day...).

Now, having watched plenty of Bond films (and even worked on a James Bond videogame) I felt that I knew what MI6 would be really looking for - someone with the ability to play world class poker, the desire and skill to drive fast cars to the very limit, their own pair of speedos and an irresistibly magnetic effect on women (particularly of the Eastern European persuasion).

So...just my poker skills to work on then...

The website was pretty clear that I shouldn't talk to anyone about the fact that I was applying but I figured that they wouldn't have a problem with me blogging about it - after all, this is a typical spy ruse. Here I am blogging about applying to MI6 - who, therefore, would ever believe that they would hire me? Ha - and thus I am able to hide in plain sight! I'm sure they'll be impressed by my reasoning...

But, before I could go out and order my Tom Ford suit and Omega watch, I needed to craft an application letter that would have MI6 scrabbling to hire me before I was snapped up by a less reputable agency such as the CIA...

Dear Sir/Madam

For Your Eyes Only

I am writing in order to apply for the position of Operational Officer, as advertised in both the Guardian and on your website.

I possess an MA and a strong awareness of Global Politics. Above and beyond that, I have a good knowledge of a wide variety of card games, possess a full clean UK driving license, own several pairs of swimming trunks and have a basic grounding in the essentials of a variety of Eastern European languages (certainly, enough to allow for meaningful interaction with foreign operatives).

I look forward to hearing from you soon...


Oliver Davies.

Based upon that, I am fairly confident that MI6 will waste little time in calling me in for a more detailed assessment and, before you know it, I'll be slapped on a plane to an isolated tropical island where an ex-Soviet General, now transvestite Voodoo priestess, is camping it up in an underground layer, guarded by giant piranhas (equipped with lasers)...

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