Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Job No. 95 - Supervisor, Children's Zoo

Today, fresh from my application to be a Digital Sun Tzu Strategist - and still pulsing with the art of war - I was, momentarily, tempted by Kareo who were advertising for a Web Development Ninja...

The idea of dressing from head-to-toe in black, of creeping stealthily through the workplace armed only with my wits (oh, and a shedload of throwing stars and a set of double sai) and dealing sudden, painless death to all who dealt in bad css design was not, I figured, altogether a bad one. However, my dreams of ninjadom were struck a mortal blow upon reading the job description; for it seemed that neither stealth nor slaughter were in any way on the agenda. Thus, cursing the inadequacy of some job titles I instead turned my attention to something altogether more interesting - Supervisor of a Children's Zoo.

The concept of a Children's Zoo is, I'm sure you'll agree, a sterling one.

Houston Zoo are to be commended for their forward-looking vision in this regard. After all, in this modern day and age - when there is a worldwide rise in infertility and the current economic crisis is seeing many couples putting off both marriage and having children - it is surely a distinct boon that, at least, couples will be able to visit a zoo and see children in their semi-natural habitat...

I was a little concerned that the job advertisement consistently referred to the children as 'animals' but I am sure this is simply affectionate terminology along the lines of 'let's see how those little animals have got on with their dinner, shall we?' In this light, it is quite understandable and such nicknames only goes to show the, obviously, close bond that exists between staff and children/animals at Houston Zoo.

Of course, I was very curious to find out at what age the children were no longer regarded as such (at a guess, 16?) and what policies Houston Zoo had in this respect; after all, what did they do with the 'animals' when they no longer conformed to the age restrictions of the zoo?

Filled equally with curiosity and all manner of ideas for this pioneering institution, I quickly fired off an application letter:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing in order to apply for the position of 'Supervisor - Children's Zoo', as advertised on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums website.

I have many years of supervisory experience, albeit in a slightly different field, and feel that my skills and expertise would translate well into your field.

I have a good many ideas about how to improve the standard of the experience for both visitors and the 'animals'. For example, I think visitors would love to see age-themed exhibits so that they can experience the different stages of development; while the youngest ages would likely offer only minimal entertainment, the older the 'animals' become, the more interesting they will be.

Equally, I think it's important to keep abreast of modern technology; integrating modern game consoles into the enclosures could allow for children to enjoy the experience far more and, I'm sure you'll agree, the happiness of the children/animals should be paramount.

Finally, I was curious as to what age limits you impose on the children? At what point do you feel that a child is too old for the children's zoo and needs to migrate to a venue designed for adults? After all, I can only imagine the heartache involved when it comes times to tell a child that they no longer match the zoo's age criteria.

I trust you will give my application serious consideration and look forward to hearing from you shortly.


Oliver Davies.

I am certain that my extensive management skills will be looked upon favourably and, in the not-too-distant future I could be supervising an entire zoo filled with little darlings...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A vague update...

While my workload has, undoubtedly, contributed to the relative sloth I have displayed in updating the blog (and generally unsuitably applying for jobs), I like to think that there is something more to it than that. To which, one might be tempted to cry 'laziness!' but I am certain that it points to a deeper, more philosophical question - a question which has been pondered by all manner of brilliant minds for millennia but which can, perhaps, best be summed up in the words of that well-known philosopher William Bruce Rose (aka Axl Rose) when he said "where do we go now?"

You see, I set out intending to apply for 100 Unsuitable Jobs and now, seemingly centuries later, I have almost scaled that lofty pinnacle. 94 out of the 100 unsuitable jobs have been filled and I'm left to consider exactly what I will do with the blog afterwards...

I could, for example, leave it untouched as a tribute to 100 Unsuitable Jobs and be done with it - but this seems unlikely, since I enjoy writing too much. Another option would be to come up with 100 unsuitable something elses to do - and thus expand upon the original purpose of the blog and take it in a new direction. Yet another possibility is to keep going with the unsuitable job applications, to say to myself 'why stop at 100? Why not 200? 500?'

But the thing is, the closer I edge to the magical number 100, the more I realise that I am going to have to make a decision of some kind (rather than just pushing it to back of my mind and refusing to think about it) and thus, by slowing the pace, I am perhaps subconsciously postponing that day. Or maybe I'm just lazy. Hmm.

Truth is, I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. But I have a feeling that it will be difficult to resist the urge to blog on in some fashion or other...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Job No 94. - Digital Sun Tzu Strategist

After spending a, not inconsiderable, amount of time away from my pursuit of 100 Unsuitable Jobs, I was lured back into the fray at the thought of applying to be a Senior Enterprise Security Architect - after all, who wouldn't want to work for the United Federation of Planets, exploring strange new worlds and boldly going where no man has gone before, etc.?

However, it then occurred to me that, amid the high wages and impressive job title, there just had to be some kind of catch. And, sure enough, there was. You see, as I mentally drew up my application letter, it dawned upon me that 'Senior Enterprise Security Architect' is just a fancy way of dressing up the title of 'Security Officer' and, as any self respecting Star Trek fan will tell you, the role of Security Officer automatically reduces one's average lifespan by about forty years...

Thus, suitably determined not to be eviscerated, frozen, eaten, immolated, crushed, molecularly disrupted, strangled, suffocated, decompressed, poisoned, rapidly aged, vaporised, crystallised or merely having my component atoms scattered across subspace in a bizarre transporter accident, I decided to instead turn my attention to the altogether less dangerous profession of Digital Sun Tzu Strategist.

Now, at this point, you may well be asking yourself what exactly a Digital Sun Tzu Strategist is and what a Digital Sun Tzu Strategist does but, the truth is, the job advertisement is very vague in this respect (merely referring to online media research and healthcare). However, I believe this is a tactic merely to dissuade those who are not suited to the role. After all, was it not Sun Tzu himself who said:

"Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate."

Yes, this was obviously a strategy to deter the uninitiated from applying for a position for which they possessed neither the tactical awareness nor the iron-fisted leadership skills that are necessary. I decided that only a finely crafted application letter that subtly highlighted my in-depth knowledge of both Sun Tzu and his seminal Art of War would be enough to impress them...

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to apply for the position of Digital Sun Tzu Strategist, as advertised on The Guardian website. I believe that I possess the full set of skills, and pertinent knowledge, required for this role.

You ask that candidates possesses an entrepreneurial spirit and I indeed possess this for unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise.

You ask for good communication and negotiating skills and I too value these, for the difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.

Equally I, like your organisation, pride myself on a team-player philosophy and ensure that I retain staff confidence and morale through developing strong relationships; it can be seen that if you regard your soldiers as your children, they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.

I trust you will give my application serious consideration and, may I end this application letter with one, final, point - can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.


Oliver Davies.

Now, since I did such a sterling job of blending in the teachings of Sun Tzu with my own thoughts, I decided that I should really highlight his contribution to my application letter. I cannot see how this approach can fail to have the desired result and am certain that, before too long, I will be demonstrating 'supreme art of war' in an online healthcare medium near you...