John McCullagh December 22, 2004
Dear Agnes,
 
I might have applied for one hundred jobs without success and I’m beginning to lose hope of ever being gainfully employed. That is the reason I am applying for anything and everything.  I need your help to understand just what might be expected of me should I be successful with my latest application.
 
The successful candidate, the advertisement read, will become a ‘Blue Sky Practitioner and will be required to undertake horizon scanning and futures research.  He/she will create curve leverage systems for rapid diffusion, helping customers to articulate and understand order and chaos.  Workstreams will adhere to a generic cycle based on a hypothesis-driven creative problem-solving process to initiate improvement products’.
 
I’m a good girl, I am, and I am not so desperate for work as to risk my chastity or reputation.  Does this sound like a job that you would encourage your own daughter to accept?
 
Yours truly,
 
Verity White

 
Dear Verity,
 
It is a good rule-of-thumb that any job advertisement that is couched in meaningless, linguistic nonsense such as this requires very little indeed from the ‘Practitioner’ bar the ability to learn to talk b******t!
 
(Sorry for that temporary lapse.  I appreciate with your upbringing you have probably never heard anyone speak so, or write thus. You quickly will, as soon as you get your first job!).
 
I suspect you would merely be expected like the farmer, to be ‘out standing in his own field’ .. to scan the skies, day and night for who knows what?  But with who knows whom, and where, and under what circumstances, might be the more appropriate questions to ask.  It is probably a task for the amateur astronomer, in search of incoming meteors or comets that might collide with Earth in the distant future.  If so, and you were successful in your application, you could make it up as you go along, for there’s no one in the position to contradict you.
 
On the other hand, if this is a bone fide position and well-remunerated, you can be certain it was created with someone else in mind than you.
 
Go ahead to the interview but carry one of those anti-personnel sprays (Mace)  for fear of attack.  Use it anyway if your application is refused!  It will serve them right for being obtuse in their intent!
 
Agnes Dayee

Leave a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.