The Most Wonderful Job In The World

30 May

Ever wondered how people get the really cool jobs in life?

You know what I mean. You’re sitting there at your desk, your in-tray is piled full of e-mails, invoices that need paying (or at the very least, shuffling) and “memos” that need “actioning”. Actioning, by the way, isn’t a real word. It’s office-speak for “doing”. Well done corporate Britain, you’ve managed to make a verb that literally means “to verb”, but I digress.

The mundane nature of office jobs and the human instinct to make life interesting inevitably leads to the imagination kicking into overdrive at about, ooh, five past nine in the morning, and one tends to think about what they’d rather be doing, preferably for cold, hard cash. A quick glance round the office and you see the mailroom guy gleefully wandering about the office, handing people their post with a smile on his face that says “ho ho, thank fuck it’s not me who has to read, let alone deal with that”. Then, a quick glance out of the window at the cleaners having a fag outside suddenly reminds you that cleaning excrement from ceramic bowls is immeasurably more pleasant than talking to Iqbal, the area manager about the next quarters sales targets. It’s about ten past nine when you resolve to get out of this place, and get yourself a better job.

For me, the best job that anyone could ever give me would be to be the guy who does the live updates for the sport reports on news websites. You know the ones, and if you don’t, here’s the archived BBC report from the Champions League final on Wednesday past. But how does one apply for such a job? At about ten to ten that morning, I started daydreaming, and in that brief 5 minute spell before Andy in accounts came over to ask me whether Heather in marketing would ever return his amorous advances (how should I know? I’m not Heather in marketing, you tit), this is how I imagined my interview for a similar job…

Interview for Interactive Sports Reporter
Times and Post New Media Dept, Edinburgh, 1500 BST 5th May 2009

1430 BST: Hello everyone! It’s a lovely sunny day in Edinburgh, Princes Street is packed with shoppers, and I believe we saw Arthurs Seat as the train pulled into Waverley station. Marvellous. Here today I am one of three people to be interviewed for the role of Interactive Sports Reporter for the Times and Post’s website. I gather I will be mainly covering Hearts games if successful. Fingers crossed!

1433 BST: Those other losers don’t stand a chance. Keep telling myself that. It’s a jungle out there Millinship, a flipping jungle. Just walking up to the interview venue, a modern-era glass building affair just off Newington Road. Wow!

1434 BST: Argh! Pre-interview nerves are really kicking in, and there’s a nice little bar over the road. Should I pop in for some dutch courage? Your views are welcome via text and the red button.

1440 BST: Decided against the whisky and am now sitting in the reception area in the Times and Post building. Lovely. Receptionist listening to Monster by The Automatic. I wonder if she has a PRS license?

1447 BST: The Line Up

Big Boss Man: Anthony Morgan, head of New Media
Second Panellist: Piers McPartlin, head of Interactive Content
Gormless Third Nodding Head: Sally Cadbury, Deputy Interactoriser.

I wonder if my £50 M&S suit will cut it at this level? It’s squeaky bum time off the Newington Road…

1449 BST: TXT in from me Mum. “We’re all thinking of you and hope it goes well!” Aww. Don’t forget you can text in with well wishes, if you know my phone number.

1455 BST: Need to go to the toilet. Again. No sign of the big three. Receptionist smiling awkwardly. She knows I’ve got the fear, or pre-match nerves if you will. Argh!

1456 BST: Is that the boardroom door opening? Is it? IS IT??? It’s not too late to go home is it? I don’t want to be an internet type any more. I want my old job back with the council. Waaa.

1457 BST: COMMENT RECIEVED from previous interviewee. “Best of luck pal” he said with remarkable sincerity. I want to hate him but I can’t. Gosh!

1458 BST: Slightly ahead of schedule, I am led to the boardroom by Mr Morgan. Mr! One has to be formal in these kind of situations.

1459 BST: TXT recieved. I think it was a text. My pocket vibrated. I hope it was my phone. What else could it have been? Can’t read it as of yet, as all my attention is aimed at the interview panel. It’s now baby!

1500 BST: The offer of a glass of water has been accepted. McPartlin and Cadbury introduce themselves, and we’re underway with… a history of the newspaper. Fucking hell.

1503 BST: What attracted me to this post? Would they appreiciate my honesty if I said “the salary”? Think I’ve building good rapport with the head honcho.

1504 BST: I admire the panels patience in awaiting my reply to the previous question. Morgan and McPartlin are smiling eagerly. Cadbury’s a leather-faced bitch. Go on, scowl some more.

1504 BST: “The opportunity to enrich the lives of internet-based Hearts fans both here in the Capital and further afield”. Why on earth did I say that? Christ on a bike. More water. Leather face is watching me pour the water. Wow!

1505 BST: Do I have much experience within New Media? Hmm. Does ringing up internet talk radio shows and shouting the word “bumhole” count?

1506 BST: TXT. In fact, this text is vibrating longer than a usual text. It’s a phone call! Wonderful. McPartlin asks if I would like to answer that. I smile nervously, and literally punch the bejesus out of my left pocket whilst keeping eye contact with the panel. May need to buy a new phone later. “No”, I say. “Well, a bit. I’m involved with this internet radio start-up…”

1506 BST: Leather face would like to know more about what I do at this internet radio station. Nuts. Turns out she used to work for one. I, quick as a flash, tell her that I am a freelance contributer. I think she knows what that means. Her face gets more leathery.

1508 BST: What would I do differently to “the established websites” in this role? Oh come on, it’s not like any other media outlet covers Hearts. I’d cover them full stop, that’s different enough surely? And how come theres no more water? And why does leather face get a cup of tea? Wheres my tea?

1509 BST: Employment history. Bollocks. Three years of working in a call centre and the couple of months I spent working in the factory. I embellish my degrees value at this point. And mention that I’ve always loved the Hearts. “Millwall of the north”, I tell them. TXT. Shut up phone.

1510 BST: Phew! That was a close one. Nearly let my answer to that question end but then I remembered that I did that puerile nonsense in the QM magazine for a few months, thus giving me l33t journalistic skills. I get the impression leather face is warming to me!

1513 BST: I’ve just turned this mother eff round! Mr Morgan and Ms Cadbury asked if I have an other life experiences to add to support my application, so I mentioned facebook, myspace and livejournal. Positive looks from Mr Morgan there, I think I’m in with half a chance here! He clearly has no idea.

1514 BST: That said, McPartlin is on the floor, roffling.

1515 BST: I confirm that I have no holidays booked. What a stupid question. None of their business, frankly.

1517 BST: Aha! The tables have turned have they? I get to ask the questions! It’s like I’m Pac-Man, and I’ve just swallowed a massive pill. I ask them, if I’m successful, what style to they want it in? Po-faced? Wacky? Wild and Wacky? The rather straight answer is “informative, yet informal”. Nice. I could do that.

1519 BST: And it’s all over at the Times and Post. I thank the panel for seeing me, and I’m escorted to reception. Speaking of being escorted, are those PRS agents I see escorting the receptionist to prison for not having a license? Ho ho!

1524 BST: Time for a post interview scotch. Turns out my phone is still alive, but the case is now split. Turns out the texts were from my Dad, and it says if I mess up this job interview I’m out of the will. Gah! Phone call was from work, presumably wondering where I was. Edinburgh! I was in Edinburgh! Right, I’ll have another scotch, and head to Waverley for the train back to Glasgow. Thank you all for reading! Well, I say reading, I am aware that this is basically my stream of consciousness, which can’t be read. Come to think of it, that whole thing never made sense as a concept. Oh well, it’s done now, never mind!


At least, that’s how I’d like to think those thoughts of interviews go. In the meantime, I will have to console myself that whilst my job may not be the best in the world (it’s really not), at least the bills get paid. That, and that bird on the first floor in investments has a really nice arse. Nice sexist comment there to end the post. That’s the 21st Century for you. OK I’M GONE.


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