Thursday, 11 October 2012

Jobs I Have Considered Today

The Brussels job market is a thrilling creature. There are organisations out there, and people within them, doing things that you never imagined in your wildest dreams of multinational bureaucracy (and mine are pretty wild) existed. Most days, I browse a site called EuroBrussels, in search of the perfect opportunity to get myself out of the financial black hole into which my own stupidity and indolence has cast me, and most days I am distracted by a raft of bewildering job offers. There are people, people I walk past on the street and sit with on the tram and tut at in supermarket queues, who do these things. I salute them, from a wary distance. Below is the current crop of situations vacant that have given me serious pause for thought.

Technical Analyst for Fertilizers Europe

Hmm. I imagine this might involve some chemistry, but that should be fine because I have a GCSE from 1990. Also, in my lawyering days, I did once work for two frightening red-faced gropey slapstick German men on "Crop Protection" matters. Actually they complained about us, but I can gloss over that bit in my application whilst emphasising my extensive fertilizer smarts.

Communications Officer for the Nickel Institute

Nickel gets an undeservedly bad press* (*I have made that up, but I intend to say it very convincingly at interview). I could turn that around. I'll be getting Nickel on Twitter posting pictures of monkeys hugging teacup pigs. In my hands, nickel will become synonymous with PG rated fun, good times and LOLcats.

EU Timber Regulation Lawyer

I am already a lawyer! Well, I used to be. And I know what wood looks like. My feelings towards it are broadly positive. That's enough, right?

Public Affairs Manager for The European Container Glass Federation. 

Container Glass. Presumably that's glass you use for containers, like Nutella jars and maybe even gin bottles. Container glass! What would we do without you? We would have to drink gin out of those boxes with taps on they use for wine (ok, we can possibly survive this particular domesday scenario) and eat Nutella out of those hopelessly tiny individual plastic serving pods you get in chain hotels. Container glass? I am ready to stand up and fight for your interests. I do not know what your interests are, but as your Public Affairs Manager I promise to fight for them like a mother weasel on crack fights for its young. As long as it doesn't involve any of the following: confrontation, talking to strangers, spreadsheets, Powerpoint, the telephone. I can't see any problem with this.

Communication Clerk, International Vine and Wine Organisation

I have a slight concern this role may not stretch me sufficiently, but I can certainly bring a wealth of experience to the organisation. There are "the red ones" and "the white ones" and "the fizzy ones". For you, International Vine and Wine Organisation, I am a safe pair of hands. Hold your own grape-stained ones out to me, and together we shall go far.

Policy Office, Council of European Dentists

I can't decide if the Council of European Dentists modus operandi is likely to be: well-flossed bacchanals at five star hotels at the expense of Unilever, or rather grimly bureaucratic examinations of European plaque patterns over 240 page position papers. Either way, I am not surprised you need your policy sorted out, Council. I would even go as far as to suggest you have an image problem and I can sort that out for you with my many creative policy ideas. First: there should be more and better drugs administered using methods other than "needle through the gums". Perhaps you could put the water coolers in waiting rooms to better use by filling them with some kind of peppily flavoured Novocaine punch? Second: warm up the water in those squooshy tube things. Third: where there is bad news to be conveyed, just lie. None of us actually like that 'informed consent' bollocks. Just do the necessary while using Magic Circle approved redirection techniques. "This? Oh, it's just a speck of dust. Just hold the special petting rabbit (this is my fourth policy recommendation) while I, er, dust it for you. Ooh! Look! A flying pony!". See? POLICY. 

LEII Vice Consul

I have absolutely no idea what the LEII bit means, but how cool does "Vice Consul" sound? "What do you do for a living?" "Oh, I'm the Vice Consul". I bet you get a special hat to wear. Or maybe I am confusing it with "Grand Vizier".  No matter. I believe this role is genuinely a bit like being mother to an entire community of British people on holiday or living or working in Belgium. I can do this. "Have you remembered your keys?" "Put the can of lager down". "No, that's not your passport, it's a joke book that looks a bit like a passport". "Say sorry to the policeman". 'That's dangerous, don't do it". "You need to have a drink of water and a sit down now". I have been a mother, of sorts, for ten and a half years now. I can do this shit in my sleep. No one has been seriously injured on my watch, or caused any sort of major diplomatic incident. I will call this a "proven track record" in my letter of motivation.

What is the least likely job you have ever been tempted to apply for? And what, secretly, do you think you'd be really good at if only they would give you a chance?


Betty said...

My job alert email on Tuesday had a single, tempting offering: "URGENT: experienced freelance welder". This is in the Arts Jobs email bulletin from the Arts Council.

Antje M. Rauwerda said...

I think I'd be a really good physiotherapist. As long as no one ever farted during a session.

Anonymous said...

I actually just applied for a job as business manager of an amateur orchestra in Delaware. I shit you not.

That's Not My Age said...

I think I'd make quite a good dj, though at my age I might end up playing the same song twice. And I'd refuse to take requests.

MargotLeadbetter said...

I once applied for the post of 'person who writes messages in greetings cards'. My God, I wanted that job.

'Grans are a blessing, sorry yours is dead' etc. and so forth. My letter of application was a tour de force. But they spurned me.

Helen said...

Not a job, but every single grant/fellowship/award email I get is for Victorian Studies. Seriously considering sending applications which begin: "The Henri family settled in Liverpool in the Victorian era. And then several generations later cool stuff happened with art and poetry that would not have been possible in the 1800s, so let's talk about that."

Could container glass and nickel join forces? How about a nice nickel-topped range of bottles? And the wine could go in them! Oh the possibilities!

If I see any Grand Vizier jobs around I'll be sure to let you know, you'd be all of the awesome.

scunder said...

My dream job would be
Director with Special responsibility for naming paint colours.
I give you:
Ear wax
Liquorice comfit

See ! I am SO good at it and have years of experience of staring at walls and idly painting my nails. I am the perfect candidate

Anonymous said...

very unfortunate Company Acronym of the Day

Mara Gaulzetti said...

I once applied to be a cake decorator in a super market. At the interview I realized I only really wanted it so I could eat cake. When they called me back to say I was selected I lied and told them I had found another job. I was worried about not fitting in my trousers and not making enough to afford new clothes as a cake decorator. Back to the dreary lab I went.

I think the job I would be really great at is a cake taster.

Margaret said...

I think I would be an amazing forensic accountant. It's very sad for that to be my dream job, isn't it?

Kim Velk said...

Something has gone wrong. Someone should have paid you for THIS (picture an upward pointing arrow). Once, it would not have been available except to a paying audience, then the Internet and everything. I am hoping that "courtier" may once again become available. I think I might like that. Where are the Renaissance princes when you need them? Oh. Right. The Renaissance. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

1. I want to be The Ruler of The World, I think I would be perfectly suited for it. Bugger what everyone else says..

2. When I am Ruler of The World - I will pay you muchly for your wonderful writing, which is the way it should be. Make it so..

tharsheblows said...

Margaret! I would love to be a forensic accountant, too. Even though I'm not an accountant. Or forensic. I met someone once who is one and I was thrilled and asked him all these questions. He was nonplussed but happy to talk about it. I think I'll spend today browsing accountancy courses and dreaming...

Anonymous said...

loved your post!Jobhunting aswell and always surprised seeign jobs like these ont the jobsites:)

Anonymous said...

I've got one for you: senior swimming instructor in the Cayman Islands with a salary span of $42,564 - $57,252, closing date 19-Oct-2012,1941597&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL


frau antje said...

Not Grand Vizier, but I think I might be qualified to be the Temple Grandin of something...if someone gave me the chance.

Xtreme English said...

I'd go for the wine one. I think they are pretty generous with free samples, tastings, etc. The clerks have taken over everywhere, anyway. They'll find a way for you to do mindless paperwork if they can.

Laurel said...

A bit along the lines of Tilia, I once applied for an admin ass or paralegal type position working for some shady financial or law (I guess the two sort of overlap??) position in the Cayman Islands. Didn't get a call back, oh well. Your mention of the gropey red-faced Germans did bring back an uncomfortable memory of a highschool also admin ass job spent working for a couple of seriously shady and weird guys who were trying to build a new convention center in Boston. Since Boston is expensive and completely built up you could say it would be somewhat analagous to a couple of guys spending their days in a little grubby office tossing around plans, treated as completely believable, to build a new convention center in London. It culminated in one of them taking me on a car ride ostensibly to the airport, detouring all over town on a whim, talking about his belief in certain magical forces, and me beginning to seriously fear that I would never make it home. They paid well, but not that well, so I quit the next day.

I think the Caymans might have been more fun.

sabina said...

I would like to have a job naming horses. I would name them after verses of poetry and bits from science-fiction.

Pat (in Belgium) said...

I would like to be a rock star (NOT a geologist, the music kind) along the lines (now) of P!NK or Florence of Florence and the Machine.
Not only can I not sing (which these two in particular, can), I also get horrible, gut-wrenching "stage fright" AND, most sadly, am way (waaaay) too "long in the tooth" to make it anyhow (take that, Mick Jagger!).
If wishes were horses, my garden would be full....

Patience_Crabstick said...

All dentists' offices should have special petting rabbits. Great idea.

I once applied for, and got, a job as an "environmental activist." The work involved going door to door asking for money. I quit after two days.

fabhat said...

I've always wanted to be a foley artist (film sound effects) - despite not having the patience to do the same thing over and over again until it is exactly right and withing the exact length of time required. I just imagine a job involving spending all day tap dancing in a box of gravel...

Emily said...

For various boring reasons, at work I subscribe to a fashion trade magazine, in which I mostly fantasise about being a 'buyer' for various brands. I am a buyer every day, of such things as sandwiches and birthday cards and petrol and wine, so feel am super-qualified to just choose clothes all day. Surely??

SH said...

Long time reader, first time commenter.

I'm really embarassed now, but I read your first paragraph and said to myself "ah well, I know EXACTLY what she's talking about"...and then read about 2 job I've just applied for, and that I really want. I suppose it's good to aim low and obscure in one's career objectives!

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