‘Restraining order’ could be new calling
Disciple James sent the following e-mail to Guru via the interweb, which gladdened his heart. In these days of political correctness, it’s great to see HR folk mocking the CV afflicted.
I write following the Weirdo Applicant of the Year 2005 (Personnel Today, 2 May 2006).
I feel that I already have a strong candidate for the 2006 award. The application letter went as follows:
I am writing to apply for the job of Call Desk Operator. I am 42 years old. [There then follows a rather impressive list of school qualifications, but it is sadly all downhill from there]. After leaving university I spent nine years training to be a Roman Catholic Priest. I have experience of parish, hospital and prison visiting. I am not able to supply a reference from this time; the police gave me a restraining order with regard to my superiors in the church. I have no contact with them at all.
Proof that CV is no place for idle boasts
This takes us neatly on to disciple Mark. He sent in a couple of splendid examples of CV claims that few of us will ever have the skill and talent to emulate:
I hope you enjoy these extracts from two CVs I recently received:
1. Other achievements: won first prize for personality contest in high school.
2. Interests: Dedicated to my family and friends. Passionate about business. Enjoy speed and risk (fast cars). I run 20 miles each week because it makes me physically and mentally fit. Love spicy food – I have a high resistance level to one of the hottest chilli peppers in the world.
Taking self-belief to a new level
There are few people in this world who would doubt the unrivalled genius of Guru.
Week after week, his innovative brand of HR advice makes people stop and think. Then write angry letters to Personnel Today.
Guru’s brilliance is only matched by his humility, which is also brilliant. Yet even the Blue-faced Wonder was surprised when he came across keynote speaker Max McKeown aboard the HR Forum conference a couple of weeks ago.
Clearly following the world of blue-sky thinking advocated by Yours Truly, Max was resplendent in denim from head-to-toe, day and night, for the duration of the trip.
He was speaking about innovation on behalf of his modestly-named company, Maverick & Strong. But it was his biog which really took the proverbial biscuit. It described him as “somewhere between Bill Gates and Buddha on the wisdom scale”.
That is pretty darn wise.
A room short of a full house, perhaps
Back to the delusions of mere mortals, a disciple – who asked to remain anonymous – was rather confused by the article in last week’s magazine which explained how to play Buzzword Bingo.
I am writing to you regarding the article in Personnel Today, ‘Managers unable to communicate with staff’ (16 May 2006). Having been known to play the odd game of ‘Bullshit Bingo’ myself, I was intrigued to see the magazine’s version of key phrases.
Recognising many familiar old chestnuts, my colleagues and I were all stumped at ‘Put lipstick on the pig’, so I am appealing to your vast knowledge in the hope that you can explain the meaning. We did have our own mini-quiz in the office and came up with the following suggestions:
1. It referred to some sort of localised sexual practice (that we have no knowledge of). We were egged on to this train of thought by the other entry: ‘low-hanging fruit’
2. It was a desperate recruitment practice. Good staff are becoming harder to find, so you have to take what you can get these days.
Yours Truly was impressed with the lateral train of thought, but in the style of Roy Walker from Catchphrase: “It’s a good answer, but it’s not the right answer.” In fact, it means dressing up a situation as something better.
Finally, disciple Pauline said that when her last boss wanted to get on with something, he was fond of the expression: “Let’s cut the crap and get straight to the sex.” Guru can only hope this got to “the root” of the problem, as our Australian colonials might say.