Guru tends to approve of people who write to him and sign off with ‘Anonymity preferred’. This usually means there’s something juicy to be had from the intervening prose. Here follows a delightful ditty from someone who has requested such anonymity and whom we shall only call Disciple C (not because (s)he’s under long-term detention for suspected terrorist acts, you understand):
Reading your piece on outrageous claims on CVs (Personnel Today, 18 April), I have saved one in particular (probably to quote in my retirement speech!).
Having been in HR for 23 years, this is one of the best ever under the section ‘any additional relevant evidence in support of your application’. It reads: “On one occasion, I was able to utilise my management and teamwork skills in breaking up a violent brawl between (an amateur) rugby team and the Young Farmers.
After considerable dialogue, I was successful in convincing a huge rugby player to dismount a horizontal and bloody young farmer. I administered to his wounds… throughout I remained calm and level-headed promoting the (village) Gala’s professional image to bystanders.”
So sell yourself to gain success
However, as the following message shows, secrecy is not everything and it’s just as much fun when people stand up to be counted. Disciple Peter Reid waived his right for anonymity and is rightly recognised for this contribution:
Idiomatic English raises more than a wry smile. In a recently received application for a ‘secretary/PA with marketing experience’ vacancy came the immortal opening line: “I am young, enthusiastic and very good at selling myself on the streets.”
Now, I know we expect a lot in consulting but…
One has to sympathise with this young lady. Who among you can honestly say you have not prostituted yourself and your ethics for the sake of the business? Guru’s ethics are usurped so often he feels like he’s running a one-man brothel at times.