I once went on an “extended interview”. The job was as a minor official with an eminent UK cycling organisation. I arrived in a room containing about 30 people. Oh yes – we were all there for the same job. We were going to spend the day in teams working on issues and projects whilst we were monitored by important assessors. Then, a final long list was to be drawn up and over the following month or so more interviews and tests would eventually lead to the appointment of the lucky person to a job at about minimum wage. During the day we all had to give power point presentations which we had prepared at home on the subject that “Cycling is seen as a posh middle class activity.” I think they meant people with “Stand Aside” 4X4’s with bikes on the roof for kids called Tamsin and Tarquin Foreskin-Smythe. Then we had to do role plays with other applicants, analyse pages of accident statistics and discuss areas such as strategies, marketing and presentation. Smug but smooth managers moved among us mumbling holy words like “Anticipated roll-out profiles within contexts of multi-layered platforms of social interactions.” In one of my own exercises I had to plan a multi-cultural fun experience transcending stereotypical attitudes whilst heightening ecological issues. I suggested a carnival procession without hydrocarbon entitled “Chilli con carnival” featuring a flypast by the “Red Barrows” (The Red Arrows are the crack Royal Air-Force display team). Red wheelbarrows could be zoomed around by ethnically neutral persons making aeroplane noises. I thought the examiner was gonna choke. It’s been a couple of years now and it’s beginning to look as if I didn’t make the cut.
The above experience came to mind tonight as I had to solve a problem. Imagine yourself driving a bus loaded with handicapped children. The bus starts to steer a bit heavy and you know there’s a puncture. You can’t really leave the bus or wait on the carriageway when you know there will soon be toilet issues. I spot a service station which is about big enough to take 3 family cars. I attempt an heroic shunt onto the forecourt. People run for cover. The Air line is out of order. I decide to head for the bus depot and make it with the wheel rim rim intact. If only those clever assessors could have analysed my strategy development.
Emma thinx: Liberal authoritarianism -you are free to obey.