Well, it’s in: my application for the BBC’s Journalism Trainee Scheme.
Trainee. Hm. I need training. Well, retraining, certainly. There’s something about the word “trainee” that makes me think of apprentices on one of the government’s Yoof Training Schemes, for some reason. I’m no snob, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. That label.
Actually, that’s rubbish. I think maybe I am a bit of an intellectual snob. I do constantly look at people and wonder how the heck they keep their jobs, let alone get them in the first place. Not just anybody, you understand. I mean people who have better jobs than me. For instance, I recently applied to one of the country’s (in fact, world’s) leading academic institutions for a communications role. I won’t name them in case it comes back to bite me on the bottom when I eventually win the Booker Prize. But anyway, the first sentence, from the head of that department, read: “May thanks for your email.” That’s right. “May“. Given that much of the job would have involved proofreading for this person (or at least, this department) I kinda think that he should have practised what he inevitably would have preached and proofread his own emails before sending them out. In a two-sentence email, there were three mistakes. Nothing as forehead-slapping as “should of” or something equally toe-curling, but honestly, sir, if I’m going to spend time asking you for a job, at least have the grace to make just a little bit of an effort when you tell me to sod off.
Applications, as many of you will know (unless you’re lucky enough to be in your dream job already, or ambitionless enough not to care that you aren’t) can be very tiresome and very long. The one for the BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme, for example, requires one to write four mini-essays. That’s quite a lot, I thought, as I got down to business. Not only that, but you have to constantly use the lingo of the day which, in my experience, mainly refers to being “passionate” all the time. Passionate about editing. Passionate about new technology. Passionate about being passionate… How anyone can be passionate about auditing or chartered accountancy is beyond me, to be honest. Whilst I like working with words, I hold up my hands and say that I’m actually a lot more passionate about being happy, healthy, enjoying life with my wife, Formula 1, the odd glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and chocolate.
But rules is rules and I’ve just made pretty damn sure that I’ve come across as passionate in all four of my application essays. And they’d better bloody believe it; I spent hours on that mother…