Job hunting can really eat away at your day. Take the faint whiff of jobs from the BBC in Manchester. I spent several traumatic hours doing an online assessment for ‘undisclosed’ positions at Media City in Salford Quays (BBC due to move there in 2011). If you completed this to the Beeb's recruitment agency’s liking, then they might look at your CV for upcoming jobs.
It started with timed English/current affairs questions, which got harder if you got them right. But you didn't know if you'd answered them correctly. I finished on an ‘odd one out’ question. Make of that what you will.
Then there was a multiple-choice section, where there were ‘no wrong answers’. Which is garbage. The BBC does not want someone who has clicked on the ‘does not cope well under pressure’ and ‘prefers to eat their sandwiches alone’ sections.
'Which statement applies most to you...' one bit read, 'I get bored easily or I prefer to complete one thing before starting another.'
‘What does the BBC want me to be?’ I think, before ticking off a few more contradictory statements.
The third part was a series of films with actors playing employees facing tough decisions. At the end of each one you were asked how you would react if you were the employee – would you ask your boss for advice, do research etc. In the BBC's desire not to be seen as discriminating against creed, colour or crippling illness, they had created the most politically correct montage I have ever seen.
The first clip showed a small person zipping about the office in a wheelchair. The second featured a camp Asian chap on a computer. Another had a woman whose waters were almost breaking as she was breaking the news.
But the thing is, if these were real scenarios, those employees would probably have come straight from Oxford, Cambridge or Eton, or had known (or had parents who'd known) the director-general. Or would be prepared to work for £6,000 a year. And that pregnant woman would have been knocked up by a Cbeebies producer in the broomcupboard.