When I'm not out there fighting the good fight, crusading against collective 21st century mediocrity and slaying boybands, I work. That's right: the cape comes off at dawn and like everybody else, I play a depressing, soul-sucking 9-5 gig Monday through Friday. While I've turned a few macabre tricks in my time, this most recent of occupations is without doubt the most heinous, mainly because its one of those professions that only came about because all the other jobs were taken and some unemployed fucker finally decided it was about time he had a proper meal.
I'm a 'conference producer'. For the uninitiated, that means I sit around googling all day looking for topics that equally underemployed people will spend a lot of money to talk about and listen to in a five star hotel somewhere in Johannesburg or Dubai or Singapore. In other words, I latch on to things that other people have declared 'hot' and 'contemporary' and 'radical' and find a few other people to talk about them and charge everybody else to attend these events because a silver-tongued salesman has cold-called and convinced them that the petroleum industry will save millions by adopting paper napkin alternatives to actually cleaning up an oil spill. Or some such.
I have no moral qualms about this. To be fair, we never really organize an event that is completely redundant. There's even a slight possibility that some people find this kind of thing useful. Besides, I'm highly suspicious of people who claim their jobs are fulfilling and meaningful. Jobs are meant to pay your bills. If you want to find yourself, if you want to change the big bad world, go tell it on the mountain. But that's not what this is about. A large part of my working day comprises looking up people on professional networking sites like Linkedin to find a handful of people qualified to speak on whatever topic I've decided deserves an international audience in a 5-star hotel in some remote part of the world. (This is beginning to sound much more glamorous than it really is.)
See, I'd never used Linkedin before I started on this job. Its basically Facebook for CV's and bio data and resume's. So Linkedin profiles tend to be every bit as dishonest and bloated as your average CV. People lie about academic qualifications, work experience, salary, achievements, the lot. Bit like a bar conversation with a girl completely out of your league. I don't want to go on about how ridiculous some people's descriptions of themselves are but today I came across one that made my completely lose my faith in humanity. Here you go:
MURAD SALMAN MIRZA: "Committed Organizational Architect, Positive Change Driver, Unrepentant Success Addict, Rapacious Knowledge Dispenser"
Let's take this one at a time:
Committed Organizational Architect - If somebody's paying you to do something, you may as well be committed doing it right? Even if you're not, 'committed' is not an attribute you'd crow about on a CV, surely? You'd think that'd be a minimum qualification.
Positive Change Driver - I can't imagine any scenario where an employer might want you to drive negative change. Can you?
Unrepentant Success Addict - This guy is hardcore. This guy is street. He doesn't just like success, he's addicted to it. He smokes it, snorts it, dabs it on his tongue, injects it right into his veins. And he's unrepentant about it. He'll sell his babies, murder his gran-gran for that sweet stuff. And damn right he won't shed a tear. You know, coz he's unrepentant.
Rapacious Knowledge Dispenser - This one's my favourite. He's a 'knowledge dispenser'. A phrase that can only bring to mind those soap-ejaculating things in restrooms. You push the little button on his head and out plops knowledge. Big gooey chunks of knowledge. And he's rapacious about it. He'll insist on jizzing you with his knowledge. Oh yeah, you say no and he'll just ram that big bad rod of his into your ear and spurt knowledge all over the side of your cheap, slutty face.
So basically he's a pedantic leaky tool. And he's not sorry about it. He's David Brent in disguise.
Did I mention he's a 'human relations advisor'?
Sometimes I weep for humanity. I really do.