With my new writing career still not quite yielding anything approaching a healthy income (how does nothing at all sound?), I decided to enrol with an employment agency in order to secure additional pennies to supplement my modest pension. Obviously, as a career civil servant (which is a gross exaggeration to how it really was), I previously had no need to search for employment, but it is not quite as easy as I was expecting.

It was simple enough to register. Answer a lengthy on-line questionnaire, outlining your qualifications, experience and skills and the job offers would keep rolling in! Well, not exactly rolling in, but I’d soon be offering my unique talents to a waiting world. Wouldn’t I?

It’s not been so much job offers as job suggestions. These arrive on a near daily basis and I have been left scratching my head as to what I put on the questionnaire to solicit some of them. Today’s gems include:

Business Development Manager
Area Sales Manager (Luxury Retail)
Senior Energy Consultant
Insurance Broker (Sales/Customer Services)
Night Customer Services and Safety Assistant

I can assure you that when I registered, I did not exaggerate about what I might be able to offer a prospective employer, nor did I pretend to possess skills I plainly don’t have, so why am I getting suggestions like this?
I know quite literally nothing about Business Development, never mind being a manager of it, I have never sold anything, let alone “luxury retail”, I have never been so much a junior energy consultant, I haven’t ever broken insurance (I am not sure if this is actually what an insurance broker does) and I am not familiar with Night Customer services, although I was once, many years ago, a healthy and safety representative. Today’s offerings seem to be based on the non-scientific method of blindly sticking in a pin in a list!

In a moment of madness, I applied for a cleaning job, assuming that even would have the necessary skills to clean things. The money was crap but the hours were perfect, so I fancied my chances but I didn’t even get as far as the on-line test. I was insufficiently qualified, came the reply, and I was. As ever, I had not properly read the small print and you really did need a qualification in something – I can’t remember what: possibly cleaning things? – and my English Language O level did not cover this. Ah well: onwards and downwards. I wasn’t too sorry, if the truth be known, but if I am unfit to be a cleaner, then the world of energy consultancy does seem to be a remote possibility, to say the least.

It does seem to me that there is a wide disparity in the jobs market, although my comments are based on anecdotal (lack of) evidence. The jobs are either high-powered, highly paid, or menial minimum wage. There are few exceptions, very little in the middle. Guess which category is occupying my attention?

Never mind. Something, I am sure, will turn up soon enough. After all, what employer would not benefit from someone who worked for 39 years as a civil servant? Er…