Thursday, September 28, 2006

I am midway through the delicate process of applying for an Australian unemployment benefit, optimistically branded "Newstart Allowance", administered by a government agency and part-time hobby railway enthusiast club named Centrelink.

Although my details are still registered on Centrelink's computer system from when I was receiving Newstart Allowance from them in 1998, this is apparently by the by. Centrelink will have none of it. Centrelink requires proof from 3rd parties that a person of my name exists and that I have lived in Australia prior to 2001. In this age of airport security and identity fraud, Centrelink trusts noone, least of all themselves.

When I say 3rd parties I do not mean mere governments (my NZ passport and birth certificate) nor state institutions (my Australian Medicare (social security) card) nor banks (my HSBC credit card). I mean (or rather, Centrelink means) solid legal documentation such as Australian department store loyalty cards and video club memberships.

It is reasonable to think that an organisation such as Centrelink that displays more confidence in the integrity of Video Ezy's membership system than in their own electronic record keeping is an organisation that any rational person would find hard to take seriously. I am looking forward to telling them so during my appointment with one of their representatives on Monday morning. I have been warned over the phone that my failure to join the Myer frequent shopper programme and my unwillingness to sit a test for a learner driver's permit in order to generate a piece of ID will doubtless prevent me from claiming the benefit that I am entitled to, but I am undeterred. My run-ins with the French bureaucracy (in particular the social security system) have primed me for such a confrontation, and let me assure readers that it will not be me who comes off the worse for it.

No matter. Perhaps I will be employed soon anyway. A 22 year old Centrelink Job Network résumé writing expert (that I have never met, by the way) has already rewritten my CV in order to ensure my job-hunting success. According to him/her/it my skills (sic) include:

* Excellent understanding of English, particularly grammar and spelling.

When I read this I found myself having blush at such flagrant flattery from a stranger. I have excellent spelling? Well, of course, modesty precludes me from saying so myself, but thank you anyway. By omitting "spelling skills" from my own version of my CV, I have clearly been underestimating its importance and perhaps even failed to secure job interviews as a result.

* Observant and inquisitive approach to people and their environment.

Having been out of the real (non-games) employment world for so long, it never occurred to me that a tendency to want to peer up people's skirts on the bus is now considered a job skill. Once again, I demonstrate my failure to understand what it takes to survive within a fast-paced and ever-changing modern work environment.

You will notice that I have removed the Elf poll (in which the opinion that elves are an overrated and anachronistic fantasy genre cliché won with 37% of the vote) and replaced it with a World of Warcraft poll. Please vote in it. Also, I have include handy quick links to my Game Job Ads That Suck series, the definitive guide to game industry job advertisements. Game studies teaching friends, please refer your students to it. I am sure they will find it extremely helpful.

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At 6:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe you should add that you are also familiar working with computers, esp outlook express and microsoft works...
- melanie

At 6:31 am, Blogger Kipper said...

and the internet. I forgot to write that I knew the internet.

At 6:55 am, Blogger the rantolotl said...

it's a valuable skill.

Personally, I like to display the fact that I know how to use a mouse. Eloquently, in fact!


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