Those who know me personally probably know that I'm still unemployed. This mean I have to fill in job application forms. I don't like job application forms. The reason I don't like job application forms is that they ask questions, which, if you think about them for very long, it becomes clear are entirely stupid. This is one of the disadvantages of having studied philosophy, that because a lot of it is just teaching you to ask the right questions, it makes you aware just how many absolutely idiotic ones there are knocking about. For example:
Please provide an example which demonstrates your ability to recognise the impact of your own behaviour on others, including your use of interpersonal skills to build rapport with them. Your example should demonstrate that you value diversity and are able to take into account others' situations and concerns.
Pointing out that since I wasn't raised by wolves, I have experience of interacting with other human beings dating back as far as birth presumably wouldn't be a good idea here. Pointing out that that must mean that, unless I've got a rather long history of being the victim of violence and/or shunning, I can get on with them reasonably well presumably wouldn't be a good idea either. Pointing out that most people weren't raised by wolves, and are consequently pretty good at getting on with other people would also be entirely counterproductive, I fear. That's what I really want to do though. Really, really want to do.
It's not a radical idea, I think, that humans are more or less uniformly social animals. Neither is it a radical idea that in order to survive and prosper as a social animal, it's pretty necessary to be able to 'take into account others' situations and concerns' or to be able to 'recognise the impact of your own behaviour on others'. I don't know, maybe I'm being unreasonable, but those look like the kind of thing you need to be able to do just to function as a normal person. It looks like the thing which two year-old babies, notoriously self-obsessed, lack, but gain by the time they're three or four. So it would be an obviously valuable thing to ask questions about when assessing the suitability of adults for employment: let's see whether the adults have, in their progression through life, moved on beyond the developmental stage of a two year-old. That's a genuine attempt to find something out substantive about the candidate, clearly.
Please provide an example that best demonstrates to communicate orally and in writing in a clear, concise and persuasive manner. Your example should demonstrate your ability to communicate your own viewpoint succinctly and to defend it appropriately when necessary.
The irony of this being one of a number of questions during an application form just had to be shared, I felt. Because we should ask people about their communication skills rather than just see whether or not, on the basis of their other answers, they can actually communicate. That would be simple, wouldn't it? That would make some kind of sense, and that would be a dangerous, dangerous step to talk. That might imply that there was supposed to be some kind of rationale behind the application process, and we wouldn't want anyone to assume that in case they were terribly, terribly disappointed.
Like I said, entirely stupid questions. I have come to regard recruitment consultants with the same kind of absolute disgust that Bill Hicks reserved for people who work in marketing, whom I'm actually fairly ambivalent about. But the recruitment consultants... The recruitment consultants better beware. Because of them, I'm still unemployed and consequently have rather a lot of time on my hands. What on earth could I be going to do to fill it?