Thursday, February 01, 2007

On the stupendous inefficacy of career advice in the late 80’s

A friend of a friend is a station manager in Antarctica. Yes. That’s right - Antarctica. She manages a station in Ant-arc-tica. I had to say it again, slower that time. Now, how is it that a job like that exists and someone can have it?

It got me thinking back to career advice I got in highschool. Where was the 'How to be an Antarctic station manager’ brochure when I, as a dewy eyed youngster with good grades and strong bones, stood on the threshold of Mr [deleted for legal reasons]’s office? Hell, none of the suggestions I got even ventured out of my home town, let alone onto a significant ice shelf! I was told I could work in a chemist. Not as a chemist but in a chemist – there’s a difference. I also scored journalist and radiographer. Don't they strike you as a little on the random side? I reckon Dexter had more sophisticated matching skills for ill-fated lovers destined for dirty weekends on tacky commercial islands with camera crews in tow (what was with that!) than this alleged ‘advisor’.

So my point? Forget that ‘Friends Reunited’ malarky. I don’t want to catch up with school friends (after all I can pop into a chemist, hospital or grab a newspaper for that). Where's 'Careers Advisor Reunited' ? I’d just like a quick word. I’m curious what combination of 'career' and 'advice' he thought he was dispensing. I want to know if what went through his head resembled something along the lines of…..

[Scene 1: A girl pushes a door that slides, slowly, scraping the floor. It's dark inside. The corridor fluorescent backlights her. Inexplicable mist swirls around her feet. There is a murky glow on a crumpled figure, slumped low and twisted in a chair behind a desk. We can barely make out half his face in the fierce shadow.]

[The audience can hear the voice inside the man’s head.] “Ah, yes. A girlchild. She appears healthy. And can stand on her own. Upon reaching into my desk draw filled with meticulously torn strips from an old Yellow Pages, I will read her future.”

[He disappears from view
. We hear the brain slicing screech of a draw runner and the ruffle of paper. He rises and says croakily, not at all like yoda].

‘For you young grasshopper, I advise the careers of ……”

I reckon I’m not far off, but I’m curious to know. Oh, and if you’re still with me (sorry i will learn smallpost) there’s another ride coming up on Feb 24th. So make sure to (sticky) date your diary. Dress-ups tbc.


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Blogger lucychili said...

Hi curious,
Joan isn't currently in Antarctica.
Station leading is a per year project.
Here is an interview.
And I think the idea is that careers advisors can give you paths to jobs that are needed in your local area and might be a 'good bet'. For roads less travelled, or places with no roads, there might be different ways to get there =).

2:18 PM  
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