You've got the qualification, you've got the job ... but have you got what it takes?
At age 51 and counting, the full-time employment options for me seem to be dwindling faster than full bladder control.
I never got the degree in marketing that would have given me a shot as an advertising executive for Saatchi and Saatchi ... naively thinking my God-given creativity would suffice.
The irony is that I have since spent a lifetime listening to or watching ads, most of which have been thrown together by some strung-out ad man with the requisite degree but no creative spark.
Creativity is a gift that cannot be taught and that is borne out by the average burn-out age of those who hold such positions.
Real, natural creative juice doesn't burn out — it remains with you for life. Heads-up peeps, burn-out is only occurring because, despite their fancy-schmancy degree, your high paid exec simply isn't up to the task.
How is it that degrees, or at least the concept of them, will have the vast majority of us think otherwise?
And what kind of bullshit world even wants to promote that kind of crap?
This era, like no other before it, is proof positive that creative geniuses and self-schooled entrepreneurs are owning the world with not a single degree or certificate between the lot of them.
Yet still, we prefer to employ the "most qualified" for a job.
Yeah, woohoo — let's employ some couch-burning, beer-swilling, underwear-running, mould-ridden flat-inhabiting, noodle-eating and heavily-indebted person to do the job ... cos they're qualified ... on paper.
Qualified by the same system that grants you four credits for catching a ball or writing a 500-word English essay.
You can't be serious, I hear you thinking. Is it any wonder that some student loans are free — many so-called qualifications are barely worth the paper they are written on.
Is there a place for certain qualifications? Absolutely. For the likes of doctors and lawyers — but there are a whole lot of fields where life experience should count for a lot more.
Education is nothing more than another greedy business touting for trade. A money-making venture that relies on promises from the past to define its future.
So, what of the 51-year-old frumpster, looking to embody her creative talents?
Perhaps a volunteer position as the Kate from Countdown Aisle-Finder, as they undergo their most recent renovations, happy with the reward of a couple of scungy avocados and a pound of butter.
Or mayhap, the housing officer for the Sallies ... complete with real-life experience of living on a shoestring and genuine empathy. No platitudes here. I'm not one those 100k earners pleading poverty. I get by on a fifth of that.
I may not be the most qualified, most attractive or youngest candidate for the job but my desire to work is very real — and I have a lot to offer.
Who else would suggest calling a new cycling shop The Town Bike or the latest Indian restaurant Curry Muncher?
Yes, I can see the hate mail already branding me a racist, but what the hell is wrong with munching on a curry?
We can make anything negative if we try hard enough. It's just unfortunate that we now live in a world where tearing people down makes the rest of us feel good.
We desperately need to lighten up and go back to living a little as opposed to living in a world where being a victim is trendy and taking offence is almost ingrained.
Have we really become that pathetic? Should I create my own Give-a-little page and suck you in with my own unauthenticated back story normally reserved for hapless politician dancers on DWTS?
Proof positive that, just like a qualification, as nice a guy as he may be, his actual talent has no bearing on the outcome.
Human life as we know it has become little more than a popularity contest. Could things be any sadder?
Unfortunately, I'm not qualified to say.
The only degree I have is one of self-respect and — job or no job — I can live with that.
Job offers and feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org