Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Benedict Le Gauche and his Contrarian CV

Many thanks to the friend who pointed me in the direction of this story - http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/875232-worlds-worst-cv-admits-to-stealing-laziness-and-skiving. The pitching of a CV to attract a favourable response from prospective employers is a difficult business - I've met people who possess a multitude of them, crafted specifically to meet the requirements of the role for which they have applied. Most of us, this bunny included, restrict our take on the hard sell to a single document that masks our obvious weaknesses while wildly exaggerating the scale of anything that might, at a stretch, constitute some sort of achievement.

All part of the game, yeah?

28 year-old Mancunian Benedict Le Gauche's attempt to make himself an attractive proposition to life's movers, shakers and go-getters could only be described as authentic, original, and in its own more than slightly unstable way, quite brilliant - http://curriculumvitiate.wordpress.com/the-cv/. Perpetual lethargy, petty theft, habitual lateness and an overwhelming sense of utter boredom regarding the "boring, drudgerous and disheartening" world of earning a living all make an appearance in a CV that could only have been crafted by an individual in possession of a genuine flair for the written word. Conversely, this document can also be interpreted as a full-on expression of disdain for the very notion of work itself, as well as a sentiment that 'whatever role I am likely to get, I will always feel it is that bit beneath my talents'. Like most who are individualistic and eccentric, De Gauche is far from simple to figure out - as a result, this bunny remains somewhat non-committal in regard to whether or not he likes the man.

Much of what he says, albeit indirectly is completely true - the pressure on individuals to compete with each other both to get into a workplace and then progress there can trap many in a cycle of ambition and the process of whoring oneself that appears to become an inevitable part of achieving their goals. Kids are coached at school in the 'art' of job interviews and selling themselves as the perfect, flawless employee which by the very laws of humanity they, and in fact none of us are. Much of what goes on in the occupational sphere is little more than a human chess match - the choice merely lies in the degree to which we as individuals choose to take part. At one extreme end of the spectrum is the 'company minded team-player' who, when asked what his weaknesses are at interview, responds "I'm a perfectionist and I work too hard", before impressing those in the finest hats with a cocktail of arse-licking, sycophancy and maybe a spot of hard work.

Several stratospheres in the opposite direction, and determined to take any element of unwelcome surprise out of the equation is Le Gauche, a man who clearly defends his individuality and sense of self with fierce determination that belies the apathy towards other areas of life in which he clearly takes a perverse degree of pride. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes - this bunny, being honest, leans further towards Benedict's end of the spectrum than many would be comfortable with, which is why he perhaps feels a tad more warmth towards the talented idler than most (I know our contributor Tommy Atkins may go slightly further than this - http://outspokenrabbit.blogspot.com/2011/05/why-work.html).

However, there are some troubling aspects to Benedict's 'search for work' , most notably the fact that he lives off a combination of a girlfriend with two jobs and a large overdraft. 'Being your own man' is, if anything, to be encouraged, provided of course that it is not at the expense of others. In the MEN's piece on the same subject, the interviewer notes that Le Gauche feels 'guilt' about this fact. It's perhaps unfortunate that such emotions do not stretch to a willingness to park a slice of whatever self-respect/pride he is (not) working to retain and just temper things sufficiently to become a viable proposition to someone, somewhere - unless of course this exercise is little more than a means by which to render himself unemployable, a thought that has probably occurred to most of you.

It's clear as a bell that Le Gauche is a young man who is thoroughly disenchanted with at least one significant area of life, but it is difficult to feel much in the way of sympathy when "part of the problem is I don't know what I want to be". This in itself is a highly puzzling statement given that he is clearly of above average intelligence, but may be a substantial part of whatever 'solution' Benedict is looking for.

Many of us get little in the way of enjoyment or genuine satisfaction from the job we do - some cling on to whatever unlikely aspirations and hopes they had while the clock ticks by, while others accept over time that the moment in which they were going to 'make it happen' has long passed (of course, the transition from the first of those phases to the second is a fairly natural one). Either way, it's a means of rationalising, compartmentalising and dealing with an area of our lives that we may not particularly like:- as 'what we have for now' or 'all we will ever have - and hey, it's not that bad'. It may be simple and convenient to dismiss someone like Le Gauch as a 'dreamer', but from where this bunny is stood, his CV is the work of a disillusioned thinker who in fact does not dream nearly enough. After all, 28 is far too young an age at which to accept being 'ordinary'. Take care and I'll catch you soon.


  1. Really good post Daz. Le Gauche wins points for honesty at least; saying or articulating what many of us feel; "...I don't know what I want to be." Don't we all, at times?