I almost applied to be a Wind Tunnel Operator today, when I discovered the vacancy on the Daily Telegraph jobs site but, although the salary appeared to be quite reasonable, I decided it wasn't really quite the job for me. The position called for:
"A practical hands-on approach."
But, I thought to myself, would I really get a great deal of job satisfaction from flicking a switch to turn a wind tunnel on and off a couple of times a day? Sure, it wouldn't be the most stressful or tiring of jobs, but it's hard to imagine how varied the work could be. I can almost imagine the exciting work related conversations that take place as the Wind Tunnel Operators chat over lunch about how many times they have each turned the wind tunnel on and off that particular day. "I did it five times this morning!" "Five times? Pah - five times is nothing! I did it seven!" And then there's bound to be a wizened old operator who'll sit back in his seat, twiddle his greying moustache between his fingers and say to himself (in a voice loud enough for the whole canteen to hear). "When I were a lad, we used to have t'turn wind tunnel on fifty times every morning - and that were before we even got t'work..."
No, a life in wind tunnel operation is not for me...
So, instead, I decided that I would apply to be a Chair Statistics at the University of Otago in New Zealand. My understanding of the role is that one prepares and analyses all forms of statistical data as and when it relates to chairs - which surely can't be that often one would have thought...
I decided that, in order to impress upon them my seriousness in the matter of chair statistics, I would need to conjure up some highly interesting facts for them. So, armed only with an old musical Casio calculator and a Google search engine, I worked hard to come up with the following personal statement:
I have a great interest in statistics and have developed the following statistical information in order to illustrate my love for the subject, and statistics in general:
The cinema with the most chairs is the Radio City Music Hall in New York with 5,910 seats. However, if the entire population of China were to be filtered through this cinema, it would take 221,035 viewings before they had all managed to see the film. Assuming they all watch Star Wars Episode IV (A New Hope), with a running time of 2hr 1min, and it takes an additional ten minutes to fill and empty the cinema (using a highly organised system) then it would take 55 years and 33 days for the entire population of China to be able to watch it.
Furthermore, assuming that each person attending the cinema eats one 85 oz. container full of popcorn (113g) and drinks one 32 oz. cold beverage then, in total, over the fifty five year period, the population of China would consume 147, 613 tonnes of popcorn and 627,030,629 litres of cold beverage.
I am certain my display of statistical acumen will highlight the reasons why, at the very least, they should pay for me to fly to New Zealand and give me an extended tour of the facilities...