I began this afternoon by attempting to apply to be the new voice of the speaking clock - a job that is open to any UK resident by means of entering a competition at the BBC Children In Need website...
However, it seems that, even in a competition that is open to anyone, my application did not go well. I made the phonecall (which costs £1.50) and gave them a sample of my best speaking clock voice before being given the chance to answer a qualifying question that would allow my entry into the competition. Given three options, I selected the correct answer - but it appears even giving the right answer won my no favours with the BBC as a female voice told me "That is not an option. Goodbye" and immediately cut me off...
So, with my wallet £1.50 lighter and yet still no nearer to being the voice of the speaking clock I began to browse the Guardian jobs site rather randomly (it is a very good site to explore, especially if you approach the process with no sense of either purpose or direction) until I found myself in a position to answer a higher calling.
There are many, many Executive Director positions advertised on a myriad of recruitment websites but very few can boast of divine inspiration; you see, this position would see me - quite literally - on a mission from God as I would be working for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) as an Executive Director of Operation Noah.
As the job advert said, "Climate change is humanity's biggest challenge. Help the Churches lead the way."
I think this is excellent forethought on the behalf of the CTBI; after all, back in the day, Noah had to do everything himself without even the hint of a schedule or effective project managerial leadership. The initial contract is for two days per week for twelve months so I'm assuming things aren't too desparate just yet and there's plenty of time left for ark construction and animal gathering.
The position is based at the London HQ of CTBI which, rather helpfully, is only a couple of hundred yards from the Thames - thus allowing for the ark, in times of flood, to simply clear its moorings and float down Stamford Street before bearing hard to starboard and using Hatfields to majestically sweep its way past the BBC Television Centre and into the Thames (from which point, things become far easier in terms of navigation).
I'm hoping, as Executive Director, I would be given a little leeway in animal selection this time around as this idea of taking two of every species is surely a little old now - for example, I'd rather hope we can leave the wasps behind as they seem to be of very little use. Also, I'm certain the CTBI could make an absolute bundle if it were to sell space in the ark (perhaps to celebrities and their pets?). I was sure there would be plenty of opportunity to discuss these sorts of ideas during the course of my interview but wanted my personal statement to, at least, hint at them:
I am extremely interested in your project as I believe it is a necessity for the Church to take a lead in this area. The Church can be unfettered by the restrictions that a similar project would have in the commercial, or even governmental, arena and this means Operation Noah can be a huge success.
I have plenty of experience of managing complex technical projects against strict timescales and believe that this experience would be essential for the success of Operation Noah.
I am also creative and imaginative and would hope to be intimately involved with the decision process to ensure that we don’t rely on out-dated ideas. It is vital for Operation Noah to truly represent the 21st century and I feel that there are means to develop funding streams through the course of the project – especially with regard to celebrity involvement.
I'm certain, with me at the helm, Operation Noah can be a tremendous success. I plan to give London Zoo a ring tomorrow and see if I can negotiate some kind of sponsorship deal up front to show the CTBI I mean business...