As I write, my brain is dumbening and going to sleep helping my wife fill in a job application for a part time role as a receptionist in a local council sport centre. It’s utterly painful trying desperately to pad out an application that is, at 22 pages, nothing short of political correctness in book form.
There are sections galore about the equality policy of the council (you’d never guess but yes, they’re fully inclusive of everyone no matter what), the other values are equally generic and oddly valueless when you read through them. There’s the customer charter where they aim to help please all their customers and give them the services they need and want (really, who’d have thought..?) and so much more besides.
It’s actually not a million miles from many large marketing agency briefs that fly across my desk where there’s much padding to justify an inflated fee.
After filling in page upon page upon page upon page of questions about past experience dubiously matches up with the council values there’s a painful realisation that this sort of application is the lowest kind of impersonal crapshoot designed to tick off the boxes about equality and organisational targets rather than actually find a candidate who might be worth interviewing.
Remember, this is a part time role for a receptionist *
There is at no point in the 22 pages of questions as section where a candidate can write a personal statement. There are many sections where one can repeat themselves over and over again about how they listen to the public or how they have an ethnically diverse group of friends but nowhere a personal statement can be left.
Bureaucracy is alive and well and no doubt costing not just our evening filling in forms but someone elses day later in the week reviewing them and then more time actually learning about a candidate should they make it past the initial sift.
I strive for efficiency day to day and this was long way from it.
* I’m in no way belittling the role of a receptionist, with luck my wife will get this job, I’m only highlighting the insanity of the process.