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Orion's Proverbial 'Cog in the Machine' - Chapter 3


Blog from the Cog (in the Machine) 3

With online applications, electronic CVs, LinkedIn profiles and the rest, many will have forgotten that pre-computers, all application forms were hand-written for jobs that we read advertised in the newspapers.

Pre-internet days of course produced less international exchanges and therefore greater interest in applications from workers based in other countries.  As many of us are single language barbarians, you would think that we would marvel at the bravery of people applying for work in a different language but no, such forms provided great opportunity for laughs. Here are a few of the funnier examples from these long ago times:

One enterprising soul decided to make an ‘application on own initiative’.  He went on to state that ‘not with reference to an advertisement but solely on my own initiative I hereby apply for a job of engineer.  Often having concluded my education at a LTS school, I have worked in Germany for a half jeak.  My favourite surrounding is the see’.

On another application form, completed by a gentleman from Macedonia, he detailed in the ‘FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY’ section that the company should ‘accept my application, you do not make mistake’ – that should tell them!

Having worked for ‘many teaps of factories’, Mr Sammers was ‘most available’ to work for our ‘illustrious company’ and is a ‘good worker and am good with me hands on’.  I just wonder what he would be like with his hands off!

It was not just the applicants that struggled with forms, employers were at it too.  In the less enlightened days of the early 1990s, one employer unbelievably retained different application forms for British and ‘foreign’ candidates. 

With spell checks still being in its’ infancy and not readily available even organisations had problems.  In one particular 2 page application form, there were no less than 11 mistakes. 

Here are some of the highlights or rather lowlights:

  • Years school attendes
  • Address of emloyer
  • Years acouainted
  • Do not list clubs or organizatiions of a religious, racioal or national character
  • I hereby certify that, to the best of my knowiedge

Ballistic Statistic of the Week

It takes 492 seconds for the sun’s rays to reach Earth – just over 8 minutes is also about the same length of time that it takes me to eat my lunch.

Vital Job Title of the Week

Body-guard, Director of a Firm!

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