Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our June assignment: write a letter to a son or daughter, offering advice based on our own life experiences. Dear Tarquin, As you set out on a new phase of your life, equipped with your bachelor degree in Cultural Studies, your diploma in Political Correctness and a not quite fully maxed out credit card, I feel it is appropriate to offer some fatherly advice. Experience has taught me there is no correlation between salary and hard work: the toughest jobs with the worst conditions invariably pay the minimum wage. Executive positions always offer air-conditioning, longer lunch breaks and the option of delegating any risky decisions that are likely to back-fire. Think laterally when seeking out such appointments; a comprehensive CV might impress your friends but, like your gothic vampire novel manuscript, will probably remain beneath the slush pile. Good jobs usually come via word of mouth from good contacts. At interviews do not hesitate to use sensitive information, especially if it involves old flames of your mother. Rudyard Kipling famously offered a lot of sage advice to his son but never once mentioned having a good time. The Victorians frowned at anyone enjoying themselves so remember when wowsers don’t approve, you are probably doing something right. If the urge should come upon you to start a family, construct a mental balance sheet of the costs and benefits from our family experiences – and then note the bottom line. Life can be hard so if, despite your qualifications and unfathomable confidence, faeces do hit the turbine blades, your room will still be here for you. The nine illegal immigrants to whom we have sub-let it are accustomed to sharing. As one said to me this morning (through an Afghan interpreter): ‘we all deserve to start a new life’. I hope these words will be of help to you, Your loving father, Dave


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