3 January 2002
FOR SALE: One heart, deep red, medium sized, hardly used, vgc. Several careful owners, all female. Still under 1,000,000,000 beats on the clock. Hoping to go to a good home! Will accept proposals of unconditional love o.n.o. No agencies.
God, if only it were that easy. I'm all for treating love like any other commodity, finding a partner just like finding a house or finding a job. Why bother over-complicating things? You've got demands, you've got something to offer (hopefully), it'd be a whole lot simpler if you could just be honest about everything and come to some sort of agreement. Trade off things like commitment and monogamy against guaranteed oral sex and the lingering possibility of a threesome, or accept an offer in a more menial position for short-term gratification. We do it anyway, we might as well just kill some of the crap that blocks up the process.
ARE YOU looking for a new role in the relationship sector? Our client, a rapidly-expanding professional with a background in retail, is urgently looking for an experienced, full-time partner with good knowledge of intimacy and a proven track record of commitment. No job-hoppers. Fluency in English is essential; knowledge of French and willingness to travel an advantage. The successful candidate will be required to work nights.
Of course, we'd soon start taking the mickey and getting our CVs polished by a new wave of recruitment agencies, specialised in getting you through that tricky first interview and dedicated to making sure you have an offer on the table within a week. We'd carefully bend the truth about our previous experience like we do already, fill in some of the gaps on the CV ('between March 1997 and August 1998 I took on a variety of part-time positions in order to gain experience of different company cultures and business areas'). And of course, our respective roles in various projects and their success or failure could be talked up or down as much as we need. We'd be told the things we should avoid saying in interview, the right questions to ask, we'd get help when it came to final negotiations. Just don't ask how the commission works.
And then, of course, the whole thing snowballs. Some people with excellent skills but a lack of commitment promote themselves as freelancers, taking on short-term contracts with massive rewards but little in the way of security, while others stay in the same dull employ for years on end in the vague hope that their loyalty will earn them a better deal. And no matter what other offers you put in front of them, their misguided faithfulness always stops them from grabbing a great career move with open arms.
Here's how your applications should look:
PERSONAL STATEMENT: Jamie is a committed, hardworking lover with a genuine dedication to the job in hand. He is looking to leave his current position due to the lack of future prospects with the employer, and is keen to find a new job with possibilities to move into the role of partner or husband. Jamie feels his skills and experience (over 6 years in the industry) would be of benefit to any potential employer.
The only problem is going to be getting references. Personal ones are fine - mates attesting to how well you treat 'yo beatches' - but the professional reference is always going to be a little sticky. You've got a choice between trying to get a written reference before the end of your employ (could raise suspicion) or postponing the matter till the relationship's over - by which time the raves about your manual labour skills and superb culinary ability have been replaced by a complete hatred of all you stand for. Not speaking from personal experience, you understand - just what I've been told.
And of course, it's only a short, very simple step from this to full-blown, large-scale prostitution. Not the piddly street-corner soliciting that you get these days, but the kind where you can't get anywhere without being attached to a pimp of your own and playing the system.
Of course, there will always be a few people who keep the flag of independence flying, refusing all offers of help in the hope that fate or serendipity (the theory of happy chance, rather than Mark Gottlieb's sister in Neighbours) will help them make a connection; they'll be almost evangelically smug in their sense of freedom from the corporate system. But don't worry about them - you'll be getting a lot more sex...
I've seen the future, and I'm spent.