My computer is dead. As a parrot. Which is why in the next few days my posting will be more erratic than usual. In the meantime I'm putting out a situations vacant notice for a Special Assistant on a short contract basis to help me with Project New Computer. Here's the job description :
Special assistant required. You will be trilingual (English, Italian and Cyberspeak), have a PhD in assessing critical paths and scheduling, and will be demonstrably NICE. No hang-ups, no baggage, no lurking vendettas, no unhappy love affairs you want to tell everyone about. Minor deity status a positive advantage. The following are requirements :
Healing skills of the highest order : all members of the family need to be well (including the kittens) before I can leave them in search of a new machine.
Persuasion skills paramount : you will need to be able to persuade M. that he might like to spend the morning babysitting the children instead of organising central heating for the chickens, or painting my soon-to-be workroom, or changing the tyres on the car, or writing prize-winning articles, or stocking the cellar with a winter's supply of bolognese sauce, or baking a cake, or chopping a week's supply of firewood. Alternatively, you should be able to demonstrate the ability to complete all these tasks in a single morning, thereby leaving M free.
A diploma in car mechanics is essential (see tyres, above).
Status as a part-time weather-god would be helpful : the weather needs to be conducive to a hair-raising drive (novice driver who can't always find the right gear) around the lake to the nearest computer super-store. No snow, no howling gales, and definitely no darkness.
Ability to influence games of chance a must : there needs to be a fair amount of cash in my purse - a medium-sized win on the lottery should do the trick.
Demonstrable skills of interpretation and foresight required : you will be called upon to understand what the hell the on-commission salesman is going on about and make a decision that will encompass all new technology emerging over the next five years (existing or not yet existing).
And finally, you will need a Masters in tecchie stuff with a day to spare and lots of patience to set up the wireless and the anti-virus software.
Recompense? As in all jobs related to publishing, the fee is just enough to avoid charges of slavery. But I can certainly promise that you will get ... the blame when the cat sits on the new machine or the children shove one of M's very big kitchen knives into the CD drive and it all goes up in a puff of blue smoke.
Applications with relevant diplomas, testimonials, a doctor's certificate and references to be received by midnight yesterday. The job starts now.
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