30 July 2015

SINCE everyone in this country is an expert in giving advice to everyone else, I thought I would join in and generously give my totally unsolicited counsel to all those aspiring to join cupboards or closets of any kind. Any likeness to anything familiar around us is naturally a complete coincidence.

First of all, please get it out of your head that you are wanted or needed because you have expertise of any kind. Who cares if you have a double degree in How to Make Anything Good and How to Make Anything Better? What you need is a PhD in How To Make Your Boss Feel Good, with a minor in How To Make Your Boss Look Really Good. It would also help if you have expertise in How To Clean Up Messes, especially if it involves getting rid of Messy People.

Secondly, you have to audition for the job. Don’t ever expect to be picked out of obscurity like some Cinderella. Let’s not forget that Cinders didn’t really get an invitation to the Ball – her ugly stepsisters did. And they worked hard for it by making sure they got noticed.

So find a way to get attention. Never mind if it means making a spectacle of yourself. Who cares if you look and sound like a fool as long as your potential Boss likes it? The path to position and lucre is strewn with puffery and pomp! Pledge loyalty, even if nobody asked you to. That counts as double points.

Thirdly, always be humble and say you had not expected this at all but it must have been Divine Intervention. Who in their right mind would question what the Almighty wants? And He must have spoken through his vessel, your soon-to-be Boss. George W. Bush said God made him President to do His will on earth. Surely if an American can claim that, we can too.

Fourthly, don’t be picky about what you are given. Just be grateful! What does it matter anyway? It all comes with nice perks like a nice house (there must be a renovation budget), a nice car with a driver, first-class travel for you and the Mrs, and all sorts of other things you’ve only heard about from others but can now experience firsthand.

So what if the work is crushingly dull? Someone else can read all those papers for you and give you a summary. And oops, if you miss a few things in there, there are lots of people you can blame, even despatch clerks. Why worry? You’ve hit the big time.

Fifthly, now that you’ve got it, your job is to smile and nod your head. Vigorously. All the time. Get yourself photographed with the Boss as much as possible, preferably looking at him with utter adoration. If you can hold up a suitably adoring placard, that’s even better. However, some have found that this is no insurance for job security. Maybe practise hand-kissing as an alternative.

Sixthly, let’s not forget that you are a package deal, which your spouse is a part of. Train her well because her job is as important as yours. Quite the opposite from you, her job is not to compete with her Boss.

So make sure that if you want to buy pretty expensive things for her (and now you can!), don’t let her wear them in front of her Boss, especially if she looks quite hot in them. Support local brands and dress your other half in them. Leave the international imports to her Boss and coach her in the right admiring phrases to murmur.

Seventhly, ever seen the TV series Entour­age? That’s what you need, an entourage. Surround yourself with all sorts of folks who can be given menial jobs dressed up as important ones by putting them in the right clothes. No Big Man is without his entourage to carry bags, check him in at airports, that sort of thing. Never ever have to do a single thing yourself again.

Eighthly, be part of an entourage yourself. It is highly important that you keep yourself within your Boss’ line of sight at all times because you don’t want him to forget you exist or overlook you the next time he wants to clear out his cupboard. So follow him everywhere; after all, that is your main job.

It’s also your spouse’s job to be a handmaiden in her Boss’ entourage so if she gets called upon to serve, give her your blessing. It will be rewarding.

There you have it – eight tips for succeeding in life in our dear country. The folks out there who have to actually work to survive each day wish you lots of luck. Drop some crumbs some time.