This weekend I picked up a trophy at my cycling club’s awards dinner. I have won the B.A.R. trophy (Best All-Rounder – a prize for the fastest average speed over a selection of time-trial distances.*) It’s fantastic to win something, and I feel more part of the club know that I have my name engraved on one of their trophies!
It an interesting category of prize because it doesn’t favour a specialist time-trialler at any particular distance, just someone who’s reasonably good at everything. And that brought to mind this little scrap of paper that I found the other day while clearing out my office:
It’s the cunningly worded job advertisement that I answered nearly twenty years ago. What I have always loved about this advert is the focus, not on existing skills, but on outlook, attitude and aptitude. It takes a certain type of individual to see that advert and to think “Yes, I am.”
Back then I was young enough and arrogant enough to think I was what they were looking for. I think, in the end, I must have been, because I still remember that job fondly as the best job I’ve ever had.
That advert and its clever language helped recruit some of the cleverest, nicest and most interesting people I’ve ever worked with, many of whom I still count as friends. The work was mostly fun too. I learned enough doing that job to tide me over for the rest of my career. Sadly all good things come to an end and that job no longer exists, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.
I’m not sure whether an advert like that would jump off the page at me now like it did back then. I wasn’t even actively looking for a job at the time when those words snared me in. Then again, maybe I would be interested, after all, now I have a trophy that proves I really am Reasonably Good At Everything!* I should probably point out, since some of my cycling friends will probably read this, that I won the B.A.R., not by being incredibly fast, but by virtue of being one of only two riders who completed all the required distances. The other guy is 71.