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When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools And Other Fools

What is the purpose of April Fools Day? Now, don't go rolling your eyes at me! Think about it: is it simply a day where we are all licensed to lie, cheat and swindle? Hardly sounds like something to celebrate, does it? And if it is an excuse to test your skills of 'foolery' out then is it really advisable to do so when everyone on the entire planet is expecting it? I am tempted to google the story behind April Fools Day but I'll leave that to my more research oriented readers to figure out.

I have hardly every pulled a really note-worthy prank on April 1st, though that's probably due to the reason that I generally pull one out when even I least expect it. However, I doubt I'll ever forget the 1st of April 2002. I was in the first year of college, and it so happened that one of our friend's birthday was the next day. Since it was exam season, we were compelled to put our books aside and put our minds to more practical use. By 1030pm, we had surreptitiously put all the clocks on the entire floor forward by one hour, and at 11pm we got the entire floor to turn up at his doorstep screaming "Happy Birthday!" (accompanied by the usual string of expletives). Needless to say, the boy was completely confused and totally unprepared for the traditional birthday thrashing that is so famous in our hostels. After a good half hour of kicks and bumps and what-not, we all shook hands with him and told him it was still April Fools Day, and that we were coming back in 30 minutes to repeat the whole ordeal again! The poor soul was dumbstruck with disbelief, and could only prepare himself for the encore by wearing 7 pairs of underwear. Yes, seven, and we know this because we counted while we removed them off of him. Don't ask.

In other news, the job hunt is in such a deplorable state I wouldn't be surprised if I was more successful searching for life on Mars. My little notebook in which I write down the posts for which I have applied sits on my bedside cupboard with an aura of mocking bemusement, as week after week I fill in another couple entries while noting the prior failed applications. However, I am not entirely to blame for my current state of unemployment.

Perusing the ads in the papers can be a rather enlightening experience if you analyse it. I have already mentioned earlier my confusion at the number of decent jobs available to school leavers and O/L pass students, but recently I have noticed another twist in the tale. Not only are companies looking for school leavers for all sorts of 'executive' positions, but now they want them to have work experience as well! How is someone 'between 18 and 22 years of age' supposed to have 'minimum of 3 years experience' in marketing, advertisement and/or management?? The same can be said for technical jobs. I doubt you'll find a single individual in the country that is under 25years of age and has '5 years experience in pipe laying and electrical conduit maintenance'! I thought joining university at 17 years was quite young, but apparently these days the average 17 year old has already completed his secondary and tertiary education along with CIMA and a 2 year course in nuclear physics!

Happy April Fools Day indeed - the jokes on me!


Jerry said...

No mention of me... maarai ne meya...

hijinx said...

Heeeheee... I'm 22 and I have more than 3 years. :P

It sucks though that expectations of education _and_ experience have gone up for younger people.. maybe it's reverting to old times where people were expected to shoulder responsibility younger?

Charm Bracelet said...

:) It can be done G. Agree with hijinx. I'm 23+ and have 4+ years of experience. Balancing academics and a career is NOT easy!! though it does seem to be the trend.

Guess most companies play their games amongst the niche few. These Corporates I tell ya!

Good Luck with the job hunt :)

PseudoRandom said...

OK you actually went through my archive to find that post? Saaaad :P

I think April Fools is funny because despite it being the globally accepted day for pranks, some people still succumb! It's like a day to tell apart the gullible from the really really gullible.

And dude, stripping people for their birthdays? No I won't ask :S

As for the experience issue, I think it largely depends on the field. I don't know what degrees hijinx and Charm Bracelet did, but I'd be very surprised if they were in science/engineering. Maybe I'm just ignorant about how universities work outside the UK, but I'd be pressed to find an engineer over here who managed to get considerable work experience in engineering during term time!

Have you considered approaching companies to get internships? There's no formal procedure, but perhaps they'll reward your interest with a few months' work? And then you can dazzle them with your brilliance and bag a permanent job ;-). That's how a lot of people here sneak into companies.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the highly democratic Sri Lankan system of job hunting - you won't get anywhere 90% of the time unless you know somebody in the upper echelons - and no, that's NOT restricted to only the public sector.

I should know, I spent five years searching for a job for which I knew I had more that the adequate credentials but though I lost count of the places I applied to, I was never called. So I ended up working for various organizations for paltry salaries and had the blood sucked out of me in the process.

I suppose it applies in most South Asian countries but in Sri Lanka especially, it's an open secret. It's not how talented you are that counts - its who you are and who you know!

I can very well relate to the frustration you are going through. Just make sure that you don't lose faith in yourself as I did. Keep on seeing the positive and homourous aspect of things - somehow you will get through this phase till you land a good job.

Good Luck till then!

Gehan said...

jerry: i thought the monkey in a tutu was a clear enuf reference :P

hijinx: well yes its different if u have a proper UG degree yea? and im not so sure abt it being 'shouldering' the burden..

charms: damn corporates! ok i take that back, pls hire me :(

PR: a) no i am not sad :P
b) perhaps..
c) wise decision :D
d) im def with u on that.. nowadays the weekend diploma thing is huge...
e) yea ive tried but even that seems to be a dead end at the moment...

qod: hey, thanks.. and yes i do agree, and its sad that its like that.. i guess u should start lookin for some 'frens'.. lol

Makuluwo said...

LOL @ monkey in a tutu comment.

And April Fools is just The Uberfun for the pranksters out there, man.

It takes real pranking skill to make people fall for pranks on a day when it's expected see?


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