Please Give Me A Job
Times are hard, jobs are scarce. It’s only natural to want to retreat inside your own little fantasy world and wonder what it would be like to work for those businesses depicted in film or television. I said it’s only natural, OK? IT’S NOT WEIRD OR ANYTHING.
Ahem. So, here are eight of my favourite fictional workplaces, which is basically a thinly disguised way to talk about my favourite TV shows and films.
WORDS: JOHN MURPHY
8. Empire Records
Yeah, you may think that if you’re going to work in a fictional record shop, then High Fidelity’s ‘Championship Vinyl’ would be the one. But think about it – you’d have to put up with Jack Black being far too hyper, and John Cusack moping about his ex-girlfriends and not being Martin Q Blank (although you could use the opportunity to warn him away from starring in films like 2012 and Hot Tub Time Machine).
So, instead, move to Delaware and apply to Empire Records. You’ll stage mock funerals, chase shoplifters into the street and witness a young Liv Tyler attempt to seduce a guy who wound up starring in Emmerdale years later. And of course you’d get to listen to loads of early-90s indie bands that everyone’s now forgotten ever existed, like Cracker and Toad The Wet Sprocket.
What to say in an interview: “oh Rexy, you’re so sexy”.
7. Bluth Industries (Arrested Development)
Admittedly, after a week or so working for the Bluth Family, you’re liable to think to yourself: “I’ve made a huge mistake”. After all, the head of the family firm is in jail awaiting trial for embezzlement, your colleagues keep doing a chicken dance and you appear to be working for the most dysfunctional family who ever lived.
Yet, as the saying goes, “there’s always money in the banana stand”, you’ll get the chance to meet Tobias Funke (a nevernude of dubious sexuality and Blue Man Group alumni) and if you’re smart like cousin Maeby, you may end up with a job as a movie executive.
What to say in an interview: “They’re not tricks, they’re illusions. A trick is something a whore does for money. Or candy”
6. The Quick Stop Convenience Store (Clerks)
You’d have to deal with annoying customers, risk being prosecuted for selling cigarettes to minors and cope with the mind-blowingly banality of life in a tiny convenience store in smalltown New Jersey.
On the plus side, there’s very little work, you get to play hockey on the roof, and discuss pop culture references all day long with your best friend and a couple of drug dealers. But, a little word of advice, my friend….sometimes you gotta let those hard-to-reach chips go.
What to say in an interview: “I’m not even supposed to be here today”
5. The White House: Bartlett era (The West Wing)
Can you walk down corridors, while talking at the same time? Are you unfailingly optimistic and slightly naive about world politics? Can you swap razor-sharp witticisms with impossibly articulate and smart people?
If so, there’s a place at Jed Bartlett’s White House for you. Just don’t say the R word, try not to worry too much that that your boss has multiple sclerosis and try not to cry when your boss shouts in Latin at God while Dire Straits plays in the background.
What to say in an interview: “What’s next?”
4. Sterling Cooper Draper Price Advertising Agency (Mad Men)
Obviously, the first thing you’ll need is a time machine, as you’ll be working in the ’60s. And it’ll help if you’re male, white and middle-class as well, unless you fancy working as an elevator operator.
On the plus side, you’ll be working with impossibly cool, good looking, sharp-dressed people all day, and you’ll get to drink whisky and smoke fags in your office. Yeah, you’ll have to cope with identity crisis and a sense that everything’s falling apart around you, but try to pretend that never happened. It’ll shock you how much that never happened….
What to say in an interview: “Why yes, I do know what ‘egregious’ means”
3. TGS (30 Rock)
You’ll be working in midtown Manhattan, as part of a talented writing team. You’ll be writing for characters such as Pam The Overly-Confident Morbidly Obese Woman, and a cast with a past record of hit movies such as President Homeboy, The Rural Juror and The Jackie Jomp Jomp Story.
You’ll report to Liz, a New York third-wave feminist, college-educated, single-and-pretending-to-be-happy-about-it writer with bi-curious shoes, while opportunities to progress are plenty – you could find yourself working on the next season of MILF Island.
What to say in an interview: “Suck it monkeys, I’m going corporate!”
2. Dunder Mifflin (The Office)
This close-knit team, based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, currently has a vacancy for office manager. If you believe an office is a place where dreams can come true, enjoy wearing Fun Jeans, and have a World’s Best Boss mug, you’ll fit in seamlessly.
Your team will include a former deputy sheriff, a married couple expert in prank-playing, a laconic crossword player and a Cornell graduate with anger management issues who answers to the name ‘Nard Dog’. Try to ignore the documentary crew in the corner, though.
What to say in an interview: “I don’t want somebody sucking up to me because they think I’m going to help their career. I want them sucking up to me because they genuinely love me”
1. Pawnee’s Parks & Recreation Department
As well as helping the good citizens of Pawnee make the most of their environment, you’ll also be working with one of the most uplifting teams in local government. Whether it’s the frighteningly ambitious but fiercely loyal Deputy Director or the deadpan, moustachioed leading Libertarian who doesn’t actually believe in local Government, all your colleagues will brighten up your working day.
You’ll also be working for LITERALLY the most positive man who ever lived, and there’s even the opportunity to have your shoes shined by one half of the most adorable TV couple since Jim and Pam from Dunder Mifflin disappeared into a puddle of their own smugness. A word of warning though…do not go up to the fourth floor…
What to say in an interview: “When I’m being yelled at, all I hear is people caring loudly at me”