19) Cheating and CVs and Liars, oh my.

“Cause in your mind, it’s lyin’ season” – Fake, Alexander O’Neal

Hi there girls and boys, I hope you’re well.

Cheating is something I can’t abide. I’m talking about cheating as in the minor stuff, games, sport etc. The cheating in a relationship is called Shagging Somebody Else. I’ve heard about the ridiculous term “hall pass”, used by the kind of slappers that appear on Love Island or Geordie Shore. (Dear producers. If you’re from Middlesbrough, you’re not Geordies). I don’t watch such tripe but have been told by friends that the types that appear on them bandy about such terms, and it no doubt comes from some wanky U.S. euphemism. Not happy with your current boy or girl? Then leave, go and find another, but don’t have two on the go at the same time. The people that think that it’s acceptable to shag somebody while the wife or husband is at work though.. I’m happy to say that I have friends that are not like this..but then again, would they tell me if they were?! There’ll be more on this in a future post.

So, cheating. I was browsing YouTube as I do and on one of those “recommended for you” lists was some bloke who was incensed by another who had, and this I find incredible, claimed a world record in completing a video game, Mario something or other. Firstly, there is the fact that the dedication anyone puts into creating a record for these things baffles me. If you have those levels of concentration, do something useful with it! Then you are so proud of your minor achievement that you put it out there for the world to marvel at/ponder/be bewildered by. “Look at me, I don’t have a life but I can complete this game in thirty minutes”. Then there is the reaction to this alleged record, and I suspect he was either jealous or just fucking dense. He reckons it must have been achieved by cheating, as he couldn’t have done it and he is great at the game. Jump-cuts in the video PROVE it’s a fake.. And? Your reaction-for-hits video, complete with hands-to-the-face image of you in the thumbnail, (an automatic downvote), also has jumpcuts.

Lets talk about jump-cuts as well. Have none of these YouTubers heard of a script? I saw one this week that had ten cuts in thirty seconds. Can’t you just read it from a big bit of card, the same way some actors have to? The superb Tony Hancock had to do this after his accident. If you watch the Blood Donor sketch you can see his eyes moving along the lines, but for a younger person remembering a few words should be easy. Reporters the world over can do a piece to camera without fault, I’ve even seen FOX News people do this!

Cheating in sport can have consequences. Dad2, a diehard Arsenal fan, tells me that blatant handballs have occurred in major football matches, once with Maradona (Argentina v England) and another with Thierry Henry, (France v Ireland) “Absolutely unacceptable”, he’ll tell you. This from a man with two signed Henry shirts in his study. In both cases the cheater’s team won. Then we have the constant diving for a foul. Some of them could compete for their countries in a swimming pool. They roll around as if shot, but watch rugby and they seem to be ok with that same slight push to the shoulder. Perhaps the same could be said for American football, but you’ve got question the toughness of players that take to the field wearing a suit of armour.

And let’s not get me started on benefit cheats..

I’m lead lifeguard at the two pools that the owner operates. This means I have to recruit guards if we ever need them. You may be surprised at the type of people we have applying. I realise that in this part of the world jobs can be hard to come by but at least have the ability to swim! Each vacancy attracts about twenty or so applications, and the CV’s are something to behold. Recruiters will tell you that their CV service is THE one, their’s is the format that employers require. Absolute rubbish. I see all types and none of them are superior to others. As long as it tells me the information I require quickly, it doesn’t matter if it’s in one font or a hundred, professionally done or hand written. The agencies love to prise money from job-seekers hands, and CV writing is big business. When you could be charged as little as £25 for one, you have to ask the what these people come up with…

Just what do you get for 500 quid? And you charge a hundred for a covering letter? Is it written on swan feathers and delivered to you by dolphin?

As we try to keep a level amount of male and female staff in the pools, it can be challenging to choose an applicant of one sex when the other looks better on paper. At present there is an imbalance of female to male by three, but does that mean we employ staff that are maybe not as top-notch as we’d like because we need a man? (Possibly the only instance of me ever saying I need a man). It’s the only time I would apply discrimination, positive though it may be.

There have been some memorable applications, apart from the non-swimmer. One man enclosed a ten by eight photo of himself, dressed in nothing but swimming trunks which left very little to the imagination. We don’t ask for pics unlike some businesses. I’ve never understood that. Does it matter what you look like? The sheet that we must attach by law concerning ethnicity though, it makes me growl every time I see one and when forms are returned to us I chuck that sheet in the shredder immediately. Your skin colour is of no concern to me. You’re a practising Druid, homosexual, (even though we aren’t allowed to ask that it still appears on the form), sky blue skin with pink dots..yes yes yes but can you swim?

I was told by Abby, who knows more about this sort of thing than I ever will, that although companies can’t have quotas they CAN have “aspirational targets”. So if you have a perceived shortage of lets say, black one-legged lesbians, while you cant advertise for them nor can you employ them just because they are a black one-legged lesbian, you can aspire to have them in your organisation. Our police force, fire service and the like aspire to have more people of colour in their ranks. Great, lets do it.. But they can’t force said people to join. As a company or business just having that target is good, and because of it nobody can say that you’re discriminating against a section of the community because you don’t have those people working for you, wrong though that is.

Thinking back, I’ve never had an applicant arrive for an interview that wasn’t white. Perhaps I should have been reading the ethnicity form? “Hmm, Indian, no, (You know what they’re like, always wanting a kiss, can I have you right now, here on the kitchen floor)…Asian…Black Caribbean….ooh, Gypsy or Traveller? Now only 0.1% of the British population is one of those.. Let’s see if he has a dark skin and is also a Jedi then that’s the boxes ticked!”

It’s all absolute bollocks. Can you do this job well enough that the company will pay you for a good day’s work? That’s all that should matter.

At the moment we have two vacancies and the CVs are coming in. One is from a gentleman that is in the pool every other day. He’s a nice sort, older, fit, but takes his time in the pool to act as if he’s a lifeguard. I’ve had to gently tell him that it’s my legal duty, not his, to protect lives there. There may well come a day when I’ll be grateful for his assistance, but until then …you’re not really helping. Will he get the job? Probably not, but it all depends on the other applicants.

In the past my CV has raised eyebrows. I left uni and immediately went to work for the government. I was there for a year then became a lifeguard. On applying for the job I hold now, the manager asked me again and again why I had left a well paid job in London and wanted to work in a pool. He now understands after having me here for ten years, that it’s not about the wages, but the quality of the job. And besides……. London, yuck.

Liars deserve a special place in hell, and no doubt I’ll meet a few when I end up there. They say each person’s hell is their own, designed for this particular sin or that particular crime. My recent sin of theft has now been rectified. The item was quietly returned and no replacement was pocketed. Consider my conscience semi-clear. Theft has been in the news here as well. People have been stealing dogs to sell on, with such crimes up by 250% as the legitimate avenues to purchase them have been closed off to to COVID. I’m pleased to say that my own little crimewave consisted of only one item and that I wouldn’t do it again. The minor pleasures it brought were outweighed by the constant stabs to the conscience. Do you have to repent even if the item was never discovered to have been missing? My version of hell then..lots of similar items but no hands with which to pick them up? Or no nose?

Back to liars. In a chat room, is there any way to prove that the bloke telling you he is a US Marine, (as if I care but there seems to be lots), is actually a US marine? Then there are the Navy Seals. Short of contacting Don Shipley, what’s to be done? We don’t have the “stolen valor” thing here in the UK, as our forces tend to keep their uniforms for Remembrance Sunday, and not parade about in them at train stations or airports. There have been one or two instances of fakers wearing uniforms, but even I know how to identify “Walt’s”. One way is to just strike up a conversation and finger the medals, noting if they have the rank etc around the edge. If not, then the medals have been bought. Not that it’s any problem of mine, wear what you want, but don’t play on the fact you’re wearing them. Also, we tend not to award medals like confetti, so a conflict between awards for overlapping areas of combat are easily seen. The excellent British Legion, the body that oversees remembrance here in the UK, are friendly with me as we’ve done a bit of work for them. I can’t recall how the subject of my Dad’s medals came up, but I was told that if I wanted to I’m allowed to wear them at a service on Remembrance Sunday. I wouldn’t of course, but this explains why you see young boys no older than ten wearing medals at such parades, something that confused me for a while. I always attend the services, the large one in Newcastle attracts thousands, a sombre event but necessary.

Online lying though is much easier than in the real world. I suppose the easiest way of spotting some fakers is the excellent reverse image search. “Yes, that’s me” these liars will say when asked about the images on their profile. “The image was taken last year by my hubby”, says the Japanese would-be-slut, but when she tells you that she’s just 19, and the images on her profile were posted online at least eight years ago… I always now look at and search images on a profile before replying to anyone. Yes, I know my own online image isn’t me but this I make plain, it even has it on the image itself. As far as I can tell it isn’t anywhere else on the net, which is where I grabbed it from. Perhaps that site was taken down or went offline. Tis a shame as she’s a pretty girl. I say pretty, I mean yes, of course you can stay over, pant pant, I’ll even sleep in the wet spot.

Do you think you’ll be a more attractive chat proposition by acting as a marine, or top city banker, or heaven forbid, a lifeguard? I realise that there are many that choose to tell us about their “mundane” jobs, teachers, nurses, road repair, and that these may well be interesting but on the whole we’re not there to chat about your job. Although all of you road repairers.. phwaoar!! (for the sarcasm-challenged..do I really have to explain?)

So it’s all about making yourself more interesting than you think you are, but most people that consider themselves ‘boring” are the most interesting. If I’m at a party or an event I never ask, what do you do, rather what do you for fun? Your job shouldn’t define you. Most folk think their job is mundane, yet some think my own is glamourous..really? I’m usually damp, sometimes colder than I’d like, my hair is a mess, and can’t just slope off for a cuppa or whatever. Glamourous it isn’t, well not compared to a brain surgeon..

Punchline coming from the start..

To those of you that care about such things, may your new year of 2021 be good. To those like me that couldn’t care that another year has begun, and therefore will wake up without a headache, the same.

As ever, thanks for reading.



29th of December, 2020


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