Love and the Civil Service


Saturday 27 June, 2015 by Uncle Spike

“And it says here you know other languages. Care to elaborate?”

That was a question posed to my goodself some thirty year ago. I had somehow found myself attending a board interview for the post of Senior Administrative Officer in the UK Civil Service. How the chuff that came about I’ll never know!

Basically, post backpacking days, I was engaged (almost) and trying to fit into the dreaded establishment; you know, get a career going, take on some hefty debts and all that polava. As it happened, there were some clerical testing events being held by the civil service, and so off I toddled for a laugh. It said they served free tea and biscuits.

I’m actually quite good at those psychometric tests, so thought it’d make a nice day out. I did ok I guess; too well you could say – I was invited for a board interview – Yikes.

Mistake #1 – I borrowed an old suit from the second-hand clothes shop where I was doing a spot of voluntary work, and caught the bus into town. 

Mistake #2 – Before the interview, there was another part of the test to perform (yawn); a comprehension and precis to complete no less. Cool… until they said it had to be written in HB pencil. WTF? I should have guessed at that point the the ‘civil service’ wasn’t for me! 

Mistake #3 – Long story short… in I go. 




The room was long and narrow. At the end was a long set of tables, stretching almost to each side wall. Sat at the table were four officious looking muppets in old-fashioned, ill-fitting suits – the board I guessed. A long way back from the desk/table arrangement was a solitary chair.

I was motioned towards the chair. I moved towards it, cautiously checking first for any attached wires, leather straps etc. None.

Mistake #4 – I sat down. 

The ‘interview/interrogation’ lasted but 11 minutes, and I was proud it lasted that long at the receiving end of the glare of some middle-aged battle-axe in a tweed ensemble who was trying some pseudo-Jedi mind tricks I was sure of it.


Here’s where it all started to fall apart:-


Battle-Axe:  “So Mr Spike, what’s all this travelling lark then?” 
[this was spat out in my direction whilst waving my application form in mid air]


Gobsmacked a bit at the dumbfoundedness of the statement/question, I proceeded to explain the qualities of extensive travel, how multifaceted employment opportunities (odd-jobbing around the world) strengthened my employment skills set etc etc etc.


Battle-Axe:  “So I take it getting a proper job wasn’t worthy of your time?” 


I didn’t answer. At this point I knew my canoe had too many holes to plug, and anyway, drowning sounded like more fun than joining this bunch.


Battle-Axe:  “And it says here you know other languages. Care to elaborate?” 


Crap, that was BS anyway. Hmm, time to improvise and end this debacle.


Me:  “Well M’Lady… [dropping into my my best Barry White],
You see, I speak the language of love… [but said very slowly as “Luurrrvv”]


There endeth my civil service non-career 😀


7 thoughts on “Love and the Civil Service

  1. cjwild2014 says:

    thank God you had the sense to sabotage the interview when you did!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hilarious! And did battleaxe retort?


  3. ballerina95 says:

    haha, and did battle-axe go into an apoplectic state after that Barry White imitation?


  4. dayphoto says:

    Sounds like you would’n’t have liked it…eveerrrrrrrrrrr. Me either.


    Liked by 1 person

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