First published in Time Out Sydney 11 Oct 2013. Art by Robert Polmear
Dear The Internet,
If there’s one thing that we can all agree on in these social media-savvy times, it’s that everyone has the unfettered right to access our private information. And not just commercial entities like Facebook, who want to let us know about about over-40s dating and weight loss secrets, or ASIO who are enthusiastic about informing the US secret service about who you’re emailing. This whimsical curiosity also extends to our potential employers who want to get a better idea of the real you, right down to intrusive questions about your medical history.
Fairfax earlier reported on the application form for Chevron, an energy and mining company who are extremely interested in whether or not their applicants are sufficiently fertile. In fact, they’d like to know if you – or your partner – have had any stillbirths, abortions, or any offspring with birth defects – and with good reason. After all, they expect a certain level of photogeneity when sending out PR shots of company picnics, and there’s a reason there’s no date on the Chevron calendar marked “Bring Your Freakish Monster Spawn to Work Day”.
Now, you might inexplicably feel that maybe the ins and outs of your partner’s reproductive history is not, in fact, any fucking business of your employer, much less your potential employer. And while the company have responded by saying that this section of the application is voluntary, it does make clear that applicants should answer all (underlined) sections of the form to the best of their knowledge – and since this is a job application it’s fair to assume that leaving great swathes of it suspiciously unanswered might affect one’s likelihood of getting the gig.
So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to institute an application process for readers of Word on the P Street, just to make sure that my industrious and often hungover work isn’t being wasted on sub-optimal eyeballs – or, as you are now defined, my platinum word-customers.
Please be aware that I will be selling this information to high-premium advertisers to demonstrate that mine is a healthy, fertile audience they’d be mad not to market to.
NOTE: PLEASE FILL OUT THIS APPLICATION BEFORE READING ANY OF THE ABOVE
Personal details: please answer all of the below both in writing and in a loud, ringing voice right now wherever you are.
MOST ACCURATE PERSONAL INSULT
MOST TERRIFYING RECURRING DREAM
THING YOU LEAST WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU
HOW WERE YOU MOST HUMILIATED AS A CHILD? (Answer in not less than 500 words)
EMAIL ADDRESS AND PASSWORD
BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS
ANSWER TO YOUR SECURITY QUESTION
ANSWER TO YOUR INSECURITY QUESTION
(Note: if any questions in this section does not directly apply to your gender, please answer on behalf of your partner, housemate, sibling, previous work colleague or fellow commuter)
AGE YOU LOST YOUR VIRGINITY: Front ______ Back ______ Side ______
NUMBER OF SPERM YOU’VE THOUGHTLESSLY SENT TO A POINTLESS DEATH (ROUND TO NEAREST DOZEN)?
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT SEX RIGHT NOW?
WHAT ARE YOU DOING LATER?
DO YOU KNOW A PLACE?
YOU KNOW THAT IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL WHEN IT MAKES THAT TEARING NOISE, RIGHT?
HOW MANY OF THE FOLLOWING HAVE YOU SIRED AND/OR GIVEN BIRTH TO:
- Normal human baby
- Abnormal human baby
- Normal non-human baby
- Normal human adult
- Child the size of an average thumb
- Terrifying David Lynch-ian worm-creature
- Wooden boy
- Goat/man hybrid
- Saviour and/or destroyer of humanity fulfilling an ancient prophesy
- A literal watermelon
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SICK FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER?
WHY DON’T YOU TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF?
ARE YOU WEAK-WILLED, OR DO YOU JUST NOT CARE?
HOW MANY NAKED PICTURES HAVE YOU TAKEN (ROUND TO NEAREST DOZEN, ATTACH TO TEXT MESSAGE)?
WHICH DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR MORE ATTRACTIVE BREAST/TESTICLE, AND WHY? (Answer in not less than 500 words)
PROCESS: You application will be assessed by our team and then monetarised with advertisers, and you will be contacted by us if successful, and by ASIO and/or the CSIRO if necessary.