Interesting Top Ten Lists

Top Ten skills I have lied about

In skills, Top Ten on January 20, 2012 at 7:28 am

1. Skateboarding

At the age of 9, I could climb trees, fight boys and scuff my knees on a daily basis. But could I use (see, I don’t even know the right verb! Do you use a skateboard? Ride one?) a skateboard? No I bloody couldn’t. But the cool kids could. So when they announced they were meeting near the quarry with their ‘boards, I quickly obtained one from a friend’s older brother (I’d get points for the well-worn stickers, bonus!), pulled my shorts down to a suitably slouchy level and hurried along. I fell off the damn thing within 5 minutes of my arrival, was laughed at and never invited back. Plus, I was so busy moping that I left the skateboard behind and it got nicked.

2. Speaking Spanish

This wouldn’t have been so much of a problem if it hadn’t led to me taking workshops with Spanish students in everything from geography (not my strongest subject in any language) to grammar. Thankfully, the phrase “it helps your language skills to speak as much English as possible in these sessions” saved my linguistically challenged ass.

3. Pint-pulling

I was young, I needed a bar job and – sorry to everyone who is a fan of a well-pulled pint – I was foolish. I learnt quickly (and through lack of tips).

4. Using a fax machine.

I know, I know, give some monkeys a year with a fax machine and they’ll send facsimiles of the works of Shakespeare to their zoo-bound compatriots. But I’ve worked in and around offices for the past 9 years without ever sending a fax. The one time I found myself unable to wriggle out of the task (and was too stubborn to admit I didn’t know how), it was broken anyway. Which kind of proves my point that we should just email things instead.

5. Travel

When I got a job writing travel guides for far flung areas of the world, it wasn’t so much that I lied about having travelled there… It was just that no-one ever asked.

6.  Kissing

At school, when bored, we took it in turns to lock two people in a cupboard until they kissed. The least active lips were left until last, so I fabricated stories of a miniature, rope-skipping Tallulah Bankhead in order to get picked first and get it over with. It was not a failure, and I’m pleased to report I have kissed people since (in public! Not in a cupboard!) .

7. Video editing

Turns out I can blag a lot of things, but advanced technical know-how is not one of them.

8. Singing

I’ve tried this several times. It’s not so much a lie as a hope that the more I repeat ‘I can sing’, the more likely it is to become true. Sadly, as the resulting 3 occasions of an audition, an assessment and a gig demonstrated, there’s a will but not a way.

9. Mime

This just went very, very badly. That’s all I’ll say about that.

10. “Direct marketing skills”

Aged 18, applying for my first ‘proper’ job, I saw an advert in the paper and rang up. “So you are interested in/know about direct marketing?” Why, yes I am! I got an interview, and again smiled and nodded and assured them I was interested. Turned up for my first day to find out it was sodding door to door sales. In Winter. At night. In Stretford. Oh, and it was commission only. My first solo ‘knock-on’ was a chap in his pants who proceeded to play the Countdown theme for me on an acoustic guitar. From there, it went downhill.

To any future employers who may be reading, please take from this my courage, ‘can-do’ attitude and willingness to try new things. Not, you know, the little white lies.

by Alex Herod

Alex Herod is Deputy Ed. of For Books’ Sake, a performer and writer living in sunny Moss Side. She tweets o’er at @collaboratehere.

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