A Genuine Job Application


I just found an old job application I wrote for a computer game company looking for a writer.

I never heard back from them.

The Letter

As we all know computers were first invented by aliens attempting to find the best fighter pilots in the galaxy. But since those times, games have come quite a long way. Now you can use them while you go to the toilet, which was very much frowned upon in the days of arcades. I’m interested in this role because once, just once, I’d like to be able to help someone in the bathroom without it being considered “a matter for HR”.

I’ve always loved computer games. From the earliest days of duck hunting, throwing fruit at karts and travelling through pipes, I thought “Gee, I’d much rather be at home playing computer games”. And then my parents got me a Nintendo. Sure it might be the reason I once came last in cross country out of my whole year, or lacked the upper-body strength to peel a banana, or even the reason why I struggled so talk to girls until embarrassingly late in my life. But it gave me something far more important.

Strong thumbs. Like, super strong.

And also the ability to see how stories work in the only really interactive medium. To see how exposition is given without interrupting the action, to see how a cut scene and loss of control can be powerful, rather than annoying. To tell stories in a way that for the vast majority of human history just hasn’t been possible.

But it’s mostly the thumb thing.

I have lots of writing experience. In fact, I won the judge’s award for UK’s Funniest Blogger 2015 for my blog www.ivorysoapbox.com. Which was even more impressive when it was still 2015. I’ve also written jokes for a Rose d’Or winning BBC radio show. And I’ve written “about” comedy for the most read comedy reference site in the UK. In fact, these very hands, the hands which thanks to the wonders of modern technology you can’t actually see, these hands wrote a diary of their time on the stand up comedy course widely considered the best outside North America, a summary which is now used by the course themselves to promote it. You can read this here. But if you get bitten by the comedy bug and develop the Lyme disease of seeking other people’s laughter to soothe your fragile ego, I am not to blame.

I also wrote a few bits for Time Out London’s comedy section, which doesn’t exist any more, BUT I WASN’T TO BLAME FOR THAT!

I write a lot in my spare time. Too much, some might say. Especially those I ask to read it all. Be it a book on the space/time-travel properties of non-Newtonian liquids, or blog posts about why Captain America is the best. And if any in your team have ever wanted to read an unproduced episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine with some pacing issues and a plot that’s perhaps a bit too much for a 20 minute show, then boy do I have something for them!

I also have a super-power for meeting celebrities. In my current job I organise comedy nights with some of the biggest talent in the UK, including Stewart Lee, Jo Brand and Arthur Smith. I also got Lee Mack to agree to become an ambassador for the charity. I convinced my favourite writer to meet me down the pub for a couple of pints one day. And I got one of the biggest bands in the UK to help me with a massive personal favour.

Now, I’m not saying that if you hire me I’ll bring a different celeb each day like I would a packed lunch… “Today? Well we’ve got jam sandwiches, a packet of Frazzles and…. 80’s teen heart-throb Rob Lowe”. I’m just saying, statistically it’s more likely if I’m actually allowed onto the property.

So that’s me in a nutshell. And it’s probably also a good reason for you to rethink your policy on “inventive” covering letters. So we’re both taking something away from it.

This job sounds really interesting. I remember my mum always told me to get off the computer. “You’ll never get a job making computer games, so do something productive. Besides, it’ll turn your eyes square!”

Well take THAT mum. With your crazy microwave-shaped head.

Any questions, just whisper my name into the wind. Or, if you’re after a reply, maybe drop me an email or something.




Sunny Hours


Tower BridgeOne year ago today I quit my job. With nothing else lined up, it was the biggest gamble of my life.

That night I went out for drinks with the guys from the job I was leaving. And the next morning I woke up on one of their sofas with a delicate head craving tea and bacon (which were suitably supplied by the local cafe).

I made my way home at about 9.00am and needed to change at London Bridge so I decided to catch a bus. As I was stood waiting that was when The Fear hit. I realised I was unemployed for the first time since I left university. I had no plan, a sore head and was stood waiting for a bloody bus. And for what? Some vague dream of doing something to do with comedy somehow?

But then a song came onto my iPod – a song I had forgotten I even owned. The song was Sunny Hour Reprise by Long Beach Dub Allstars. Oddly enough it’s a remix of the song used as the theme tune for the sitcom Joey (please don’t hold that against it). It’s about a guy who finds a sundial on which he reads the following:

“I only count the sunny hours, the brightest hours of day
I never count the gloomy hours, I let them slip away
And when the sky is dark and grey, and there’s no love around
I simply just refuse to count, until Sol comes around
And sweeps those clouds away.”

And then I really looked where I was.

I was stood on London Bridge. On one side I had the beautiful morning sun shining off Tower Bridge. On the other side stretched the capital with all the promise that a Saturday morning offers.

I have no doubts that I made the right choice now. That job was right for someone, but it wasn’t for me. Instead in the past year I’ve organised a comedy show with some of my absolute heroes, I’ve conquered my fears and tried stand-up for the first time and, with the help of one of the biggest bands in the UK, I asked the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met to marry (and more shockingly she said yes).

Now this story could have ended every differently. That decision could have been the dumbest thing I’d ever done. But at that point, stood there in the February sunshine, something drastic changed for me.

Whatever happens in life there’ll be good times and bad. That’s a given. But right at that moment I lost my fear. I no longer let the worries of the bad times stop me chasing the good ones.

Whatever happens, where ever I am, I know there’ll be plenty of sunny hours.

photo credit: The Tower Bridge via photopin (license)