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Thursday, July 26, 2012


did i ever tell you about the olympic job i nearly applied for just because it was so silly?
oh i haven't? well settle back and enjoy. or not as the case may be.

the last time i was unemployed the first tranche of people were being employed by the london organising committee of the olympic games (locog to you and me). every time you stepped into the jobcentre there was another job from locog up for grabs.
except they were all jobs that only certain people could do and seemed odd being advertised in the local jobcentre (though at least it was local to the games site). so i could have applied to be the team manager of the british basketball team, or the weightlifting team, or fencing, or... well you get the idea.
my pal paul reckoned that as these were jobs that involved public money they had to be advertised to the general public regardless of how specialised they were. he was probably right - except that there have been a number of very high profile jobs such as kit designer and director of ceremonies that i never saw advertised (and to be honest i could have done a better job than stella - but then i think pretty much anyone could have done a better job).

then i saw the job i should have gone for. it was to be the master of the flag ceremonies. the key responsibilities were to make sure that the right flags went up in the right places and in the right way. of course i realised that there was more to the job than just that - after all you would have to make sure you had enough flags for all the locations, that you had the right flags at the right locations, after all not all countries are going to be competing at all events. then you had to make sure that you had the right flags available for the medal ceremonies.
so a logistical headache for sure, but not impossible: after all how hard can it be? by the time the games kick off you know how many countries are coming (barring a civil war or two) and you know how many venues there are - so that gives you a rough idea of how many flags you are going to need. then you also know what countries are going to be competing in what events - that again goes towards what flags you need where and how many.
crikey it is just a few spreadsheets - or several pages of a notebook.

then you need your i-spy book of flags (or to bring it up to day - the dummies guides to flags) to make sure you get them the right way around (though you would think that flag manufacturers make them so that they can only go on the flag pole one way - and if they don't they can take my suggestion and go to the head of the pack).
learn how all the flags go.
have several practice drills of getting hold of the flags from france, brazil and japan and running them up the flag pole.

there you go. what more can there be to the job?

now the funny thing about all these early job ads there was always a caveat that made the whole thing a joke. in the previous experience part of the job description there was a bit saying it would be great if the applicant had previous olympic or global event experience.

i reckon that makes the pool of candidates pretty small. probably less than there are british gold medallists. it is also such a specialised job that you suspect that there is a little black book with all the people who could do the job listed in it. no doubt that those who are specialised global flag masters also know when the olympics are coming up and so put their names forward.
hell i am just guessing here - maybe it is one of those things they do fresh at each global event.

anyway i didn't apply for the job. this is why i am currently unemployed.

obviously locog decided not to employ a flag master and gave the job the g4(flag)s - which is the only way to explain the cock-up with the north korean women's football team.
oh look they have given them the south korean flag instead.
when you consider that north and south korea are still officially at war with each other, and that bill clinton once described the border between the two countries as the 'scariest place on earth' this isn't the one to get wrong. add to that it was the first event of the olympics (a few of the events start early - no i don't understand it either) you would have taken that bit of extra care, maybe even shown the video package to those concerned to make sure they were happy with the information. (see i would have been so good at that job).

oh well. 20-20 and all that (though it hasn't been decided where that is going to take place, but did you like what i did there)?
this is the north korean flag

this isn't the north korean flag, 
(nor is it an attempt to smuggle pepsi advertising into the olympic venues)

funny thing is this wasn't going to be about that, it was just a long preamble to get to the meat of it all 
there are several things that could be said of me: that i am not diplomatic, this is not because i am some paragon who can only speak the truth no matter what the cost, more that my mouth is faster than my brain and often my foot ends up in it. second thing that could be said of me is that i do like the oriental ladies. furthermore i couldn’t deny an accusation that i like porn.

the liking porn puts me in good company – not only are my pals shep and jay partial to a blue movie or two but so was kim jong il. the dear leader was supposed to have a very large collection of western porn (it is a coffee table book in waiting – the leader’s porn: 50 shades of red. come on you all know it is a winner).
upon the death of his father kim jong un became ‘the great successor’ and is now the supreme leader of north korea. when he was studying in the west it was said that he was a shy likeable chap who was a fan of basketball. he likes basketball, and i am betting he has a great collection of basketball dvds. he was also supposed to be awkward around women. i can relate to that – even if i wasn’t trying to keep secret that my dad was the leader of north korea.

well let me tell you boys and girls ‘the glorious leader’ has come out of his shell and bagged himself a hottie. yes kim jong un has married ri sol ju, a north korean singer whose hits include ‘in the footsteps of soldiers’. even though i don’t want to cause an international incident i have to say she is a cutie: i’d give up my basketball dvds for her.

ri sol ju in action

i’d even make sure i flew the right flag.


Anonymous said...

hilarious, PS i loved the opening ceremony especially the torch/cauldron. so beautiful! thank you London, and thanks for the laughs iampat

pat said...

i went along to the stadium to get some photos of the evening. it didn't work out as planned and the position i took up meant i missed the main fireworks,

but that is a tale for another night.

pat said...

specavers all poked fun at the flag gaff. it was made for them. score one for guerrilla marketing.

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