Sunday, 10 April 2011

Small Mercies

Are you all aware of DBC Pierre's concept of the fate song?

About 15 years ago, I attended, along with three other candidates, a "recruitment event" for the Mars Corporation (you know, the choccy bar manufacturers), who are in fact a deeply strange and sinister organisation.

The event consisted of us spending 3 days confined in a hotel (I mean really, we were forbidden to leave) in a small Norfolk market town while their human resources managers subjected us to various types of psychological stress/torture, including psychometric tests, mock legal disputes, and their UK vice-president insulting us to our faces in order to see how we would react.

About midway through Day 2, I thought "ah, fuck this", strode out of the hotel, across the busy market square (poignantly thronged with pensioners milling around the stalls, a world away from what I had emerged from) and into the nearest pub.

Sitting there, pint in hand, breathing in deeply the comforting atmosphere of normality, this suddenly came on the jukebox:

And, you know, I thought it was really quite deep.

Still do, in fact.


W. Kasper said...

Such a lovely feeling in those situations, when you just look up and say "nah" and walk off. The confusion on bosses/competitors' faces is priceless, small acts of free will being so alien to them.

Even doing it during actual jobs brings a giddy high - for a day or two anyway... I still wonder about that pile of dirty dishes I abandoned one Saturday in 1995...

Phil Knight said...

Yeah, it is good. And it feels right as well. I kinda think in hindsight the Cast song coming on the jukebox (in a previously silent pub) was kind of a reward from some higher power. I mean how many other songs about futility are there?

That said, one of the other candidates, a rugger-bugger from Leicester University, was heroically rude to the Mars people during the whole event, and told me he only turned up for the free food.