The fool’s job description

Following a thorough examination of the issue, we have concluded that fools are as vital to societal and democratic health as they ever were hanging around the courts of monarchs and other power-wielders. To help you improve your organisation’s performance (and your own, if you’re the boss) through the employment of their services, we have developed a job description template. 

As you see, we have helpfully provided delete-where-inapplicable options so you can quickly tailor it to your entity, be it a company, government, NGO, or the United Nations.  There is also, following standard job description protocols, a handy list of impossible achievements required under the Proven Track Record label, where candidates habitually vaunt their ability to do absolutely anything to meet somebody else’s cooked up targets.  

Once you have been inundated with candidates as a result of this enticing job description, beware the ones who say they are ‘totally’ results-oriented.  It might mean they will break any law (moral or judicial) to secure a bonus or promotion, or to get any result, even a bad one.    

We’d be delighted if you use the template job description, but please credit the source, as mentioned below.  And let us know how you get on.

Template job description – organisational fool

Your organisation’s name here is seeking a full-time, full-on professional fool. We are a fill in big number company / government agency / other institution* with a belief, based on thousands of years of empirical evidence from China, India, Europe and elsewhere, that humour is the killer app in shaking up thinking and keeping us in touch with reality.  

As such, our enlightened CEO / President / Secretary-General / Other Big-Shot Title* is pleased to grant a one-off, open-ended, untrammelled licence-to-thrill to a high-calibre individual able to tell it how it is with wit and sparkle, regardless of political or other sensitivities.

Key responsibilities – deploying diverse forms of humour to:

  • Bring an outsider’s perspective inside, injecting freshness and insight into our deliberations
  • Expose impenetrable management waffle or evasion for what it is: waffle and evasion
  • Ground us in reality by puncturing self-inflationary or delusional tendencies
  • Make us laugh and lighten up the atmosphere even when the weather sucks
  • Ensure meetings are fun and fruitful rather than painful, pointless and plodding
  • Challenge us on a daily basis to prevent brain-freeze / grope-think*
  • Help generate innovative solutions in the face of plummeting sales / share price / budgets / popularity*

Core skills and competencies – the successful candidate will have a proven track record of:

  • Holding powerful people cheerfully to account regardless of consequences (evidence of having lost your job in the execution of this task will be considered a plus)
  • Shining a teaser-laser on hypocrisy and half-truths thereby making purveyors think twice thereby reducing their prevalence
  • Intervening successfully when group-think was leading to group-brink, or when injustice or unfairness were carrying the day (we particularly welcome examples of your having trounced cronyism, nepotism and other non-performance-based favouritism)
  • Mastery of a punoply of joking mechanisms, including mockery and irony, the witty ditty, skits, storytelling and slapstick, caricaturing and capering, and reductio ad absurdum
  • Resistance to bribes, threats or other attempts to neutralize your zestful yet discomfiting commentary
  • On the fly psychological acuity allowing you to judge the moment and the manner in which to attack nonsense most effectively; you cannot be silenced, but you do know when to hold back and when to let rip
  • Some familiarity with the global handbook of court jesterdom including awareness of laughing edge techniques deployed by star performers such as Birbal, Tenali Rama, Newly Polished Mirror, Adding Clarity Li, Nasruddin and others

We provide generous employment conditions and perks, including round the clock access to the big potatoes on the payroll, and full medical and legal coverage in the event of offending The Great & The Good in the legitimate pursuit of your duties.  

Applications, legibly hand-written on a postcard in not more than 300 words of rhyme, should reach us by the stroke of midnight, 1 April, although we guarantee nobody will look at your application before lunchtime.  If ever.  

*fill in or delete as appropriate


© Beatrice Otto & 2019 – please credit the source and let me know if and how you use this.

1 Comment

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This