The other day a new client came to me and said he wanted a job as a dishwasher. He handed me his resume and I noted that he had two college degrees and worked for a while as an architect. As I read the educational part, he began to speak.
“When are you going to tell me to ‘get back to the drawing board,’” He asked.
I told him I wasn’t. “I don’t think I have a funny enough sense of humour to spot a line like that,” I told him. “It’s a good line though, and I wish I’d said it.”
“Thanks,” He said.
“I am looking for some dishwashing experience on this.”
“I didn’t put it on.” He said. “I’m supposed to be an architect, but the last gig I had doing that was so stressful I ended up in the hospital. I look back with fondness at my university days where I washed plenty of dishes to work my way to the degree. I had a really good time washing dishes, and I think it will help me get on my feet again emotionally. It will help my mood. It will give me a chance to reclaim the workplace camaraderie I used to experience.”
“Maybe we should restructure your resume to include dishwashing.” I said.
“How do we hide architecture.”
“The same way you hid dishwashing,” I said. “Tell me what is so great about dishwashing.”
He went on to explain that first of all, he is always moving on the job. Me moves from the trays to the sink to the dishwasher to the cupboards where the clean dishes are stored. There is always action.
He told me that he really felt like he was part of a team while dishwashing. He felt he was an integral part of the kitchen from the chef to the server. He also said that most of the time his work was appreciated. Sometimes, when he was caught up, he even helped the prep cook.
Then there is the actual dishwashing. He felt he was actually part of a creative process. He took dirty plates, cups and utensils and transformed them transforming them into things that you could actually eat and drink from. He told me he could see value in his work.
He told me that there was actually an element of relaxation in dishwashing. Between moving dirty and clean dishes from one station to another, there was a station the he owned. A hot steamy sink. “There is something totally relaxing about soaking your hands in hot soapy water.” He said.
“It sounds like you really like dishwashing,” I said.
“Too bad I had to ruin my life with that professional credential.”
I told him that we should try something a little different. I suggested that we make a profile that would make him a dishwashing expert while retaining his credential that nobody would ever question because his strength as a dishwasher would be overpowering. We need to compose a profile that would raise his skills and abilities as a dishwasher to the ethereal level. How about this. We start with a title
● Cosmic Dishwasher ●
A career dishwasher with years of experience in a variety of kitchens and in many restaurants. Energetic and appreciates the opportunity to complete large volumes of work done quickly. Work well independently, but also possess the communication skills necessary to be an effective team member – often assuming a leadership role. Stimulated by hot soapy water and have an ability to turn the jobsite into a cosmic shrine dedicated to craftsmanship and pride
What chef could resist a resume opening like that?
Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Ain’t no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is a newly retired ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a former member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates