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    Ready. Set. You're fired!

    Flip Side: How I learned to stop worrying about my skills and go out and buy a skill set.
    Drill, baby, drill! A starter set for those not set up for life.

    Drill, baby, drill! A starter set for those not set up for life.

    A shocking lack of skills is killing the American economy. No one in corporate America has any skills. No one! They have only skill sets. Worse, skills are ignored in recruiting. Employers focus exclusively on skill sets.

    In my job search, employment applications always asked me to describe my skill set.  Lacking a full and comprehensive skill set, I resorted to Churchillian rhetoric. “I have nothing to offer,” I wrote, “but blood sets, toil sets, tear sets, and sweat suits.”

    Receiving no replies, I realized that to find gainful employment I must first acquire a skill set. Madison Park Hardware had none in stock. They sold me a drill-bit set and suggested I try Home Depot.

    With the drill-bit set I could now include “drilling down” in my skill set. I was planning a trip to Home Depot when I heard a business guru speak of “opportunity sets” and “optionality sets.” Here I was desperately tiring to secure a full skill set only to learn that I also needed opportunity sets and optionality sets. I have some opportunities and options but nothing close to full sets.

    How could I obtain opportunity sets and optionality sets? I was disappointed to find that they were neither advertised on late night television nor awarded by for-profit universities. Lacking opportunity sets and optionality sets, I ceased looking for work. I became depressed and started drinking heavily. After I hit bottom I joined a twelve-step program that eventually gave me a new wisdom set.

    I learned that:

    The race set is not to the swift,
    nor the battle to the strong set,
    neither yet the bread set to the wise,
    nor yet the riches set to men whose skill sets comprise understanding,
    nor yet the favor set to men with actionable skill sets;
    but the time and chance sets happeneth to all sets.

    My new wisdom set, gave me the confidence to again embark on a job search. On a recent job application I wrote:

    “My skill sets bedrocks on synergistically leveraging knowledge capital and relationship capital to bootstrap blue ocean opportunity sets into value-add paradigms by change-agenting bandwidth expansion. I also possess a 21 Piece Titanium Drill Bit Set.”

    They called immediately for an interview. Tomorrow, I will check eBay for deals on used opportunity and optionality sets.

    Steve Clifford writes humor for Crosscut. He is the author of the recently published political satire, Fools and Knaves. In his unhumorous life, he was CEO of King Broadcasting and once played a role in saving New York City from bankruptcy.

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    Posted Thu, Sep 20, 4:57 a.m. Inappropriate

    For the lack of a humorists skill set, a blog post failed.


    Posted Thu, Sep 20, 6:58 a.m. Inappropriate

    And for their anti-comity skill sets, cranky, Cameron, and members of congress have earned the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate award. I hope mine arrives soon.

    Posted Thu, Sep 20, 7:56 a.m. Inappropriate

    You don't need skills. If you have political affiliation. Apparently.


    Posted Thu, Sep 20, 8:18 a.m. Inappropriate

    Especially if you work for the Romney campaign, BlueLight, as that group of incompetents is already accepting offers and jumping ship to other jobs.


    Posted Thu, Sep 20, 9:19 a.m. Inappropriate

    Enjoyable send-up of resume' jargon! Thanks, from a former English teacher, for caring about language in your lighthearted way, Steve.

    Posted Thu, Sep 20, 9:31 a.m. Inappropriate

    I like!

    Succinctly in-tune with the new age of employability skill sets. The more coined words (red underlined) the better. Just keep adding/stringing/attaching suffixes. Prefixes in words are dangerous, however: "un/dis/pre-employability". Gibberish is good, too. But don't ignore buzz-words and Spanish preceding sentence types: ?Understand?. Grammatically, always precede with "however". Never hang a "too".


    Posted Thu, Sep 20, 9:51 a.m. Inappropriate

    When was the last time Clifford had a Job? He is a 1 percenter and mocks the unemployed and their job search in his writings. No wonder he is the President of Crankyoldlady's living room.

    Nice to see the politically aligned writers on staff, falling in line in support. One would expect nothing less.


    Posted Wed, Sep 26, 7:21 p.m. Inappropriate

    Yikes. He thinks speaking the truth is funny?

    Posted Wed, Sep 26, 7:21 p.m. Inappropriate

    Yikes. He thinks speaking the truth is funny?

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