tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Djibouti Call: A little love, please

In a recent career-advice article in the Toronto Sun, columnist Mike Strobel advised that it's okay to tell a few white lies on your sumé, especially if the lies are manipulations of facts too obscure for any employer to check.

His example: "Interviewers are so swamped these days, who has time to check facts? What's the diff if you add 'Honorary President, Republic of Djibouti, 1993-1994.' This will cleverly conceal the fact you've never been east of Brockville."

Indeed, this hypothetical liar assumes an acceptably low risk that his job-interviewer will actually be Hassan Gouled Aptidon--who in fact was the President of the Republic of Djibouti in 1993-1994--if for no reason more conspicuous than the fact that Aptidon is deceased. Yes, it seems likely that no potential employer will know Djibouti from an aardvark, hence the reference in the Sun column.

At the Tuque Souq, we don't condone lying in any form, but of course it is not really within our mandate to condemn it either. So lie, don't lie, it doesn't matter to us.

But nobody is pulling a fast one on us about supposedly obscure facts concerning former leaders, honorary or otherwise, of Djibouti or any other place for that matter. Nor should any employer fall for such chicanery.

The Tuque Souq does not have any job openings, but if we did, and you were to apply, and further you were to lie on your sumé about having been the president of Djibouti, and still further your white-lie claim to the presidency of Djibouti was not a parody of this blog post... you would not get the job. We check the facts. (If you were parodying us, obviously that would be grounds for your immediate hire.)

And we also object to the objectification of Djibouti as a subject of fact too obscure to verify. Take note Djibouti-bashers: Djibouti is larger than Connecticut, has more people than Iceland, and without its port landlocked Ethiopia would not be able to export 1.44 trillion* coffee beans each year.

Spread the love. Give Djibouti a call.

* - We arrived at this number by taking the latest available gross tonnage export figure of Ethiopian coffee and multiplying it by a fairly reliable estimate of the number of harvested, raw coffee beans per ton. But since we don't consider this a fact, we didn't check it.

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