September 15th, 2009

benpeek

Glamour Employment

This morning, my old seek.com.au account sent me a potential job advertisement, this one as an intelligence officer for ASIO.

I actually did give it thought, if only because fiction has made it sound so very glamorous. I thought of the women I'd meet, the people I'd have to assassinate in dark alleys, and the lies I would have to tell. I don't actually know if that's actually what happens in the job, though the description of being able to "go beyond talking, listening, and thinking," and "cross cultural boundaries and draw upon specialist training to solve complex and absorbing problems," does sound as if quiet political assassinations and dangerous affairs would be on order. However, there's a twelve month relocation to Canberra, and I don't know about you, but no matter how many people you have the promise of extorting and blackmailing, moving there for a year seems a touch excessive.

It's always the way, isn't it? Being an astronaut was tarnished somewhat when I discovered that the majority of trained astronauts never get to go into space, which, while poetically tragic, doesn't exactly make me want to go through the hard work of becoming one. And being an adventurer slash explorer got tossed out when it became apparently that you really had to be born into a substantial amount of wealth to support such a lifestyle. And now, being an intelligence officer means you'll probably be stuck in Canberra for a year, where neither back alley assassinations of wild affairs with attractive Russian turncoats are likely to happen.

It's a good thing the glamour of being a writer is everything people say it is.

(crossposted)