A job lot

We're looking for a new barmaid down at The Shakespeare, an endeavour which is a lot more difficult than might first be imagined.

In the first place, we don't get many CVs handed at the bar which, I like to think, is because we're located down a bit of a side street rather than the possibility that most young people would rather contemplate shovelling tarmac onto an endless motorway for eight hours a day beneath an unforgiving Andalusian sun than have me as their boss. Although, actually, come to think of it...

Anyway, the next stage is to look through the CVs that we do manage to get our hands on. The 'out' tray fills up rather rapidly once you've jettisoned the clearly unsuitable. These include those who offer a profile photo of a night out on the tiles in a club (no, really), hugging their pet dog (I kid you not), doing that disturbing duck lip thing or simply looking like a serial killer in a mug shot. This process then leaves you with five or six possibles, all of whom you ask to pass by for an informal chat.

One fails to turn up at all, offering no explanation. Another arrives late and dressed like they're about to clean the bathroom, while a third ambles in wearing headphones which are only reluctantly removed after we've nodded incredulously and shaken hands. Then there's the inevitable gum chewer plus the candidate whose linguistic abilities bear no relation to the extensive skills mentioned on the CV. Sometimes this can be one and the same person. Also, let's not forget those who come with their own very strict criteria.

"I can only work afternoons from three to six and no weekends because my boyfriend doesn't like that."

"Er, we open at six and weekends are essential."

"Harrumph. Have you seen my chewing gum?"

So, by the time all of this has played out, you're left with just one possible candidate and no hair on your head. You call the person you saw yesterday who was punctual, polite, and spoke various languages. You're even prepared to overlook her humungous Sanskrit neck tattoo.

"Hi, is that Coriander? It's Peter from The Shakespeare. We'd like to offer you the bar job if you're still interested."

"That's great, thank you! Oh, did I mention that I can't work weekends? It's just that my dog Namaste doesn't like it, you see."