The problem with many job titles is that they rarely convey the range of skill sets involved in any particular career.
Take, for example, the title of farmer – for many urbanites, the stereotypical image would be a fairly old gentleman with a cloth cap, driving around on a cab-less tractor.
It would come as a shock to them to discover that modern tractors are complex machines, utilising guidance systems and operating technology which requires both engineering and IT skill.
The thing is that modern farmers encompass a multitude of job roles within the day-to-day management of their business, whether that be engineer, nutritionist, accountant or veterinarian etc. The range of job descriptions is extensive.
This week my self-appointed title is “organiser of mass orgies”.
OK, in terms of job description I have maybe taken it a bit too far, but you cannot argue with the facts of it: November sees the start of tupping season.
A few select boys are introduced to around 400 lucky ewes.
It is a job that comes with lots of responsibility as the success of next year’s sales entirely depends on my management skills.
As is typical for the first few days of the “season”, the weather has been particularly bleak. Being cold and wet is hardly conducive to orgy participation (I’m guessing), or management.
So, I have been thinking about other careers I could have followed.
A few years ago I saw an advert by the Royal Zoological Society for a director of pandas. Think about that: Not an advert for a panda keeper, but for the person who would be responsible for the TEAM of people looking after the pandas. Two pandas.
Contrast that with the average livestock farmer looking after maybe 1,000 sheep and 150 cows, and you have to wonder how the team fill their days.
I remember the salary for the director job was substantial, so I would be keen to apply. After all, the aim of the panda project is to encourage them to breed, and my CV does say that I am good at organising that sort of thing.
I’ve even done some research into the subject and discovered that the natural habitat of a panda is not a cage in the centre of a cold Scottish city, with thousands of humans staring at them. Pandas actually prefer a solitary lifestyle, eating bamboo in the Chinese mountains.
After nearly 10 years of failed breeding, perhaps the society needs a farmer to give them some advice. I suspect I won’t be offered the job any time soon, but that is OK as I have a back-up plan.
Did you know that Border Leicester sheep are now classed as a rare breed?
As one of the first breeds of sheep I ever worked, it is hard to imagine how they have lost their place in Scottish agriculture.
I have written to the Chinese embassy and to Beijing Zoo. For what I consider to be a reasonable £100,000 salary, they can rent a male and a female Border Leicester from me (China currently rents out the Edinburgh pandas for £600,000 per annum).
I’ll even act as chief consultant inclusive of the fee.