Transport jobs you didn't know were so popular

Example no. 1:

Train driver.


Boring sounding job, isn’t it? You just sit there and carry out two main functions: Going faster and going slower. Occasionally you get to open and close the doors. That, basically, is it. So nobody wants to do it?

They do. Oh, they do. Virgin Trains in the UK recently advertised for 73 trainee drivers so they got maybe a few hundred applications? Nope. A few thousand? Nope. Fifteen thousand. That’s about 200 per position. If they had fewer vacancies they could have had four or five hundred per job. Why on earth? Because it’s very well paid (militant unions), you don’t need much in the way of qualifications and you can pretty much work by yourself with nobody looking over your shoulder.

Wondering how they weed through that mass of applications? You had to apply by email so all the forms could be reviewed electronically, anything with an error rejected and the rest examined for enough key words to trigger an invite to do an online perception/concentration test to see if you can stay both awake and aware while doing a tedious job, followed if you’re lucky an invite to an assessment which is the first time actual humans get involved. The humans give you a day’s worth of psychometric testing including the Bourdan Test, with those who fail any element being sent home, and the successful get an interview. After all that you might get lucky. Fail? Try again next time, but there’s a nasty catch. If you fail two assessments you get a lifetime ban, partially because if you need more than two goes to pass you have some fundamental weakness, but mainly because it’s an easy way to restrict applications.

Now, let’s have some dots. Your task is to pick out, very fast, the boxes with four dots.


Done that? You’d then have to do another ten pages or so. The aim is to be consistently fairly accurate, not to get 80% on page 1 and then less each time which shows that you can’t concentrate.

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