I was watching The Apprentice on BBC1 last night (the English version). It was the interview stage, where the five remaining candidates get grilled by some of Alan Sugar’s (pronounced ‘suraluhn’) groupies. Anyway, one candidate, Lee, had claimed on his CV that he spent two years studying at a university. The interviewer asked him, how long did you spend at university? He said, two years. He asked him again, calmly. He repeated the claim. Then came the bombshell. The interviewer had gone to the trouble of requesting confirmation from the college. In fact, as was verified by a fax from the college, he had spent no more than four months there and had to drop out because he failed to pass exams! When this was put to Lee, he feebly said something along the lines of, oh, I must have spent four months there then, mustn’t I? The interviewer pressed him on it: was it four months or two years? He said, it must be four months if you say it is. Unimpressed, the interviewer stopped himself calling him a liar, but wasn’t far off it.
My first thought was: what a lying little rat. He compounded his problem by not admitting to it straight out. He tried squirming out of it by opening to the suggestion that he had in fact made an innocent mistake. It wasn’t: it was a lie. Then he finally admitted to elaborating his CV because he was embarrassed about his lack of educational achievements. Quite!
When Suraluhn heard about all this, he was of course a little disappointed. But nothing more! He didn’t fire him! He left him stay on for the final week. Talk about rewarding bad behaviour.
Either I am going senile, or has lying somehow become de rigeur among certain types of person? I mean, one gimp on the panel suggested that “we all lie on our CVs”! Always the last refuge of the miscreant is to say, well everybody else does it.
I’m appalled about this for three reasons. First, that a lie on a CV about something as basic as a university education is considered almost trivial. Second, that other people actually go to university, pass exams, and work hard for knowledge and qualifications. Then they get trumpted by this moronic, egotistical ass who thinks he has a right to make extravagant claims on his own CV. As if the wanting of something badly enough (e.g. a job with Alan Sugar) justifies almost anything. Third, it is totally stupid to lie this way on a CV which is going to be broadcast on national television. If the interviewer hadn’t picked up on it, then someone else probably would, possibly from a tabloid or an investigative blogger.
The best line was kept by a comedian on the follow-up programme. If you’re going to lie about university, at least claim you went to Cambridge or Oxford! Duh!