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Please, Mr. Dickens, I need a job! Great Expectations
"What the Dickens Do Employers Want?"
Title Theme for a Program in the "InnerViews" Series

I was original editor and illustrator for the first and second editions of "The Work Book: Getting the Job You Want" a guide to basic self-assessment and effective self-directed job search techniques, written by J. Michael Farr, Dick Gaither and R. Michael Pickrell, and (then) published by JIST Works, Inc. Now in its fifth edition (or is it sixth?), over a half-million copies of "The Work Book" have been sold. Being 3 generations removed (or is it 4 now?) from my original work, however, I imagine that in the most recent edition little in the way of words or images yet remains that is readily identifiable as being my work. And so it goes.

One of the illustrations in those early editions of "The Work Book" was a 2-page, 5-panel cartoon strip that I based on a single 19th-century engraving. To my mind, the finished piece was always similar to being a much-condensed storyboard for a single scene in an early silent movie melodrama. And so, a few years later when thinking up script ideas for potential video products, it seemed only natural to consider expanding this cartoon idea into a unique video script. (I say "unique" because approximately half of a 35-minute educational video would be without any audible dialogue or narration, and that particular half of the project might seem dedicated more to entertainment rather than education although the educational objective would always be underlying.)

Well, I wrote the script on spec, mostly for my own amusement. And as an intro to the piece, I composed a title theme (see below) that I thought should be recorded in homage to a 1920's Rudy Vallee kind of sound. Due to the experimental nature of the script, however, I didn't really think the project would ever be accepted for production. But hey, what do I know? The script was accepted. One word, "Great," was replaced by "Employers'" and with the rest, as such, was the title under which the realized video was (and still is) marketed: "Employers' Expectations, or 'What the Dickens Do Employers Want?'"

So now, "Employers' Ex" is one component of the award-winning 5-program "InnerViews" video series that I wrote for JIST Works, Inc their longest-running and best-selling series. ("An outstanding series of five job search how-to videos... In today's economic climate, this is a must-have addition to every community and university video library collection." Bookwatch) Hotcha!

The only disappointing part of this story for me, at least (and for you too, I'm sure, if you heard plaintiff's evidentiary recording, aka "Exhibit A") is the song's rendition in the finished production. I had made a demo tape in which I sang the lead line only, to a basic synth accompaniment. Since I was also supplying a lead sheet that fully indicated the backup/fill vocals, I didn't think it necessary to try recording those parts for the demo. (And hey, I don't consider myself to be a singer anyway.) Well, it turned out that to save on production costs, no new track was recorded and, rather, my demo was used in the final product. (Argh!)

And so it goes. So much for my own Great Expectations, I guess.

Read the lyrics below or check out the Lead Sheet for words and music. BD

Thin Line

Great Expectations
Or, "What the Dickens Do Employers Want?"
(Title Theme for a Program from the "InnerViews" Video Series)
Words and Music by David R. Lister

Expectations, Great Expectations
(In job interview situations)
What the Dickens do employers want?
(What the Dickens do employers want?)
(Oh, Bo-vo-de-oh!)

You have special qualifications
(For your interview presentations)
But do you know which ones you ought to flaunt?
(Do you know which ones you ought to flaunt?)

(Oh, Bo-vo-de-oh!)
You have special qualifications
(In job interview situations)
But what the Dickens do employers want?
(What the Dickens do employers want?)
(They want good...)
(Do you look right for the job?)
(Can you be counted on?)
And skills
(Do you have the skills to get the job done?)

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2001-2012 David R. Lister • All Rights Reserved.