Entry 273: Do I Have a Job for You!

Do you have what it takes to be a horological conservator? If you do, or if you even know what a horological conservator is, there’s a job opening you should know about. (Hint: It has nothing to do with Stephen King.)

To get this job, you’ll naturally need to be fully qualified in horology. You are? Terrific! Can you “work flexibly including early mornings and weekends?” Yes? Great. One more thing: you need a valid British drivers’ license.

Oh. So sorry. Maybe you could be a horological conservator in the states.

The qualifications above are the actual requirements listed for an actual job opening…as the horological conservator for the actual Queen of England. “Horological conservator” is the fancy British term for what we Yanks would call “a clock repairperson.”

Although this position isn’t as dangerous as being on Her Majesty’s Secret Service, it is nevertheless quite an honor to be on Her Majesty’s Royal Collection Trust Horological Conservation Team. Here’s the job description from the want ad, which I am not making up :

You will work with a team of three…maintaining in excess of Clock_Tower_-_Palace_of_Westminster,_London_-_September_2006-2[1]1,000 clocks, including many items of great historical importance and rarity, whilst also repairing a range of horological items and Turret clocks.

How thrilling does that sound? (Trust me–if you’re a horologist, it’s as exciting as it gets.)

I’m not sure why Turret clocks are called out separately (or why “Turret” has a capital “T”). I mean, I would assume that “horological items” would also cover Turret clocks, what with them being clocks and all. Perhaps it’s to give the prospective applicant fair warning that there can be great heights involved and that your workmen’s compensation coverage doesn’t cover you if you come down with Turrets Syndrome.

??????????????????????And whilst I don’t know if the job includes the maintenance of Big Ben, it almost certainly includes “Little Willy,” a small bedside alarm clock in the shape of one of the Queen’s beloved corgis.

Talk about a pressure-packed job! You and the other two members of the Royal Collection Trust Horological Conservation Team will be responsible for the accuracy of every clock in all the Royal Residences like Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle and the small London pied-á-terre to which William and Kate escape when “Friggin’ Bonnie Prince George” is up crying all night.

You’d be in it, by the way, mostly for the prestige, since the job carries a salary of only  31,200 pounds “per annum,” which, in real money is just under $50,000 “up the anus.”  And the job doesn’t even pay overtime for the two times a year you have to change the time on all one thousand clocks.  Think about how long it would take for your 3-member time team to do that, particularly since we’re talking about multiple residences, and especially since we’re not talking about clocks that simply require turning a dial and changing a battery. Some of these clocks are centuries old, and you have to be able to…

…strip and clean mechanisms, make new parts, solder, turn, cut screws wheels and pinions, make hands, silver dials, pattern making, brazing and some forging.*

I’ll bet there are a few sundials, too, and good luck figuring out how to adjust those for daylight savings time. Changing all those clocks has to take awhilst, don’t you think? Which means that at least some of the clocks are going to be substantially inaccurate for the amount of time it takes you to get to all of them, which means Her Majesty is going to be royally pissed, which will be expressed in the ever-so-slight elevation of her left eyebrow.

And that, my horologically-inclined friend, means you’re fired.

If you’re interested in the position, I imagine you’ll need a couple of other qualifications. Punctuality, for instance, is probably a big deal for a horologist. And a wardrobe full of fancy workclothes, because even a lowly horological conservator can’t be seen around the palace in overalls (and mind the butt crack, please!).

Of course, you’ll also have to go through a thorough background check because they’d really prefer that a person in this particular position not know how to assemble a time bomb.

If you get the job, in addition to the low salary, you can also “look forward to a comprehensive rewards package that includes a 15% employer contribution pension scheme.”

I don’t know about you, but it would make me uncomfortable knowing that my retirement was dependent on a “scheme.” I think that’s what they called Enron’s pension plan.

Anyway, if you’d like to apply for this position, you really can, just by going to the link at the beginning of this post. But hurry–the application closing date is October 13, 2013.

And you don’t want to be late.

See you soon.

*Not exactly the king’s English is it? Or any English, for that matter. Another section of the listing says “This team have the important responsibility for the restoration, conservation and presentation of all Royal Collection furniture and decorative objects at the Royal Residences and occasionally other locations.” “This team have?” Really? I knew the Brits couldn’t speak understandable English, but evidently they don’t write too good, either.

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