My boss and I were joking the other day about just how useless we would be to society if it were suddenly to collapse. If the electricity stopped flowing, we’d still need Doctors, Farmers, Engineers, Woodworkers, Builders, Blacksmiths, Teachers, Weavers – even Soldiers, but IT Support?
I think not.
I imagine that when the dust finally settled, there’d be some kind of big gathering where all the survivors would get together. Some strong/charismatic/violent leader would be running the show and, because there would be a shortage of resources (Tescos would have been stripped bare long since), we would all have to make a case for being allowed to stay in the community. Those without a sufficiently strong case would be packed off to the ‘Badlands’ (there’s always a ‘Badlands’ in these scenarios - desolate barren places inhabited by mutants, brain-munching zombies or estate agents gone feral).
The conversation would go something like this:
LDR: (Bored) OK, you over there, the tubby one! Yes, you. What was your job before?
ME: Er, I worked in IT.
LDR: Hm, not much call for that now, is there? What else can you do?
ME: Wee-e-e-ll. I can cook – a bit.
LDR: Look, we’ve got three TV chefs already wanting to stay in this community. I’m thinking of making them all fight to the death, last man standing gets the gig. What else have you got? Can you make stuff?
ME: Does card-making count?
LDR: (Sarcastically) Yeah! Of course! Nothing keeps the zombies at bay better than a hand-made birthday card! Can you knit or sew even?
ME: Erm, not really. I can turn up a hem and sew on a button…?
LDR: Sheesh! You’re not making it easy are you? (Turns to Jean-Paul Gaultier) Ok, weirdo, you’ve got the tailoring gig, but just one rubber skirt and it’s the Badlands for you, got it?
ME: I’m quite good with figures…?
LDR: We’ve already got Mr Simpkins, a qualified accountant.
ME: How about someone to keep records? You know, preserve history and all that.
LDR: I’m thinking we should be concentrating on the future right about now. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember Thucydides mentioning much about the Athenians battling armies of zombies and mutants – or did I miss something?
ME: (Getting a bit sad and desperate now) But you’ll need story-tellers, musicians and artists, right?
LDR: Maybe. You any good at those things?
ME: Ish. I’ve written a few stories and songs, the odd poem.
LDR: OK, give me a sample of your stuff.
ME: OK, It’s all on my blog – Oh.
At this point, the Leader would signal to his minions and, well, that would be my one-way ticket to zombietown.
I wonder if it's too late to sign up for that bricklaying course I saw...