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好贴必转:"Impossible is Nothing" | “万事皆有可能”

(2006-11-03 13:45:47)
分类: 好贴必转
注:一大早打开Gmail,映入眼帘的是FT中文网发来的一封定期邮件。其中一篇文章让我倍感开心。特此附上英文原文、翻译以及youtube的视频——"Impossible is Nothing" | “万事皆有可能”,上传着者与作者,正是Lucy Kellaway取笑的对象。


By Lucy Kellaway 作者:英国《金融时报》专栏作家露西"凯拉韦(Lucy Kellaway)
Friday, October 27, 2006   2006年10月27日星期五

Investment bankers have been having a terrific laugh this month at the expense of a solemn-faced Yale graduate called Aleksey Vayner. A few weeks ago he applied for a job at UBS and sent, along with an 11-page CV, a brief video explaining why he was so special.

Within days the link to the video, Impossible is Nothing, had been e-mailed all over the globe, and was playing on YouTube to huge audiences.

Just in case you are one of the half dozen people left in the working world who have not yet seen it, I can tell you that it involves almost as many changes of costume as the other workplace film I watched last week, The Devil Wears Prada. But while that film is mildly funny, Impossible is Nothing is uproarious. And while the fictional über-bitch boss in The Devil Wears Prada rings true, the real-life Mr Vayner beggars belief.

投资银行家们在本月把某人取笑了个够。那个可怜虫是一位外表严肃的耶鲁大学(Yale)毕业生,名叫阿列克谢"韦纳尔(Aleksey Vayner)。几周前,他应聘瑞银集团(UBS)的一份工作,递交了一份长达11页的简历,并附上了一个解释自己“特别”在哪些地方的视频短片。

没过几天,这个名为“万事皆有可能”(Impossible is Nothing)的视频短片的链接就通过电子邮件发到了全世界,并在YouTube网站面向无数观众播出。

如是你是全世界上班族中没有看过该短片的最后六个人之一,我可以告诉你,这个短片中的服装变化,几乎与我上周看过的另一部办公室题材的电影一样多,那就是《时尚女魔头》(The Devil Wears Prada)。这部电影只是略有些滑稽,但“万事皆有可能”则令人捧腹大笑。而且,虽然《时尚女魔头》中虚构的风骚女老板似乎确有其人,但现实中的韦纳尔却令人难以置信。

In the course of the video, we see him first in a grey suit, then in shorts lifting enormous weights, then in tennis whites demonstrating a fierce serve, then in a tuxedo dancing with a woman in a spangly bikini top, and finally in a karate outfit, chopping a pile of bricks with his bare hand.

As we watch these stunts, Mr Vayner shares his philosophy of success. “If people tell you you can’t, ignore the losers,” he says in a sinister monotone. “Failure isn’t an option. Always push yourself outside your comfort zone.”

Yet what is even funnier than the video itself is how funny bankers seem to find it. And what is even funnier than that is the fact that there is no queue forming to hire this most gung-ho of employees.

Instead of being snapped up, Mr Vayner has become the internet’s latest victim of mass global ridicule and has crawled away under a stone, from where he is muttering about privacy and law suits.





One might even feel sorry for him were it not for the fact that he is so irredeemably ghastly.

Yet that very ghastliness is what most top employers claim to want. Mr Vayner’s assertion that impossible is nothing, though an oxymoron, is a belief shared by many companies. Cadbury Schweppes recently issued a staff rule book in which employees were urged to do the impossible every day. Mr Vayner’s work-hard, play-hard line and his fitness obsession are standard for all employers of alphas.

A visit to the UBS website unearths the toe-curling You & Us campaign, which shows a glamorous young man and woman on a deck with snowy mountain beyond. “Freedom is the possibility of making my dreams come true,” it says. “I excel in what I do.”

Mr Vayner evidently excels at making his dreams come true too, so it is odd that UBS appears not to want him.

He would seem even better qualified for a job at JP Morgan, which, a few years back, ran a series of ads on the extraordinary qualities of individual employees. My favourite was an attractive young woman called Natasha Suakanova. Her personal mission read: “I have never settled for better, when best was within reach. I have zero interest in okay. I have frustrated cynics. I have lit fires. I work for JP Morgan.” Natasha and Aleksey are made for each other.

The reason Mr Vayner’s video has caused such merriment is partly because he looks a prat. It is also because there is a difference between corporate guff and personal guff: no one expects the first to be for real. When these motivational visions suddenly become flesh, they look not just weird but monstrous. Companies might want talent, but they don’t want weirdos.

Mr Vayner should serve as a warning to employers. They should be careful what they wish for. He is the logical consequence of an ever more far-fetched recruitment process.

For their part, companies make increasingly inflated claims of what they are looking for. Even fairly mundane jobs require candidates with unrivalled interpersonal skills and outstanding track records in delivering results. Many application forms require people to dream up the situations in which they showed exceptional leadership skills, which are further invitations to take boasting to the limit.

The result is that everyone is trying to stand out and trying to second-guess what they think is wanted. If one person says they are hardworking, the next says they are Stakhanovite and before long you have someone like Mr Vayner.


然而,这种“可怕”正是大多数顶级雇主宣称想要的。韦纳尔主张的“万事皆有可能”尽管是一种悖论,却是许多企业共同信仰的东西。吉百利史威士(Cadbury Schweppes)最近发布了一份员工守则,要求雇员每天做“不可能”的事情。韦纳尔的辛苦工作、痛快娱乐的豪言壮语,及其对健康的妄想,是所有一流员工的标准。

访问瑞银集团的网站,你会发现一个题为“你和我们”(You & Us)的吸引人的招聘行动,网页上有一对迷人的年轻男女坐在一个露台上,远处是连绵起伏的雪山。“自由使梦想成为可能,”下边的解说词说道。“我做什么都出类拔萃。”


他似乎更有资格得到一份JP摩根(JP Morgan)的工作。几年前,该公司在一系列广告中描述了个别员工的非凡品质。其中我特别喜欢一位富有魅力的年轻女性,她的名字是娜塔莎"苏瓦卡诺娃(Natasha Suakanova)。她的个人使命为:“当卓越是力所能及之时,我从不会止步于优秀。我对普通没有丝毫兴趣。我令怀疑者失望。我点燃火种。我为JP摩根工作。”娜塔莎与阿列克谢真是天生一对。





This isn’t just a US thing, though doubtless it started there. Thirty years ago in the UK children were still taught that it was rude to boast. Now they know better.

My 15-year-old daughter has recently filled in an application form on which she was asked for three adjectives that describe her. I suggested stroppy, volatile and square-eyed, and got a contemptuous look. Instead she toyed with creative, ambitious and brilliant, finally settling for something a shade more restrained. She already understood the trick – to pretend to be better than you are without raising too many suspicions.

This system of institutionalised boasting has two weaknesses. All of the claims are exaggerated, and all the same, both of which render them quite useless as a way of picking good people. When everyone claims to be a goal-oriented achiever and an outstanding leader, there is no way of sorting out the sheep from the goats.

My fear is that Mr Vayner is ahead of his time and that videos like this will soon be a mainstream way of getting a job. And then recruitment will be a cross between reality TV and video dating. Everyone will be groomed and polished and comfortable with the cameras. Everyone will have two minutes to stand out.

Before we know it, Impossible is Nothing will be nothing. Those who can leapfrog that without managing to look like a prat will be able to land whatever job they like.







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