Sunday, 14 November 2010

DHL wins contract to transport new graduates to jobs

A graduate-sized box, wrapped as a giant gift to the employer
The government has announced today that DHL has won the lucrative contract to deliver graduates, newly qualified and boxed, to their employers. Insiders say that the German company beat off stiff competition from Fedex, TNT and Parcelforce because at similar prices to the other bidders they also offered to install conveyor belts from the platforms of graduation halls across the country out to temporary loading bays. The new graduates will walk up to the platform to receive their qualification, which in most cases will be a facsimile, and then step straight onto the conveyor belt to be dropped into an appropriately size box, which will have airholes and a small stock of liquids and snacks for the journey.

This process, which DHL describes as 'the most efficient delivery of graduates to jobs anywhere in the world', is part of a wider government plan to allocate graduates to wherever they will be most economically active and offer best value for money. The government says that their reduction in corporation tax over the next few years will also represent an increase in value for money, since employers will get 'well-packaged industry-oriented graduates at a lower cost to themselves.'

However Serco, the company tasked with allocating students to their new roles, has admitted to some difficulties in placing certain students. "Obviously the scientists and lawyers and so on can go straight to their designated roles in industry," explained a spokesman. "Social science students will mostly be placed in HR or marketing roles. The arts students we struggled with for a while but then we discovered this whole sector called 'the creative industries' so we're pretty sure we can offload them."

But it is with philosophy students that Serco has had the most trouble. Eventually they located a small, somewhat barren island off the coast of Scotland in need of labourers to till the rocky, unyielding soil. "It's very isolated there and there's not much to do besides philosophise," explained Serco. "So what with philosophy graduates being otherwise economically inactive we figured it was a good match." One philosophy student, asked to comment on the plan, cryptically referred to it as a 'valid metaphor'.

Meanwhile DHL say that they have been working on streamlining the delivery processes even more since submitting their bid. "We asked some economics students to help us, and it turns out that if you don't put airholes in the boxes, and you don't give the package - sorry, person - any food or drink, you can actually save a lot of money. It does mean that about one in every six hundred dies of asphyxiation, and about one in every two thousand dies of thirst, but even factoring in the revenue losses it still works out cheaper for us."

However in an ironic twist it will only be economics graduates transported in this low-cost manner. "We discovered that it breaches human rights or something," said a DHL spokesman, "But then we looked into it further and realised that human rights don't cover economists. Since the triumph of the Chicago School within the discipline it turns out they aren't human any more - they have all been transmogrified into robotic drones for a fundamentalist ideology. So that will save us some money."

DHL has also won the contract to find new homes for lecturers and professors who are likely to undermine ratings in the new 'Research Excellence Framework'. Again they have had trouble finding somewhere to transport those with an inability to adjust to the new culture of 'excellence' and 'value' within universities. Eventually a home was found for them in Timbuktu, Mali. "We know it sounds like the punchline to a cheap joke," said a spokesman. "But it turns out Timbuktu had this ancient and - dare I say it - old-fashioned university, where knowledge and learning were valued as good things in themselves. We thought they'd feel at home there." The transport of inefficient faculty members will begin sometime in 2011.

The government has said it is pleased that universities are now going to have more contact with such a successful company as DHL, and already many university presidents, provosts, deans and rectors see the company as an example to universities. "We long for the day when we too can be as efficient as DHL," said Sir Keith O'Nions, Rector of Imperial College. "In fact I'm a little jealous of their motto and I've wondered if they'd mind us using it: Excellence. Simply Delivered. So you see we're effectively in the same business. I think this will be a great partnership."

1 comment:

  1. And the people in the houses
    All went to the university
    Where they were put in boxes
    And they came out all the same
    And there's doctors and lawyers
    And business executives
    And they're all made out of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same.

    - Malvina Reynolds