The news is full of reports about skills shortages. So I thought about how the career’s centre of the future might put paid to that. This may not be the ideal solution, but it’s a solution nonetheless.
Haley joined the queue with one thought: welcome to the first day of the rest of your life. She noted with pleasure the disconsolate frowns of her fellow students as they walked by. At one stage she must have laughed, for the boy in front turned around angrily.
‘No-one’s getting what they want,’ he muttered. ‘And you think that’s funny? Wait till it’s your turn!’
Haley beamed at the boy. ‘I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine,’ she said. ‘What I’m after isn’t the same as the others.’
He shot Haley a don’t-be-so-certain look. This kid was one of those dumb ones that were only ever popular in the playground when it came time to pick sports teams. He was the type who bullied Haley relentlessly for being as athletic as a turtle.
‘What do you want then?’ he asked.
The boy’s guesses came woefully short. A short while later Haley, like her fellow students before her, was knocking on Miss Froome’s door and being called into her office.
After a short interview, the career’s advisor typed into a computer and pointed at a vending machine tucked in the corner. It spat a small business card from its slot.
Haley crossed her fingers as she took the card. ‘Don’t be relying on luck Miss Evans,’ said the careers advisor. ‘This is 2310. Nothing is left to chance.’
Miss Froome was right. The school had Haley’s DNA. From that alone the machine would narrow down appropriate occupations. It would also have taken into account eight year-old Haley’s preferred career choices, as well as her most recent exam results and psychometric tests. It didn’t rely on human failings like emotions. It relied on science and the needs of the country to choose the most appropriate careers for students. And the machine’s choice was legally binding.
Outside the office, Haley turned the card over; Career’s Advisor. She pumped her fist. It may have been a modest goal to some but what better occupation, Haley thought, than dishing out disappointment to those imbeciles harbouring unrealistic dreams of being sports stars, actors and rock stars – meaning most of the population.
She skipped away from the office, to incredulous looks from her peers. All that was left for Haley Evans was the easy part: training for her chosen career by basking in the broken dreams of her fellow students.