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THE UNICORN

    Once a unicorn lost its horn trying to make a career change.
    There wasn’t much future, it discovered, in being merely a unicorn. 
    “You need to upgrade your skill set,” the unicorn was told by a career consultant. “The first thing for us to do is quantify and qualify your experience and see where we stand. Now tell me about yourself. Just keep talking while I take a few notes.”
    “Well, I am a unicorn.”
    “Yes? Yes?”
    “That’s about all there is to say, I guess.”
    “No, no, no. You can’t walk into an interview with that mindset. You’ll be toast. Now let’s prioritize and visualize to optimize and actualize. Try to describe yourself in one sentence.”
    “I am a unicorn.”
    “You’ve said that.”
    “I am a mythical creature. Better?”
    The consultant leaned back, stared at the ceiling a moment, snapped a brightly striped suspender, and then looked again at the unicorn. “Let’s think outside the box for a moment. Is there anything about you that could take an ‘e’ in front of it?”
    “Ethereal.”
    “That’s not exactly what I had in mind.”
    “Elusive?”
    “Worse. Let’s try a different tack. Now work with me on this. What would you say is your greatest strength?”
    “I am unique.”
    “That’s at the top of everybody’s résumé these days, believe me.”
    “I am what I am.”
    “All very well, but who’s going to pay good money just to have a unicorn around?” 
    “I represent a peerless and pure ideal.”
    “We need to be thinking ‘pragmatic’ and ‘profit-oriented’ here, not some fuzzy ‘ideal.’ Now let’s get back to quantification and qualification of your experience to date. What more can you tell me?”
    “Knights and damsels pledged themselves in my name.”
    “Knights and damsels, eh? This is getting us nowhere, I can see. So here’s what I suggest we do. I’ll network with some other consultants I know, and you write out a list of your strengths, weaknesses, objectives, and whatever else you can think of, and that’ll give us a platform to work up a package that maximizes your selling points. How’s that sound?”
    The unicorn was silent for a while and then said, “Do you mind if I ask a question first?”
    “Fire away.”
    “How much will all of this cost me?”
    “Should that be our primary concern right now? It’s your future we’re talking about, let’s not forget. I’m sure we can work out an easy schedule of payments when the time comes.”
    “I’m afraid I have no money.”
    The consultant stared at the unicorn, then looked up at the ceiling again and asked: “How about that horn? What’s that worth?”