Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 11.10.15
Stanstead, Quebec


Why your next employee should be a former non-athlete and probably the one after that too

Employment-wise, it's a dog-eat-dog world out there. And why are the dogs eating dog? Because they're out of dog food. But surely they could they eat something else, like garbage. Dogs eat garbage all the time. Good dogs, bad dogs, they can't get enough of garbage. Why do dogs have to resort to gobbling other dogs? The answer, you probably don't know, is that dogs are delicious. Dogs, strangely enough, do know this.

Thankfully, this reference to dog cannibalism is merely a metaphor for the competitive climate for contemporary job seekers. Too many people chasing after a too small slice of pie.

Pie! Dogs could eat pie instead of other dogs. Someone should start a campaign: more pies for dogs. Let's get a Facebook group going, make it a dog-eat-pie world. Be the chow you want to see in the world.

Meanwhile, companies looking to hire non-dogs are overwhelmed with résumés from candidates bragging about their previous job experience or trying to parlay that time they went surfing in Maui as "a world-view outlook." With so many job seekers and so many variables, it's tempting for companies to listen to conventional wisdom and put team-playing, self-disciplined former athletes at the top of the candidate pile.

WRONG! Hoo boy, are they wrong.

Companies wanting to hire the very best employees should look no further than lifelong non-athletes. Did you know that five out of the last eleven U.S. presidents were non-athletes? Rather than hanging out in the gym at college or missing school for away games, those future commanders-in-chief were in class, taking notes, selling those notes to the jocks, learning about capitalism and how to manipulate the scholastically deprived.

    Here, then, are five traits of former non-athletes that make them ideal employees:

  • They're injury-free
    All that laying about has kept non-athletes' muscles supple and bones intact, making them less likely to require valuable time off for physiotherapy and more likely to remain slouched at their work stations for long, uninterrupted periods, thereby increasing productivity. Statistically, non-athletes are 70 percent less likely to arrive at work with a javelin sticking out of their thorax than former athletes, a situation that can cause emotional distress to other employees and breakage within the tight confines of the lunch room. And as an employer, ask yourself: concussion, or no concussion? It's a no-brainer.

  • They're self-disciplined
    Years of resisting social pressure to try out for sports teams, play some pick-up hockey, walk, etc. have transformed former non-athletes into strong-willed individuals who are not afraid to say, "I have stuff that needs -- stuffing." Non-athletes have learned to listen to their body, and what their body says is, "Pass the remote." In the corporate world, this translates to workers who are willing to stand up for what they believe in, as long as they can do so sitting down.

  • They're team players
    I know: irony, right? But non-athletes have never been singled out in their entire lives, have never been rewarded for their accomplishments -- or at least none that, you know, matter -- have never demanded $6 million salaries for being really good at Dungeons amp; Dragon. After years of being systematically deprived of approval, non-athletes are primed to throw themselves wholly into that sense of belonging and shared purpose offered by successful companies. And cults.

  • They're open-minded
    Goal-oriented, focused on success at all costs, driven -- the non-athlete is none of these. Non-athletes understand that sometimes the best thing you can do is give up and have a snack. Is that javelin fellow out of the lunch room yet? Thank God! For non-athletes, failure is part of everyday life. Giving up clears the way for a new start and fresh ideas and a chance to change into sweatpants. Non-athletes don't give 110 percent because that, they explain snootily, is technically impossible.

  • They're reliable
    Non-athletes aren't going to step out of their comfort zone to participate in some bloody marathon or go running off to get they're masters in sports bloody therapy. They're not running off anywhere. Plus, you can be guaranteed that a non-athlete will never, ever eat a dog.