Prince Harry’s new job in the US has raised both eyebrows and questions. Many felt that, as his Nan’s subject who doesn’t possess a green card, Harry wasn’t entitled to get employment in America.
That just goes to show how little people know about the US immigration law. For it contains a special provision for people whose work can benefit the country.
Called the O-1 visa, it’s designed for “an individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics…”.
Harry satisfies this requirement with room to spare for he is indeed blessed with extraordinary ability. Nor does his talent lie dormant: Harry has converted it into a unique achievement by breathing new life into a whole product category.
He has revolutionised the home-furnishings industry by training himself to act as a voice-activated doorstop. This has instantly relegated traditional doorstops to the status of antiquities.
For centuries, people were plagued by gusts of wind banging open doors shut with an explosive sound reverberating throughout the house. Such shocks used to cause untold misery: male impotence, female miscarriages, children developing lifetime stuttering, hot beverages spilled into elderly people’s laps.
Keeping doors fixed in an open position was therefore always seen as a matter of dire necessity. However, until now only primitive contraptions have been used for that purpose.
Desperate house owners would jam the thin end of a wooden or metal wedge into the slot between the door’s lower edge and the floor. Though this technique served its purpose, it was always seen as a stop-gap measure to be discarded when a revolutionary advance arrived.
After all, using the traditional doorstops was difficult for elderly people whose ability to bend low was compromised by age. Moreover, once wedged in an open position, the door couldn’t vary the width of the aperture.
That created problems because the same opening angle to the jamb was too narrow for some tasks and too wide for others. For example, if an elderly person had to be carried or wheeled into his bedroom, that angle was insufficient. And when an elderly person needed to fix the door barely ajar to peep into his daughter-in-law’s bathroom, it was excessive.
That’s where Harry displayed his extraordinary ability by positioning himself as a ‘smart, voice-activated doorstop’. As ever modest, the prince credits his wife Meghan with her invaluable input.
“Meg would shout ‘a bit wider’ or ‘a bit narrower’, lovingly adding ‘you moron’,” said Harry on the Wintry Opera TV show. “After a while I learned how to keep the door just so. Also, my military training taught me to stand still for hours on end without moving a muscle.
“I recall me Nan saying ‘Harry, one feels you are perfectly trained for a door-stopping career, what? But one would rather you practised it elsewhere.’ And I’m like, ‘Ta, Nan. It’s off to Cauliflower I go.”
His employer, the life-coaching firm BetterUp, issued a press release, saying in part that “Harry’s title of chief impact officer reflects our high hopes for the impact he will make. Harry will be sharing his experience with clients by coaching them how to perform the arduous but vital job of voice-activated doorstop. Harry is a prince among men.”
Commenting on his appointment, Harry wrote, displaying his customary philosophical depth: “Self-optimisation is not about fixing something that’s broken. It’s about becoming the best version of ourselves with whatever life throws at us, such as a heavy door slamming into our face.”
My heartiest congratulations, Harry. Swapping the title of Your Royal Highness for that of chief impact officer was a move of startling courage and creativity. It reminds us all of the untapped reservoir of extraordinary ability hidden in the breast of every seemingly unremarkable individual.
US citizenship beckons – your new country needs you, even if your old one may not.