Monday, 26 November 2012

Moving house (a hiatus)

A query: what, exactly, does everyone else do with their old university work? I have carried it, in the manner of a demanted pack rat, around several houses now and it's currently sat in shiny new boxes (yes, plural) waiting to be moved to the new house tomorrow. Mr DG has managed to get everything into two folders.

I have no idea if this is weird. From one perspective, my mum still has all her college work in boxes in the attic. From another perspective, she actually has an attic, a house she owns, and no intention to move house until she leaves this one in a wooden box. (Her words, not mine.) My university folders are a thing of beauty, preceding my love of filing in a professional manner. I don't want to get rid of them!

Anyway, whilst you all ponder these issues (tell me what you do in the comments!) this is a wee hiatus announcement. Tomorrow, I am moving to London. Today, I am mostly going to and from the recycling centre (I can get rid of, you know, other stuff, I just have a block on uni stuff), packing up the kitchen and trying not to freak out. I'm only writing this post as part of my magnificent ability to procrastinate. After moving, there will be no internet for about a week or so, resulting in some quietness from me.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A bit of consideration, people

As we all probably know, it's currently an employers market when it comes to jobs. I was staying in London with a family friend for a set of interviews, and he wondered if they still reimbursed you for travelling to interviews. I laughed uproariously. I do dimly remember a time, back just before I graduated, when job applications had dire messages telling you that they couldn't reimburse for travel. So clearly, it used to happen. Not any more.

I have become used to not having results from job applications. It's got to the point where getting a rejection letter is actually rather enjoyable, because at least SOMEONE has read the application.

You know what's really bloody rude though? When you've been for an interview and they still don't get in contact with you. One interview I went to – three weeks ago! - told me I'd hear back within 24 hours. After a week, I sent a polite e-mail enquiring about when I might hear a response. At the start of the next week, they told me. It is only today that they've rejected me. And not just a rejection, oh no. They told me that they'd 'decided not to recruit for the role'. So you've dragged me down to London and now you've decided the job doesn't exist? Are you fucking KIDDING me?

There's a bright side to all this, and it's that I've actually been offered a job. Yeehaw! They also didn't get back to me within the predicted timeframe, but I did get a message saying there would be a delay. It takes two minutes to send an e-mail like that, employers. It's not hard. The job I've got is the one I wanted more than the rest by quite a large margin, but I needed work for my move to London.

There is also the very real possibilities of what happens if you wait a long time to let someone know the results. I am, it must be said, enjoying telling people that since my interview I have interviewed for, been offered and accepted another job.

One of the elements of my new job? Sending feedback to candidates who have interviewed for the company, successful or otherwise. Having this element of respect for people who don't even work for the company is a very good sign, in my eyes. Also, no poverty for Christmas. Wheeee!

Just... have some respect, employers. Someone has taken the time to apply to your company, travel to the interview, iron the interview suit, go through the preparation and the nerves. Even if they're no good, it takes a tiny amount of time to let people know how they've got on. We may be the faceless mass of desperate people to you, but one day you might be the same boat. Think about it.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Police Commissioner Elections: sadly free of costumed vigilantes

As you're probably not aware, the Police Commissioner elections are taking place this Thursday. I know, I know, it's been a real hotbed of political discussion over these elections and I'm sure you're all desperate to cast your vote.

After some discussion and thought, I have decided that I will vote for one of these options:

1. Anyone by the name of 'Gordon'.
1a. I will also accept anyone campaigning under a slogan of “Tough on costumed super-villains, tough on the causes of costumed super-villainy.”

2. Anyone who promises to give all of their salary to a police widows charity and to not do any work, instead letting the police do their work without any bullshit needless political stuff.

Unfortunately, I can't find any candidates who fulfil any of the above criteria. The UKIP lady in our area, Merseyside, looks a bit like Gary Oldman but that's as close as I can get.

Not actually the UKIP candidate for Merseyside Police Commissioner. Maybe.
 So now I'm torn between voting Labour in an attempt to keep out the UKIP/English Democrat lot, or spoiling my ballot paper. I'm rather tempted to go for the latter. I'm going to note, no matter what happens, because if I think about not voting I hear my ancestors screaming at me. So like many people, I'm now mostly trying to think of the funniest way to spoil my ballot paper, mostly via trying to think of good quotes from The Thick of It.

I do genuinely disagree with these elections, because we don't need Police Commissioners. I have yet to hear a convincing reason why we should, or frankly any reasons whatsoever. I've heard nothing from any candidates, or from the government explaining this new role, or any reason why we're wasting million of pounds on an election we don't need and can't afford.

I'm thinking 'FUCKING OMNISHAMBLES' wouldn't be a bad start.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Interview preparation, and possibly how not to do it

Job interviews are HARD. I go in intending to have the self confidence and general awesomeness of this:

What actually happens is this:

The only bright side to my current round of interviews is that my current employer knows they're happening, which means at least I don't have to come up with an increasingly large roster of dead relatives and hospital appointments. This is about the only good side.

I haven't done any interviews for a long while, and I haven't done a successful interview for even longer, so to say I'm out of practice would be an understatement. Before we even get to the interview itself, there's all the stuff around it. In my case, this has involved buying an interview suit that actually fits, wearing in a new pair of shoes, and remembering where I had put all of my see-through piercing gauges. (I am aware I am getting too old to be as heavily pierced as I am, but there we go.) This is more difficult than I remembered, although that said I've never been very good at shopping.

After that, there's the travel arrangements. I'm quite good at negotiating my way around public transport systems – if you can work out Salzburg, you can do anything – but getting to London in time for an interview without re-mortgaging your house is a difficult task. I don't even have a house to re-mortgage. That's just depressing. Plus, you have to find the interview location itself. One recent interview gave me a map to their office from the train station. Like a fool, I trusted it, which led to me wandering in circles around a suburban Surrey town for forty five minutes last week. NEVER AGAIN.

Then you have to prepare for the interview. Now, there's a fair amount of research you can do using the internet and a bit of nous, but there are a great deal of unknowns. You have to put together a question to ask,which is nigh on impossible, and try to remember your own work history and how it links in with the company and the job description. Chances are your application was some time in the distant past, so you also have to remember the spin you put on it as well.

I haven't heard anything back from any of the interviews I've had thus far, so I have no idea just how badly I crashed and burned in any of them, or if indeed the preparation listed above was any use. All the preparation in the world doesn't make a damn difference, because you can't control how well you do or do not get on with someone. Or indeed, my tendency to babble a little. 

I have another interview next week too, hence the fact I'm typing this rather than actually doing said preparation. Fingers crossed at least one of them comes back with something positive, and I can get on with everything else to do with moving across the whole country, i.e. freaking out about the sheer amount of stuff we own and making some fairly random donations to the various charity shops in my local area.