No Longer A Jobless Bum!

No Longer A Jobless Bum!

Since being made redundant, I haven’t really done much.  That’s the main problem with being unemployed – you sit at home all day doing bugger-all apart from watching Jeremy Kyle and Judge Judy.  In tracksuit trousers.  So there isn’t a Hell of a lot to talk to your friends and family about!

Well the other day I had my first job interview in about 5 years.  I’ve done a couple of days temp work recently as well, which was partly soul destroying but also helped kick me back into the working day.  So this interview…

It was for a company I thought I’d heard had a high staff turnover, was for legal people so I assumed it would be strict and boring, is for a temporary 5 month contract, and I’m taking about a £7000 per year pay cut over my last job as it’s through an employment agency.  On top of this the interview was attended by a group of us, and would be up to half a day long, with people being cut as the day went on depending on how we performed through each stage.

As you may expect, I was not very excited by this, but decided to go and just use this first interview for some experience for future jobs.  I can safely say I didn’t even want this job when I got up that day.  Added to this, the night before when I looked at the email I’d received of the job details etc, I noticed they wanted me to look carefully at an attachment which would outline what kind of answers they’d be expecting to hear from me during the interview part.  This attachment was missing, so I’d just have to wing it and hope for the best…

Then I buggered up with my shirts and the only one available was one that I wouldn’t be able to wear a tie with!  Argh!  It was quite lucky I didn’t care!

I drove there nice and early as I’d been told parking could be awkward, and sat in the car looking over my CV so I could answer anything about myself they questioned me on.  People often forget this, and end up looking a bit stupid.

Signing in at the reception, I met the other candidates, who were all in smart dress and ranged from the young sales type to middle-aged women who’d probably been doing this same stuff forever.  We didn’t talk to each other.

The first task was proof-reading a letter.  There were 15 errors, and we had 15 minutes to go over it and find and correct them.  Afterwards as the interviewer left the room we chatted and found none of us had found all 15 – most had between 11 and 13.  I found about 3 in the last minute as I looked over it for a final time and found 14, but decided not to tell them that!  It may even have been the full 15…  Hey, I’m a published Poet, Writer and Blogger!  I OWN that shit!

Then we had a Group Exercise where we were given descriptions of 8 people who’d gone pot holing, got trapped, and we had to choose two who would have to be sacrificed as the others got free.  I -ing HATE stuff like this, but got involved early and tried to contribute a lot without being too controversial.  You lot may have noticed that I often look at the world in a far different way from most.  This was a very useful trait back when I was doing the Private Investigator and Surveillance work, and it’s great for blogs, but generally I try not to show this off to people incase they think I’m a Weirdo!

Oh, and all through this exercise we were being observed on a one-to-one basis by scary boss-type people who we were told to ignore.

There was a break after this and we were sent to the on-site cafe whilst they totalled the scores up and decided who to send home early and who went through to the next stage.

All of us but one went through, and to be honest I’d have lost the same one, too.  She was one of those people who just didn’t seem to ‘get’ it.

We started to chat amongst ourselves and they all seemed ok.  Between the next two stages we all came back to the same table, and everyone loosened up a bit so we had a bit of a joke as we discussed the day and life in general.

First of the final stages for me was the face to face interview with two Boss Monkeys.  I absolutely dread interviews and am terrible at them.  I don’t really want to sell myself, and even for my ideal job all I really want to say is “Just give me the -ing job and I’ll turn up and do it, then go home and spend money on stuff I like doing!”.  I don’t want to head the company in 5 years time, I just want a stable source of income and don’t care what it is.  Not having to work with bastards is a great bonus, and I just don’t want to dread going to work every day!

But you can’t say this stuff at interviews!

Despite not having the info everyone else got from the aforementioned email attachment, I was immensely relieved that the two interviewing me were very laid back and it was all quite informal!  They had their list of set questions (which DIDN’T include the obligatory “Why do you want this job?” and “Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?”), but for the most part we ended up just chatting.

Next was the competency assessment, where we had to take a simulated phone call from an awkward client.  This is surprisingly hard to do when you don’t have product knowledge, or really know what tools and info you have at your disposal.  I did far too many “err…”‘s for my liking, but that seemed to go ok, and then I was done.

Ironically, by this time I’d decided I did quite want this job, as it seemed a pretty good place to work!

I went back to my car to find I was blocked in literally by about 10 cars!  There was no way I could go back and get them to call the employees and move them, so I had a look at the grass bank leading to the road, prayed nobody was watching out of the windows, and did a Colin MacRae over the grass!

Oh, and I’ve only just remembered that just as I walked out of the building I found that when I’d put my coat on a chair for the last stage, I’d accidentally picked up the interviewers cardigan, too!  Argh!!  I took it back in and handed it to reception…

Not expecting to get it, I had a voicemail message from someone at the agency later that day that sounded very negative, so I called back expecting the worst and was shocked to hear I’d got it!

So no more dole dossing journeys, and I can safely say that I NEVER felt the need to wear tracksuit bottoms unless I was heading directly to the gym, and I haven’t started smoking ganja or become an alcoholic or had to do any parental DNA tests!

The prospects for this job look good – with a definite chance to progress through the ranks if the company takes me on.  I just hope I don’t end up facing another redundancy somewhere down the line…

The Walk Of Shame/The Jobcentre Experience

The Walk Of Shame/The Jobcentre Experience

It was only my second visit there today, and I’m already referring to it as ‘The Walk Of Shame’.

It feels wrong walking around on the streets during normal working hours.  I imagine everyone who sees me knows I’m a bum without a job.  Jaunting around the place whilst their taxes fund my perceived drug, alcohol and tracksuit habits.

The last time in the Jobcentre was interesting.  The whole place stinks of bad attitudes.  Whilst sat waiting to see an advisor a Single Mum wheeled her pushchair up next to me and sat down.  Out of the corner of my eye I could see the young kid in there was shedding flaking pasty all over the place from the food tray across his pushchair, as she occasionally admonished him without doing anything about the mess.

Urgh, have some pride!  I’d never even think to walk into a carpeted office eating ANY food – let alone something like that!  And this is to see the people who are giving you money?!

Today I got an even bigger treat.

I was sat listening to someone slouched in his chair opposite the advisor, who’d spent five minutes giving her attitude about how he couldn’t possibly do the required three things per week to find work (Note these is literally things like “Looked in the local paper” or “Told my mate I was looking for work”), until she finally gave up and said she was referring him to someone else to see if he’d still get paid – at which point he did a total u-turn and insisted he hadn’t said he’d done nothing and WAS looking…

As I waited, trying my best not to stare at the stunning range of tracksuits on show, someone walked out past me balancing his open can of Skol Super on his hand.

You have GOT to be shitting me?!

I looked around to see if anyone else was looking, but not even any of the advisors batted an eyelid!  So this is normal for people, is it?  You go to sign on at Midday already supping on strong lager as you tell them you’re not having much luck finding work?

When I was called over for my appointment to the same advisor I’d been watching have a hard time I greeted her politely – Heaven help me if I wasn’t FRIENDLY, even!

It made her smile.

This was a Good Thing.

I wonder if I should get myself a nice tracksuit for next time, so I can fit in a bit more?

Maybe I’ll walk in tooting on a crack pipe, too…



Do too many people strive to ‘go all the way to the top’ in their jobs?

Most people hate their jobs and are constantly disappointed when they don’t get that promotion.

Here’s some news: YOU CAN’T ALL BE AT THE TOP!

Is it wrong to just settle somewhere on comfortable money?  Or should we all strive for the top (which is essentially like winning the Lottery, only there’s even less chance)?

They’re ALL dead-end jobs, when it comes down to it.

Why is it frowned upon to settle for a mediocre job on mediocre pay?  Or, even worse, it’s frowned upon to be in an, err… *tries not to swear* cock-a-doody of a job with good pay!

Just what should we strive for?  Disappointment?  Stress?

You can break your back day in, day out for a company, then 20 years down the line *BANG!* You’re redundant.

Granted, in some ways you’re safer at the top – but they can also save 20 lower paid jobs just by axing one director… and when it really comes down to it, it’s the grunts who get the work done.

Ambition is all well and good, but the chances are you WON’T make MD, simply because decisions at the every top are very rarely based on drive or even skill – it’s more who you know, and who you’re ‘in’ with.

So are you constantly trying to move up the ladder for yourself, or because that’s what everyone says you have to do?