Saturday, 21 July 2012

all frat-boy and chipper

In my life, I've probably applied to somewhere in the region of 200 jobs. Despite this, I haven't had that many interviews. Maybe about 10. Most of the jobs I've had did not involve interviews, but merely asking for a job (I have had a lot of very low status jobs). My first interviews were disastrous. The very first, was for a Kent County Council placement scheme and I was asked to describe my course. I just couldn't. No, I could not describe the university course that I had sat through hours of lectures for, spent somewhere in the region of £6000 for, and read pages and pages of course texts for. The nerves just wiped my brain entirely clean.

Of course, years have made me somewhat wiser and now I have prepared answers I can recite to every single genericy interview question I can possibly apprehend. Examples of teamwork, an example of this, an example of that, blah blah blah. If you have no answer, saying nothing is not an option, they just force you to just spit out buzzwords that both you and the interviewer(s) know really mean nothing but, for some reason, are like secret passwords to get past the force-field which guards the world of employment. In Microserfs by Douglas Coupland, the protagonist expresses his distaste for marketing meetings, and I think the way he describes them is also my opinion of interviews - "I think everyone hates and dreads Marketing's meetings because of how these meetings alter your personality. At meetings you have to explain what you've accomplished, so naturally you fluff up your work a bit, like pillows on a couch. You end up becoming this perky, gung-ho version of yourself that you know is just revolting. I have noticed that everybody looks down upon the gung-ho type people at Microsoft, but nobody considers themselves gung-ho. They should just see themselves at these meetings, all frat-boy and chipper."

Anyway....I got through an interview the other day and I have a new job as a filing monkey for an MEP in the South West of England, though I do believe the official job title is "Constituency Administrator". The job, part-time, involves "ensuring the office supply of refreshments is kept topped up, buying anything as and when needed" as well as other exciting duties. I have heard people twenty years my senior complain that too many young people have degrees and that we're all overqualified idiots, but even though you obviously do NOT need a degree to file, enter data and make the tea, would I have got the job without it? In the email informing me that the job was mine, and I copy and paste; "We were very impressed with your interest in the role, in politics and the quality of the test you undertook." Yes, that's the job market we are in, a degree is merely one pokemon badge towards the pokemon league. At this point I would like to point out I do indeed realise how lucky I am to have a job and I'm sure when I start it, it will be great.

BUT MAN, climbing the greasy pole is so hard, you better believe that when I'm an MP I'm going to fiddle the hell out of my expenses. Screw that Tory who used expenses for his duck house, my pond is going to have a mini theme park for my wildlife.*

Now I am going to go outside and do some gardening. I bet you are all jealous of my super exciting life.

Ps. I really don't like the distinct lack of pictures in this entry and the last, please accept this picture of my dog without much explanation.

*I don't expect I will ever be an MP, nor is it something that I aim for. Furthermore I would not fiddle my expenses, probably.

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