The End of The Road

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The two weeks of training and intensive jobseeking are over...one day early.

Thank god / gods/ random fluctuations in the spacetime continuum for interviews.

So it was goodbye, today, to the people I gotten to know over the last eleven days.

To the Death-Metal cousins, one of whom had a lisp and reminded me of Frank Spencer in word and deed...to the Canterbury University graduate in English and Childcare who couldn't spell and had never done so much as babysitting...to the David Blaine-like magician guy who bore an uncanny resemblance to East-17 singer Brian Harvey, and showed me how some of his tricks were done...to the scarily small and wiry religious guy in a trainee position at the centre, who ignored any question he didn't want to answer, even to the point of pretending the person asking the question was invisible...to the other middle-aged trainee woman, who at the whiff of her first autonomous authority began to call to mind scenes from Tenko...goodbye to carrying on a conversation with a prospective employer who you can't hear but who you know can hear you because of the entertaining fault of the phone at your end...goodbye to enforced breaks, free lunches, free freeze-dried llama droppings in the 'Coffee' jar, and goodbye to feeling, in a small, slimy and extremely uncomfortable way, like I was stuck inside the all of the worst aspects of school...

...and good riddance.
I enjoyed the company of some of the people, and some of the people, if I see them out of an evening ( and I will - this is the Isle of Wight, remember) I will gladly go over to chat. Others, on seeing them out and about, I will avoid their gaze and begin to make suggestions to the people I am with that we move on to another drinking establishment.

But that's life, really, ain't it?

Interview
The job interview tomorrow has taken on a slightly tasteless feeling since their promised Job Description arrived. This was it:

Job Description: Graduate Engineer

Seeing as that was the role I applied for, I suppose that's only fair. Personally, I was hoping for a little more detail.

Allie Update

Allie moves into her Greenwich town house this weekend, and I'm currently hatching plans to stay up after my interview and help her unpack on the Saturday and generally help out...oh, and spend some time with her. That'd be quite cool too.
I'm glad she's finally got somewhere to live in London...the Winchester-City commuting was taking a lot out of her and tiring her out.
On the other hand, she's now quite a lot further away.

Well, that's life again, huh?

Stay happy people, and remember - life's too short to drink bad coffee / freeze-dried llama droppings.

Removed for safety reasons

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I think I was a little overly paranoid. Now lost this post. Sorry.

God Bless All Bad Spellers

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Just a quick note this evening, as I am feeling pretty knackered. A lack of exercise this week combined with late night internet work to get application forms to take to my 'intensive jobsearch' so I'm not forced into randomly phoning people in the Yellow Pages like everyone else has lead to me not sleeping well and I'm really feeling it.

The Scene: It is some time in Day Two of the two week saga. I am hurriedly typing cover letters. Another jobseeker is sat on the PC next to me doing a CV, and is having a bit of difficulty with his spelling, and also his lack of vocabulary with the spellcheck.

Him: Hey, you're typing quickly. I thought I was fast.
(pause)
Him (again): Hey, can you take a look at this for me?

He hands over a single sheet of A4. I scan headings and layout...fine. In the large-handwriting draft on the desk next to me, I spot that he has started with 'I am a cappable onist person.'. This wasn't that bad, I mean, 'onist' is how we say it anyway, right? Phonetic spelling.
I found the mistake in the typed document and suddenly had trouble breathing. I bit the laughter back quite successfully.

Me: Well, er, you've let the spellcheck do that there, haven't you?

Him: Yes, I couldn't remember how to spell honest.

Me: It's, ah, well, it's h-o-n-e-s-t.

Him (sighing): Ah well. I suppose I'd better print it off again.

Me (having severe trouble not laughing as hard as I ever have in my life at this point): Er, yeah.

His Personal Profile: I am a capable onanist...

Imagine...you are an employer, recieving a CV. The opening lines of the document of this wannabe employee are 'I am really good at wanking...'

Well.
As you do.

The Scene: It is one hour and a half into two long weeks of CV and covering letter training, accompanied by an intensive jobsearch. The paperwork has been completed. The rules laid out. A discussion of reasons for continuing unemployment is begun.

The Training Guy: Stuart, tell us a little about why you're still out of work.

Me: Well, I'm in a difficult situation. I came out of university without IMechE accreditation, and that means I'm having a harder-than-most time getting an engineering job. I want a job locally, but people take one look at my qualifications and tell me that they need someone permanent, who won't be buggering off soon to take up a better jobs.

The Training Guy: Well then, you have to do something to change that. Don't tell them about your degree, or just gloss over it.

Me: Salesmanship?

The Training Guy: Yes. You could negotiate, you can hassle your recruitment agencies until you're a pain in the arse and they're dying to get rid of you. The only reason you aren't in work, Stuart, is YOU.

(A soft beep heralds the end of this monologue)

Me: Ah well, sorry. I appear to have a phone call from a London number. Excuse me.

One interview appointment later, I return to the table feeling very, very smug indeed.

The rest of the day was quite frustrating. I asked if it was okay to use the internet do some research on the company I have an interview with, Moooochel . Of course, and I was presented with the only PC in the place with internet access. I could do the research, but not get the confirmation email, or indeed login to any of the recruitment sites or jobsites that I am a member of, because the PC was 'playing up' and it was impossible to enter any text into fields on any website, be it hotmail login, milkround login or a google search field. Crazy.

How exactly I am going to apply for national engineering jobs during my 'intensive jobsearch' is quite beyond me. Unless of course I bring along my own specialist magazines, application forms and whatnot from home, which, I think you'll agree, rather defeats the object.

Humph.

Misconstrued Feelings Of Anxiety

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Well, life continues much as before.

I would leave it at that, but:
1. I want to write more, and
2. If everyone got away with that life would be dull. How about a Romeo and Juliet where they met, fell in love, their families made up and they honeymooned in Bognor? No story. The opening of 2001; Caveman throws bone into the air...it arcs up and up, then down and down, ricocheting off his bonce on the return leg. No. Things have to be longer.
If you find reading a strain, why are you here anyway? Life continues much as before. Be satisfied. Go away.

Whereas the rest of you...

The Coming Weeks
In the week I switched from intense writing to intensely researching the possibility of further study. It is something I intend to do, and always have, but quietly, to myself, as those with public leanings in that direction come up against difficulties. Everyone they know unceasingly questioning their sanity, for example, which can, I'm told, make life a little trying. I changed my mind towards putting it off to the future after I recieved an offer for a place on an MSc course. I hadn't applied, so I took this to be a sign from GOD, or whichever deity happened to be loitering around the Admissions Board at Cranfield University and felt like giving me an epiphany.

I'm still undecided in terms of which of two directions to take. I will withhold them however, for now. I'm in the 'window shopping' stage, which is pretty intense, scrabbling at the glass kinda window shopping because if I'm serious about this, there is the small matter of funding deadlines. And without funding, the possibility of me even borrowing 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Scone' from a university library is slight to nonexistent.
So there you are.

All this leads me to tomorrow morning, when, at the extremely businesslike hour of 0740, I shall board a bus, buy a ticket to Ryde (no pun intended) and one hour and twenty minutes later, begin my two weeks of compulsory literacy and numeracy, CV and cover letter assistance/training.
The fact that I have given the lovely people a CV and an example of a cover letter that they were cooing over, I have a Bachelor's degree in Engineering and could, given a flipchart and a big, chunky pen, explain the proof for differential calculus, and the fact that I am currently halfway through writing a novel...well, all of that is irrelevant next to the fact that I have to go, or they'll stop my benefit.

Has everyone got a pen, Jobseekers?

Hot Or Not...scouseaccent YOU DECIDE /scouseaccent

You can now rate The Autoblography at Hot or Not.

Be the bastards I know you really are, under those lovely, cheeky faces.

Oh, and as a random signoff, I found that the rather upperclass exclamation 'Poppycock!' actually translates as 'Soft shit!' from the Dutch, Pappe Kak.

So, there you are again.

Progress

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Well, today I'm feeling a little screwy.
The weekend was incredible; a perfect mixture of Alice, health spa and post from the BBC, blended together with all the alcohol and Spanish food we could consume.

Today is going rather differently; a brusque, tart little mixture of long-winded telephonic job rejection, informative and asininely patronising Jobseeker's Allowance Helper, and the looming prospect of two compulsory weeks of full-time literacy, numeracy and job-skills training, which may lead on to frustration-based criminal offences involving garden equipment.

The after-effects of the weekend have blended sharply with today's product, creating the kind of mess you always get when you mix all of the colours in the paint box together...a sluggish dark brown tint that you don't really know what to do with.

I guess I should still be clicking my heels at the BBC stuff...knowing that I'm going to be in frequent contact with the New Writing Co-ordinator from here on in, is and should stay a good point. I'm just frustrated that I've got to get as much work done this week as possible to make up for the next two weeks of sitting listening to someone with a GNVQ telling me how important it is to have a CV/ write cover letters /avoid engineering graduates with a pair of garden shears and a determined expression.

Either way, I'm going to be writing lots.
This'll probably be all the blog for this week...
Take care.

Dearth In The Afternoon

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I recieved what I estimate to be about eight days worth of post this morning. One personal letter (thanks Jules!) one uni course prospectus, one Equal Opps form for Meridian TV, one application form to join an engineering recruitment agency, a bank statement, a returned story from Woman's Weekly that I'd sent in September and completely forgotten about, two application forms for Platinum MBNA credit cards and some other bumf...

Which just about sums up my life...
...little social contact, a lot of hope/life/jobseeking, the cold hard reality of the dole, the bittersweet trials of writing, and refusing credit on a daily basis!

Well, kinda...

Jobs In Limbo
Lots

Stuff
I'm reading: Hemingway's 'Death in the Afternoon' (Have got couple of mates to agree to a Fiesta in the Summer)
I'm writing: Every day. A script sits in the BBC, a third of a novel gets closer to being half a novel, other scripts on the way.
I'm exercising: Casually, and getting really into it. Parental advocation of exercise/sports in childhood always seemed to involved knackering yourself out, enduring resulting muscle pain, and STILL looking forward to doing it again. This way I walk a lot, jog a little (but at least three miles every three days) and the jogging is increasing all the time as my body generally perks up. Feeling quite energetic, and bizarrely, seeing as I've never been an exercisey/sporty person, more myself.
Odd.
I'm listening to: Turin Brakes: The Optimist LP
I'm feeling: Pretty Damned Good Today...

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