Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Tomorrow I have a job interview, which is why I have been somewhat distracted of late and have put off the blog move until I can devote time to approving first-comments. It won't be tomorrow night because that is reserved for celebration or for drowning sorrows, both of which take much the same form and require exactly the same materials.

It's been over 20 years since I had a job interview but this one is perfect. It's microbiology and it's a one-year contract. Exactly what I need to wait out the recession. Not too highly paid but high enough to allow for some decent malt whiskies and rebuild some reserves too.

That's why I'm putting in some effort, not drinking too much tonight and going to bed early. I even ironed a shirt and looked out my least offensive tie, the one with no LEDs or music - yes, it's that serious.

The age thing shouldn't matter because it's a one-year job. I can understand why companies don't want to invest training in the over-50s who are just going to retire a decade later. Much more cost effective to train a 20-year-old and hope to get at least 40 years out of them. I won't need any training for this job and since it's fixed-term, there is no pension issue either.

My one big worry is that I am massively overqualified for the job. On the plus side - no training. On the downside - I probably have more qualifications and experience than their head of department, and some heads of department aren't happy with that. Not that I have any plans to take over. I have had quite enough of the job following me home. These days I have other things I want to write in the evenings. Clocking off and forgetting about it has a great appeal at the moment. I have no more ambition. There's no point, in this country. Just enough and no more, that's the way of things now. Work harder, earn more and the government will punish you for it. And that's the conservatives!

In the twenty years since my last interview, times have changed. When I went for that lecturing job in 1990, nobody wanted to see any of my qualifications, not even my PhD. This time I have even had to hunt out my O-levels! They want it all. I also have to take along my original birth certificate (written on parchment, in Latin, with a quill pen) and passport and evidence that I have a real National Insurance number so that I can work in this country. Wonder why they want all that, eh?

I'll take my CSE in biology along too. When I did the biology O-level, in 1976, it was part of a new experiment. One exam for all. So if you failed the O-level you went into CSE grades. Naturally, since the government was running this, there was an unintended consequence. If you passed the O-level you also automatically passed the CSE so you got that one too! I have a qualification for which I wasn't even registered to study. As far as biology goes, I almost have the full set now.

I found them, eventually, although the print is a bit faded. One shot with a photocopier should bleach them away. There are also S-level biology and something called 'Use of English' which nobody even recognises any more.

There's the publication list which I have as a separate document because it's 14 pages long, single spaced, pitch 12 and I don't want to scare the interviewer. I might not show them that at all. Nor will I mention the books, articles and stories. Not relevant, and it's another four pages. The list is not stapled. It's fitted with a plastic comb binding.

So I have to appear capable, but not so capable that I'd have the head of department's job by the end of the week.

Anyway, best get some sleep so I don't look like the living dead tomorrow. No smoky whiskies tonight.

There were two stories in the news that I wanted to have a pop at but Dick Puddlecote has already covered one and Frank Davis has fisked the other.

I see the Mail is still repeating the mantra of the brain dead - that supermarkets sell alcohol cheaper than water. Well my local Tesco will sell me two litres of bottled water for less than 20p. If you know where I can get booze at less than 10p a litre, I would be very interested to hear about it.

Purely in the interests of research, of course.

As for those 'social smokers' who feel superior, don't they know that tobacco is  more addictive than heroin? The 'social smoker' cannot exist. Perhaps they.. like those antismoking vapers, or CAMRA, think they will deflect Righteous attention from themselves? Good luck with that.

You'll need it.


JuliaM said...

Good luck with the interview!

mmw said...

Hope the interview goes well. Best of luck

Captain Ranty said...

 I also have an interview tomorrow. Recently I read an article which said that a survey was carried out with the top executives and the outcome of the survey was that they need answers to only three questions:

1. Can he/she do the job?

2. Is he/she motivated?

3. Can we tolerate him/her?

I am going to attempt to mention this to my interviewer and then answer the questions. I have nothing to lose by doing this so I'll give it a shot.

Good luck old friend!


jones said...

Good luck Leggy.

Managing to divest oneself of rampant ambition is one of the most liberating of mindsets.

The problem with apparent (and real) ability though is that one inevitably gets pressured to take on higher level roles.....

I know these things......

Woodsy42 said...

"called 'Use of English'"
Hey, I haz won of them two!
If I remember correctly it was some Scotish university requirement to ensure that science students (ie those without language A levels) were also literate.
In the current environment seems like it would be a good thing to bring back, along with a use of numbers requirement for anyone studing PR, politics and management.

George Speller said...

Best of luck. Here's a tip. If they offer you a fag turn it down.

Thomas Hall said...

Good luck Sir!

Mozza5446 said...

best of luck with it mate;would keep you afloat and keep the wolf from your door!been there done that myself-hope you get it-fingers crossed

Oldrightie said...

Very best of luck.

Ghillie said...

The very best of luck to you; the first 3 minutes will probably get you the job - or not - and I will be wishing you success all day.  (Nothing else to do since I'm unemployed too)!!

David Davis said...

Tell us later how you got on, old fellow. Whether you get the job or not. We shall all be rooting for you, but if you don't make it then the buggers have lost a good'un: their loss, not yours. We'll try and buy your books instead, and peddle them to others!

Legiron said...

Interview went well. It depends on who else was interviewed, I suppose. They had us in one at a time so we didn't get to see the other candidates. Since they did them all between 9 and 1, with intervals, there couldn't be more than five or six.

No mention of smoking, interestingly. But then why would they? Surely they can smell a smoker as soon as he lands in reception? Even if he's showered and is wearing freshly laundered clothes, his very skin will ooze nicotine and secretaries will turn yellow and keel over dead at his passing. All I need is a black robe and scythe.

As long as that's what the nutters believe, we'll run rings around them.

Or it could be that they genuinely don't care as long as the job is done. There might still be a few employers with that attitude.

I'll hear by Friday, I'm told. In the meantime, best get some more books out there. You can't buy 'em if I haven't written 'em!

Dr Evil said...

I did use of English too. you had to do it if your were studying sciences at A level. Curiously enough thoswe doing History, Geography and Art didn't have to do it. Plus I had to do Addition Maths coz I was taking Bio, chem and phys A levels and gen studies was mandatory. So much for 'three' A levels!

opinions powered by