Tuesday, December 28, 2004

December 10 (Friday): I wake up and outside it is a shitty day. Today I have no real zest for life, yesterday morning was a real knock back on the employment front and I have no real interest/ambition to go through that again today. Sadly, however I have an interview scheduled for 1PM.

I try to make some decent plans for this morning, to do something useful and worthwhile but all I find myself able to come up with is to watch my Bully DVD which I bought back in the height of summer, showing really just how much desire I have to see this film. I slap it on however and fall asleep in the process. Brad Renfro is in it (and he’s pretty good too) but it doesn’t offer much else, just Larry Clark attempting really hard to shock (as per usual).

During the morning I receive an email from Steve Clear, Mark’s brother who tells me about his hip hop record (Rup and DJ So Clear) and it seems it is out and there are copies in town at the metal shop It’s Electric. I want to hear this record in the baddest way, as I said before, it’s a release I really wanted to put out on Gringo Records but wasn’t to be.

Around 10.45 Sara texts telling me that “coming home was the best thing I have ever done”. That’s nice.

Before the movie ends, I pop out to Asda because my car is now empty of fuel and I really don’t want to be filling up when I am fitting the clock to get to my interview.

Today turns out to be a bit of a disaster. Come midday, I have still received no information about my impending 1AM interview from Acme Personnel and I barely know even where the venue for the interview is. When I attempt to pull it up on my PC, with not much time left before I need to leave, the computer at this point takes the opportunity to stall, foul up and crash meaning when I leave home at 12.30 for the interview, I have nothing more (information wise) that relates to the job other than the vague address.

I leave on time and as I pass the Tesco Hythe and roundabout I see my old employer in his sports car and it only serves to make my skin crawl as the prospect of re-entering such a working environment depresses me and makes me shudder.

I find myself having a minor nightmare finding the place in Alresford, its all fucking farm houses and fields in amongst it’s poxy little village (not a fan of the country myself). As I said before, when I was told the company was called Caring Home, I thought it was a construction company run by Mr Caring. Whoops. Today, I am being lined up for a test then interview. Taking tests in interviews at this point of my career I really do see as taking the piss but whatever I really want a salary right now. When I eventually find the place, it has the most cramped car park in history and as soon as I park I am asked by a car valet (Mr glorified car cleaner) to move it. He takes my keys of me and only minutes into my “interview” I find myself wondering if I will ever see my car again. Very worrying because I’ll still be paying for that fucker for the next five years I believe. My initial impressions of the place are the stuff of stunned. I was expecting the place to be smaller and really not so, for the want of better words, so feminine. Oh yeah, I can really see myself fitting in here. I sit for a few minutes awaiting my fate and when eventually my interviewer turns up I recognise her as being a face that used to be in my ACCA course in/at Chelmsford APU, not the best of days. And I would bet that she is actually, possibly younger than me. So, immediately feeling patronised and with no background knowledge on the job/position/company, I settle into an interview that baffles me, just wanting to get the “test” out of the way. Eventually me and the girl (and I repeat girl) get onto the subject of APU. Sounds like she is slightly ahead of me in her studies (but hey its not a race, is it?). The job sounds very easy, an utter doss, and not exaggerating, data processing where a week’s work by someone like me could be performed in a day (especially after fitting months onto Sage at Acme Pipeline in the matter of a few days only a couple of months ago). Unimpressed, I urge her to give me the test and when I get it, it is moronic questions about the double entry of an accrual and about eleven other similar questions. I begin to wonder now whether I am actually more qualified (through experience) than me interviewer. I do the test in about five minutes and it is bollocks and I have officially taken offence. The next step is my Excel test. Grief. As I walk over to the computer, there suddenly is someone else I used to go to APU with, some tubby bitch that I actually used to sit next to, week in, week out. I gasp a loud “HALLO!” and immediately I feel I have made a mistake. The scene in Fever Pitch when the main guy acts overfamiliar at an interview has always struck me hard and I know it’s a faux pas even if I still do it. I pick up the Excel “test” and it’s a week’s bank reconciliation. I stare at the paper blankly for a few minutes, the question is poor and in itself could do with being tested. The reconciliation brought forward on the test in next to nonsense (I realise I am sounding like a prick at this point but I can’t help it). Bemused, I tear into bank rec, doing it “their way” to keep them happy when knowing at the time it really isn’t of a very good standard. I do it and me and the girl go back for a continuation of the interview. Whereas she was previously telling me how people had been promoted within the firm over the course of six months, she now takes the tact of seeming to dissuade me even using the term “overqualified”, which was something I didn’t want to be so cocksure to even suggest (let alone say). It seems this is a job that I could do with my eyes shut but one that I would definitely eventually get bored and playful at and begin looking elsewhere. Still, I don’t feel I am afforded the upperhand/respect/recognition I deserve here and if they’re willing to pay me what they say, it will do for me know. We reach the stage where she goes “do you have any questions?” and usually if you have none you are dead but today I just respond “no, I think we have covered everything”. She tells me they will be conducting second interviews and making their decisions soon, pretty much par for the course. As I leave I pass the Christine and say “bye and take care”, pretty embarrassed by it all. My interviewer pipes up “she seems to know everyone” and I reply “yeah, I used to sit next to her and she would always give me grief”. I shake her hand and leave, pissed off at the position and interview, it all feeling/seeming somewhat of a waste of time. During my entire at the company, I only saw another man once, this is so obviously a job/position for a another female and will more than likely go to another female. I feel pissed off at the employment agency for putting me forward to what would appear a waste of time position, but they see payola ahead of common sense. I’m a professional cynic but my heart’s not in it.

I get home at a loss, annoyed but with a bit of life in me now. Eventually I head out again and into town; retail therapy beckons, a reward for my fourth interview in a month (spurious, big time). I get my copy of the Rup The Cunt twelve inch that Steve has put out and it’s the first record I have bought in ages and maybe the first twelve inch I have bought in over five years. I also come across a signed (hardback) copy of the new Douglas Coupland book Eleaner Rigby in Waterstones. Previously I had no interest book but now suddenly I feel the need to immediately snap it up. Yeah, I can really afford to be spending £16 on a book at these times.

Night falls and I return home. Since this morning, I haven’t heard from Sara. I text her again after calling the number and only get her voice mail. Strange.

I play some WWF Playstation and finally unlock Bret Hart on Smackdown vs Raw. God, the character absolutely sucks on this game, was this intentional by Vince McMahon? Disappointed, I immediately set about scoring points with view to unlocking the Legion Of Doom.

Soon that gets tiresome and I feel the need/desire to have an early night but that plan falls on it’s arse. After the interview today, I really do feel down and just want to turn it in, put a close on the day and try/start afresh again tomorrow. I try Sara some more but no dice but that’s par for the course of today so no worries (she said she was going out tonight anyway). I then proceed to watch a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 I downloaded off Soulseek. It’s not the best, verging on lame and fails to hold my attention. When it thankfully ends, I peruse the internet for trash, eventually coming across the coolest games site I have ever seen (off the back of a link from a Bad Hand from somewhere).

Friday night funny TV eventually comes around, just as Husbands by Cassavetes finishes downloading onto my PC (complete with French subtitles, doh!). Max And Paddy comes on and while I was previously dubious of the show, tonight it kills, this show is just as funny as Phoenix Nights, Peter Kay remains talent! Peep Show follows and that only improves with each show also, its all painfully observed and funny, the weird becomes more normal the weirder he gets every week. With prime time out of the way, the repeats come along with Father Ted considering moving to America and Bo Selecta swearing its way into the evening, it’s all good and serves to finally send me to sleep.

np: Blur – Country House