The weekend was bitterly cold! I went shopping just across the border in Newry. There are two shopping centres just a few minutes walk away from each other, the Quays and Buttercrane, and in those few minutes I thought my face would crack with the cold – it felt as though it was frozen solid!
Radio Nova dedicated the weekend to playing romantic records. As the drive to Newry was a good hour and a half each way, I heard a bunch of them and thought there were a few dubious choices in the mix particularly Paul Young’s ‘Every time you go away you take away a piece of meat with you’. Well, that’s as romantic as a bluebottle on the bum.
I think I’ve dodged a bullet as well. I applied for a job in October last year and heard back from the company just last week. I had to create something (there was a spec) and send it back to them. Then a technical interview over the phone – an hour long. Apparently, that went well as I was asked to give dates that I would be available for interview from then to the end of Feb. And, the interview – or should I say, series of interviews all on the same day, would be for approximately 5 to 6 hours… They also asked my salary expectations…
In the meantime, I Googled to get some clues as to what sorts of questions and technical exercises I should expect from the interviewers that could require a whole working day, pretty much. I stumbled upon many, many, many reviews about the company and I am talking about technical recruits and OMG it sounded horrendous.
One review described the interview process as one of pushing your boundaries to the limit to see if you could take the pressure in the actual working environment. That reminded me about a documentary I once watched where some girl wanted to make it as a porn star and got *shudder* ‘interviewed’ by the horrifically vile Max Hardcore. Luckily, the film crew got her out of his clutches and back to Britian. I hope she changed her career plans and never looked back. An evening playing Thumblies with Freddie Kruger would be way more fun.
Reviewers described a culture that sounded more toxic than the atmosphere on Jupiter. Hard labour, long hours and poor wages for the skills and experience they wanted. Kiss up and kick down. Bullying disguised as ‘guiding improvement’ and ‘standard raising’.
I was hoping I’d have the pleasure of being able to turn them down professionally and just withdraw from the process without editorialising the reasons why, but I think my salary expectations did that for me. I saw the role re-advertised the same day that I gave them salary information.
Coincidentally, I subscribe to Eric Barker’s blog and his most recent post was called How to Overcome Bullies at Work. He cited Bob Sutton, a Professor from Stanford Uni, and the one piece of advice he gives to all his students:
When you take a job take a long look at the people you’re going to be working with — because the odds are you’re going to become like them, they are not going to become like you. You can’t change them. If it doesn’t fit who you are, it’s not going to work.
There you go. I really did dodge a bullet.
So, changing tack completely and happily, I’m giving you a free paper cutting file – just in time for St Valentine’s Day. It’s not totally soppy. I think it says plenty in a lovely way. You can download the SVG here:
Together We Are Magic
You’ll need a cutting machine, obviously, but it cuts well and isn’t too intricate or fiddly to weed. I hope you like it and remember, somebody, somewhere, loves you. Have a happy Valentine’s day.