I'm currently trying to find the 'job of my dreams' having stupidly turned one down two months ago for reasons which are so pathetic, I am too embarrassed to even share them with our only reader here.
August was a very, very quiet month. All the movers and shakers go off to the Bahamas to sip cocktails by the poolside, get indelible tans and sing karaoke in the bar at night when they are trollied. That doesn't stop them placing ads in the job sites, though - oh no, you see a cracking job advertised, apply for it, and within seconds, an email bounces back to you saying:
"I am currently on holiday, drinking, smoking and tanning to excess. I will probably get laid - unlike you. And while you are sitting in your house watching the rain drive down your windows, I am lapping up the sun and having a fine time. When I get back, after I have shown off my tan, shared out the Ouzo, regaled everyone with my sexual conquests and displayed my X-rated photos, I might think about contacting you with a view to an interview."
August was very disillusioning...
But September has arrived and with it, the interviews. I have been for quite a few now and am also starting the rounds of second interviews and presentations. Because my job needs 'an analytical mind' (I can calculate the calories in a wine gum if necessary - but I don't go on about it, Alcoment, so please don't send me a letter, berating me for being a diet whore!), I am often put through a series of 'intelligence tests'. Generally, these are pretty good fun, and I do enjoy them, but yesterday's left me in a cold sweat.
I was presented with two sheets of printed patterns and had to work out either the missing square, or ascertain what the next pattern in the sequence was. I'm OK on these if shaded shapes move around a pivotal point, but it's the 'dots' which get me. Do you know the ones I mean? A grid of nine squares with three or four dots in them, then the pattern alters for the second and third grids, seemingly totally randomly, and then you have to work out the logical sequence. These upset me, you know. I stare at them for ages (or as long as possible in 25 minutes) and they confound me resolutely. I just circled the pattern which appealed to me most in the end, yesterday...
I was then given a list of words which had massive chunks tippexed out of them, so only tiny bits of the original letters remained - I believe this is to check out my perceptual awareness. For ages, I was sure the word said 'bollox'...then after one last stab, I realised it said 'button'...
I finished the tests and waited to be called in to the interview proper, so as I was waiting, a lovely lady came in to chat with me. We talked about all sorts of things, ranging from children, to parents, to my living overseas, to the job. I decided to regale her with a few anecdotes in my repertoire and after 15 minutes she stopped me, and said, "I'd better not hear any more as, if you get through to the next round, I interview you with the CEO - I am Head of HR"...Damn! What did I say? Did I tell her the story about falling off the cliff, drunk, on New Year's Eve? Did I tell her about our debauched Mr & Mrs parties where everyone went home with a box of condoms as a booby prize?
So, into the interview I went, meeting with the heads of Sales & Marketing and IT. It was a very, very long interview - nearly two hours (even I didn't realise I could yap that long!) and towards the end, the candidate requirements were listed. We came to 'must have attention to detail and accurate proof-reading skills'.
"So, what are your proofing skills like?"
"Well," I replied, "I think they are pretty good. You know in your tests? You have spelt 'incorrect' wrong."
"What?" came the response. "We have spelt 'incorrect' incorrectly?"
"That is correct," I replied.
I am such a smart-arse, sometimes...
So, it's a jolly good job, and definitely up there in 'dream jobs which I want when I am big', but knowing my luck, my ability to offend without realising it, and my inability to pass a drugs test, I shall end up at Tesco's, gutting fish for a living, where my Shakespearian swottings will really come in handy: "Prithee, Sirra, the world is your oyster this fine morn - and your smoked haddock and cod loin."