30.3.06

Home Sweet Home

Back home now. Got home last night a few minutes after midnight. Job in Nottingham went well. Despite the fact I was less than 5 minutes away from the Robin Hood statue, I never got to see it. I really need to get myself a good camera, I wish I had one with me up there. Sat beside a chatty midwife on the train back to London, she spoke all the way from Grantham station to London. I learnt everything about her, all this and all I could think about was the fully charged PSP which was sitting in my bag

Anyway, I got my contract letter yesterday. Signed it and sent it back today. They also asked me to fill out an extensive online form, which they are going to use for a criminal background check, credit check, and also check my educational references and work references. I'm just hoping it comes back ok. Anyway, the checks may take up to 4 weeks, so I might be out of work for a while longer yet.....I'm praying that it all works ok, and I start work soon.

Anyway, I'm on a mission now, I want to watch about 5 movies this week, haven't been to the cinema in months !! There're a lot of good movies out there, and I hope to catch a few.

27.3.06

Robbing the rich, to give to the poor

Today, I find myself in Nottingham, famous for 2 things....


1. The city of the legend that is ROBIN HOOD
2. The gun capital of the UK


Anyway, I'm on a 2 day job here, so I'm not going to be doing any sightseeing, although from the window here, I can see Nottingham castle. To be fair, I don't know why it's called a castle. I think they should rename it 'Nottingham House on a massive Rock' or something.


OK, let me get back to work. Not sure how much free time I'll have to blog this week, but let's wait and see.

25.3.06

The Smuggler

Joseph comes up to the Cotonou border on his bicycle. He's got two large bags over his shoulders.

The Customs official stops him and says, "What's in the bags?"

"Garri," answered Joseph.

The Customs official says, "We'll just see about that get off the bike." The Customs official takes the bags and rips them apart; he empties them out and finds nothing in them but garri.

He detains Joseph overnight and has the garri analyzed, only to discover that there is nothing but pure garri in the bags.

The Customs official releases Joseph, puts the garri into new bags, hefts them onto the man's shoulders, and lets him cross the border.

A week later, the same thing happens. The Customs Official asks, "What have you got?"

"garri," says Joseph.

The Customs official does his thorough examination and discovers that the bags contain nothing but garri. He gives the garri back to Joseph, and Joseph crosses the border on his bicycle.

This sequence of events if repeated every day for three years. Finally, Joseph doesn't show up one day and the Customs official meets him in a beer palour in Cotonou.

"Hey, my friend," says the Customs official, "I know you are smuggling something. It's driving me crazy. It's all I think about.....I can't sleep. Just between you and me, what are you smuggling?"

Joseph sips his beer and says, "Bicycles."

24.3.06

Bored

Out of my mind.

Been waiting for my contract to arrive for the last few days, I only found out today that the security checks have actually started, and only after the checks come through, will I receive a contract and agree on a start date. I'm a bit worried, given what happened the last time, the contract I signed then wasn't worth the paper it was written on. So this, I don't even have the 'security' of a signed contract, so what if the same thing happens again? I've been assured that my job is waiting for me at the new company, but all I can do is worry. I'm off to Nottingham next week for a 2 day contract, as I try to make ends meet financially.

I'm seriously wondering if I should continue applying for jobs, or attending interviews until I have the signed contract. That way, if anything happens with the verbal offer I have right now, then I have a backup plan.

22.3.06

Liverpool 7 Birmingham 0

When we scored after 54 seconds, I joked with SPPADIC that we would win by 6 goals.I was wrong. We won by 7.

Although to be fair, it wasn't that Liverpool was so good, but Birmingham was so rubbish. Their keeper let in too many easy goals.

But it's good to see Liverpool score 5, 3 and then 7 goals, after everyone had been saying that our strikers were underperforming, and couldn't buy a goal if they tried !!

I am…..

going to get very bored.

Given that I have to wait for the next month or so before I can start work, I'm wondering how I am going to fill in the time, given that I am very very broke, and things will only get worse as per finances.

I would have loved to use this time to get pass my driver's test, but I can't afford the lessons, unless I put them on the credit card, but even that will be a bit tight, as my card is close to being maxed out. I've booked my theory test for next Thursday though, I hope to study for it between now and then. But then after that, what next?

Any ideas? How do I fill in the time, spending as little money as possible?

20.3.06

Sweet…..

512 job applications later, that elusive job offer finally came through today. Well, kind of.

I've got a verbal offer. After the shenanigans the last time around, I'm not going to be celebrating till the day I actually start work. But yeah, this is good news. If it all works out, it will be a blast. It's a great job, with a great company. The only downside is that I can't start till after HR/Security checks, which can take up to 20 days.

Financially, not the best, but hey, I can't wait to wake up at 6am and get ready for work !!! I have to say I've really missed doing that.

17.3.06

The guy who interviewed me yesterday….

was Ricky Gervias' twin brother. I am totally convinced. They both have that mischievous smirk/grin.

16.3.06

Still at it….

Nope, no job yet. Still frantically searching. Went for 4 interviews on Tuesday, (yup 4), and it was hectic to say the least. But still that job offer is ever elusive. I've got an interview today at 4pm, one tomorrow, and one scheduled for next week. I've even got one in two weeks time !! hopefully I'll have something sorted by then though !

In other news, my wife is doing as well as can be expected. Whoever came up with the term 'morning sickness' should be shot, and his/her body dragged behind a moving car for several miles. 'All day sickness' is more accurate. It seems that whenever I see her, she's either throwing up, or sleeping. I want my wife back !!! Anyway, she's doing ok, and we're now on week 13 of this journey.

So, time for me to watch more boring daytime TV, and do some other mundane tasks before my interview.

9.3.06

From Zero to Hero

At the time of my last post, I had just found out the last of my 5 interviews had come to nothing, and was understandably dissapointed. No interviews left, and it looked all dark and discouraging.

Well, it's all turned around

A few calls yesterday has left me with 2 interviews today (Thursday) and 1 on Friday.

God willing, I'll be working again soon.

In other news, it's sad to see Liverpool go out of the Champions League, but hey, if you can't score, you can't win games.

8.3.06

Bad and good…….

Bad


I didn't get any of the 5 jobs I interviewed for last week. So it's effectively back to square one.


Good


Went for the baby scan yesterday. Watching my little one move around made me smile. He's (I am convinvced it's a boy!) got a big head though !! Anyway, I've got the scan picture as my mouse mat, as I seem to be spending most of my time on the PC, job hunting.


And oh, my wife's not 18 weeks pregnant like we thought. Far from it. 12 weeks and 2 days ! So the expected date of delivery has been revised to September 18th. 

6.3.06

Warning

"You're a really nice guy, I hope everything works out for you"

"We know you'll get something soon, we think you're great!"

"you're a very capable and pleasant person, and I hope it all works out for you"

The next person who says anything similar to the above statements, will get a punch in the nose for thier troubles. I'm tired of being the nice guy, I'm tired of things not working out, I'm tired of everyone feeling sorry for me.

I just want this horrible ordeal to be over.

2.3.06

The technology of jobseraching

OK, the last few days have been a bit rough, job applications, interviews, and now, I'm just sitting around waiting for people to decide whether I'm the best person for the job. This is the part I hate the most. Anyway, I thought this will be a good time to talk about some techy stuff.

OK, previously, the best way to find out about new job vacancies was to set up email alerts on the job sites, and then check your email every morning, and pick the jobs you like. Which is good enough, however, in my situation, I'm obviously home a lot, and could do with a bit more. Thankfully, it seems every major job board (apart from Monster, which is sad), has discovered RSS feeds.

RSS feeds are useful for blogs and news sites, where you get alerts whenever there is new content on a website. But now, if you save your job search citeria, you can get an RSS feed, so a few minutes after the job is posted, you get the alert. I currently have 8 feeds related to job hunting from different sites, set to look for new content every 15 minutes. you can read up on RSS here.

The RSS reader I use is called RSS bandit, it's available at www.rssbandit.org and was actually written by an old friend who now works for Microsoft.

Also, every single interview I've been to, involves writing some form of a technical test. While most of them have been ok for me, a few have been a bit difficult. I guess in a world with so many people claiming to know about IT, there has to be some way to check, as interviews are not really a good indicator of technical skills, you can talk your way into any job !!

Anyway, phone interview today at 5pm, then I think I'm off to choir practice.