Do you ever get that feeling whilst sitting at your desk in the afternoon and think up a mission for yourself? Well, my mission was to see if I was able to get another job. I don’t need a job, I just wanted to see if I still had it. Just like when your out with the guys or girls and innocently chat up a member of the opposite sex, just to see if you still have it?
I scrolled through all the vacancies from a local employment agency and found my target, Native English speaking Customer Service Representative. This was it, the mission begins. I registered my details on the website and uploaded my CV.
The next day I called the agency to arrange an intake interview. It’s a job in itself trying to find a job nowadays.
The day of the interview was about 30 degrees celsius and it felt like 60% humidity. I left the wife in the city to do some shopping whilst I attended the interview. The interview room was a little 3×4 perspex cubicle with no air-conditioning. To be fair, they did leave the door open and provided countless glasses of water. We started going through my CV a paragraph at a time, he would ask questions and I would try my best to remember what my function at each particular job was before giving an answer.
He explains that he needs to build a profile to enable him to give potential employers an insight to what I am all about, so we spent about half an hour just chatting like old friends, even though I had never met this individual before. We understood each other.
I leave the interview feeling confident that I will at least make it through to the interview stages.
About 2 days pass and I don’t hear anything, Now I’m starting to doubt myself. I’m sat at my desk just staring at my computer when my phone vibrates twice indicating new email message. I quickly pull it out my pocket, unlock the screen and dive straight to the email folder, my heart racing. I open the folder and to my frustration it’s only spam, someone trying to sell me pharmaceutical supplies. I decide to email the agency and ask about the status of my application, in less that 2 minutes I got an email reply telling me that they have just got off the telephone from the company and they want to invite me for an interview. RESULT!
Straight away I emailed the agency back to confirm that I am able to attend the interview. My excitement is showing as I walk through the office with a spring in my step thinking to myself, I have a worth, someone is interested!
That evening I pull out the suit trousers from the wardrobe, the last time I wore these I was about 10 kilo lighter. I get them on, Just! Now I need to find a shirt, but should I wear a tie or not? Most people would say that a tie should always be worn to an official occasion but I don’t need this job I just want it. I decide not to go with the tie and put my ironing skills to the test. Everything is hung up ready for the next day.
I arrive in the car park of my potential future employer, 45 minutes early. it’s a thing I have internet on my telephone. I browse through my Facebook and Twitter account to see what my friends and followers are up to, Not a lot as usual. They are either being bored or complaining about the weather which isn’t unusual for the people of Scotland, there are reasons why I left.
The time has come for me to present myself at the security office where I am met with a rather large lady who throws me a visitor pass and tells me to sign in. I decide it’s better not to make a smart comment and just do as she say’s. I worked in the security industry for a number of years so I can feel her pain.
My little chaperone (the team leader) arrives and takes me through to the meeting room where another very small timid woman is waiting (HR). I think to myself, This is going to be a walk in the park. Throughout the interview I didn’t once feel stressed or pressured, we all laughed and got along.
Time for the second part of the interview, this time with the department manager and a potential colleague. From the first instance I can sence that the manager notices that I have decided not to wear a tie, but he doesn’t comment.
I am asked all the standard questions like, why do I think I am suitable for this position, what are my strengths and weaknesses? I did a lot of research before I began this mission. I knew all the answers!
They asked if I knew anything about their products, it’s polystyrene what is there to know? It’s the type of product everyone takes for granted, I never knew these type of production sites existed. That’s maybe just my ignorance?
The manager left the room and returned with 2 jars, 1 with white pellets and 1 with clear pellets. These are the products in their raw form, before they are pressed and molded into a multitude of shapes and sizes for each industry they are used in. I’m not exactly interested, I don’t care.
Finally we were all done and I left feeling great, the 30km drive home went by in a flash. I got home, got changed and headed off to work for the second half of the day. Not a good idea after being for an interview. Talk about total lack of motivation.
I spent the whole weekend thinking about this job, the salary was better than my current job. The only problem was the distance, you might think that 30km isn’t far but my current commute is 10km of which I never get stuck in traffic, ever! The other job is in a different city meaning crazy traffic jams before and after work. Not my ideal way to start or end the day.
Monday morning again and before I knew it i was sat at my desk when I feel the vibration in my pocket, I see the caller has withheld their number. I normally don’t answer unknown numbers as its usually cold callers, I decided to go against all my intuition and pressed the green button, it could be the agency? Straight away I realised my choice was the wrong one, its only some Dutch magazine asking if im interested in subscribing to their monthly issue. I quickly pretend that I don’t speak Dutch, which is quite easy for a Scotsman, and therefore I am not interested in their magazine. Before I hang up I decided to ask her if she was interested in buying my old satellite navigation system I had for sale on eBay. The girl on the other end of the phone seemed impressed with my sales pitch but unfortunately she didn’t have an eBay account and she already had a navigational system. Oh well, my guess is that she wont be calling back anytime soon.
On Monday afternoon the long-awaited phone call from the agency came, they wanted me back on Wednesday for the second interview. Not trying to blow my own trumpet or anything but I wasnt surprised, I nailed the first round of interviews. I quickly thought of an excuse to take a holiday at such short notice, I had to go and view a house. This wasnt a complete lie, we did have an appointment on Wednesday, evening. Shhhh!
Luckily my suit trousers were cleaned and dry in time. I avoided the tie again, thinking if they invited my back for the second interview it wasnt necessary, They were a relaxed bunch. I arrived early to avoid the traffic, presented myself at security, this time to find a different guard on duty. This guy was tall with a greying goatee beard, I could tell he smoked, he had the infamous yellow stain above is top lip. I always wondered if these people actually look in the mirror and think, Hey there good-looking, cracking yellow stain you have going on there.
Finally my escort arrived and this one was huge! (as in height not in radius) She sounded English but she had a Dutch name. My first instinct was that she was married to an Englishman and inherited the accent, similar to that of my wife who now, thanks to me speaks English with a Scottish accent. It turns out that my guess was right, she was married to an Englishman, we joked about the accent and headed into a meeting room.
It turned out that she was the Customer service supervisor, the person who would be standing over my shoulder everyday, well she wouldn’t need to stand she could probably see over everyone’s should whilst sitting down. The manager decided to join us and together they bombarded me with questions like, why do you want to leave your current job, how would I describe my work style, all the usual questions. As I wasnt really interested in the job I decided to just tell them what they wanted to here. I wanted to leave my current job because I wasnt given any freedom which is know something that they take great pride in, it is mentioned in their mission statement. My working style is focused, organised and efficient. Again something that is mentioned in the mission statement, they are bound to be impressed. We finally come to the end of the interview. They explained that they would inform me before Friday 17:00 if i was successful or not and they suggested that I had a resignation letter ready to hand to my current employer as Friday was the last day of the month and they were looking to employ someone at the beginning of the following month, which allowed for 1 month notice period to be served. I had a feeling that the fact that im not actually interested in the job had become apparent to them and they saw through my disguise. Maybe I was just paranoid?
I waited nervously for the next 48 hours. What if they offered me the job, would I take it? Could I cope with the traffic ques every morning? We could certainly use the extra salary.
With every phone call or email that came through my heart skipped a beat. It was now Friday and I still hadn’t heard anything, I was resigned to the fact that they had already selected a candidate and they had forgotten to inform me. I spend most of the day staring at the screen on my phone, pushing the button stopping it going into standby mode, What was I doing? I didn’t even want this job, this was only a pointless mission. I hadn’t prepared a letter of resignation. I stopped staring at the phone and let it gently slide into standby mode, something it had been trying to do all morning. Why was i so on edge? Suddenly the phone burst into life vibrating with the agencies number flashing in all its glory. I answered and tried to sound casually surprised, which i must admit i failed at miserably. He started with all the standard mumbo jumbo how they were impressed and wanted to thank me for my interest in their company and the music to my ears, they wanted to hire me! I managed to contain my excitement and asked for a few minutes to make my decision. I hung up the phone and breathed a great sigh of relief, I’ve still got it!
I called the agency and declined the offer.
Mission over, pointless or not. I am already preparing the next one.