January 20, 2006

Interviews, projects and general silliness

As some of you may know, this week was my official "week of interviews". On Wednesday I travelled for a total of 5 hours for a 30 minute interview with Nationwide, which I was basically treating as a practice for later ones. It went extremely well, the woman who I spoke to was very nice, and I'm going to get another hotel stay out of it on the 21st Feb for the final round.

To be close for my IBM interview I went up to London last night to stay with my brother. It was really good catching up with him, including finding out that the programme series he researched over the summer ("Penis Envy") is being shown Mon-Weds week 5 on channel 4 in the evenings. I'm not sure if he's told my parents he's done this yet, it features a special on the depressed man with the world's biggest member and one on John Bobbit (the guy who had his penis chopped off and thrown out the window). The project he's working on at the moment (my brother, not Mr Bobbit) is "This Is A Knife" and should be available to view online soon at www.channel4.com/thisisaknife. He's producer/director for it, so it's a bit more of his work…

Anyway, on to the interview. I got up this morning, got to the office at 8:30, waited round until 9:30, had a quick introduction to the day and then started the group exercise. This is where it all started to go horribly, horribly wrong. In my group of 4, there was one guy who was pretty bright, one who was quite nice, and one who was the most annoying guy in the world. Ever. Every time anyone came up with a suggestion he just shot them down, and put his own way across and refused to change. As we were supposed to work as a team and had a tight deadline, we ended up having to do it his way, and got nowhere. I made more suggestions and they kept on getting knocked down. I of course should probably must take some of the blame for not being assertive enough to get my ideas across, and not helping him more while I felt we were going in circles, but it's nice to blame someone else :-).

The rest of the morning went pretty well, with aptitude tests and some very nice cups of tea. When it got to them announcing who was staying for interviews I was feeling a bit more optimistic, but they only asked 1 of the 8 of us to stay. Basically, anyone in my group failed at the group stage and generally on one of the tests, and 3 out of the 4 others failed the numeracy tests. I'm pretty pleased that I was one of the only two who passed all the aptitude tests, and it's not the end of the world that I didn't get the job, but I'm still not too happy. I should have been more assertive in the group exercise…

Ah well.

Anyhow, that was my week. Typical that I get through without much pain on the job I'm not too fussed about, and fail miserably at the one I want. It's just the way the cookie crumbles I guess.

Just needed to write that down to clear my head. Just one more thing to get out of my system now:

Arse, shite, bugger, feck, grr.

Much better.


January 15, 2006

New tactics

The realisation hit me earlier this week that I really needed to start doing some serious work for my project since it's got to be bloody long and I've only done the very easy bits so far.

To help with this, I've found some surefire ways of making me work now:

  • If I work I get to listen to music at this amazing site recommended to me by Joe Davison. You have to pretend to be American, but it then lets you build a list of some of your favourite music which it makes a radio station around. Pure genius.
  • If I don't work the only music I'm allowed to listen to is Fire In Your Heart on loop, the cheesiest piece in the world (hard work) which I performed with MTW on Friday.
  • I have an interview with IBM on Friday, and I think the subject of my project might be asked about, so I really should know something about it by then.
  • I'm working with Laura and she's doing a lot more than me so I end up feeling very, very guilty!

Right, I'd best go and do some work now as listening to Fire In Your Heart 5 times while checking e-mails and writing this has almost been enough to make me slit my wrists…

Sam


January 07, 2006

Work avoidance…

…is going well today, though I have slipped a bit and done some research for my project.

Other things I've done:

  • Watched this: link
  • Researched for my IBM interview a week Monday
  • Written thank you letters

Time to start being productive…


January 02, 2006

Christmas/NYE

Hello all who read this,

Well, it's been a fun few weeks. I've done (approximately) 5 minutes work in the 4 and a half weeks I've had off, I've bought some clothes that don't say Warwick on them for pretty much the first time in 4 years, I've got a double bass drum pedal (wooo!), and I've had a bloody good time! The double bass drum pedal is pretty wicked, but bloody difficult to play. I might actually have to practice when I get back to uni…

One of the highlights was seeing one of my best friends from home's new flat in London. He is my official fashion guru and often attempts to make me have £70 hair-cuts or do other silly things like join a gym, but this time I managed to get him to show me where to shop in Oxford Street on a student's budget, though he insisted on showing me how to tuck a shirt in properly. I never knew it was such a science!

Probably the biggest highlight of my holiday though was having the final annual New Year's Eve party at my house, finishing a tradition which started when I was at college. It was really good to catch up with friends, some of whom I hadn't seen since the same time the year before, especially the ones who I didn't have contact details for who had just turned up hoping there would be a party here! I'm going to put a few pictures up when I find my camera cable, including one of the most lethal drink I've ever drunk (balsamic vinegar stuff that was 45% when it was bought – 25 years ago on my parents' honeymoon!). The house is still in one piece too, which is always a relief, not like the year when a friend fell over and put his foot through our brand new oven's door for example…

I'm back in Warwick on Tuesday, and will probably be on campus at some point to play with my double bass drum pedal some more!

Right, I'd best get some sleep, I wasn't asleep until around 6 last night and got woken up at 9 when one of my friends had to leave for the railway station.

Adios, and have a happy new year!

Sam

PS This is my new pedal, mine's an ex-demo version of this: link


December 19, 2005

Stuff

Well, I'm back in Southampton now, and am keeping myself busy so as to have a good excuse to not work. So far I have:

  • Played in a friend's concert. If he had told me beforehand how many organ recitals there were I may not have done though!

  • Attempted to go for a quiet drink and catchup with a friend, but ended up bumping in to a few other musos in the pub and did the quiz with them. I don't think I've ever come last before, but at least we got our fee back!

  • Drunk really dodgy beer, the only beer that could be found in my house, which had been sitting with the spirits for at least 10 years too many looking at the layers of dust on it (and the best before date!). I drank it as I guessed that it would just have got stronger, which probably happened considering how rough I felt Sunday morning, though that could just have been the bacteria that had grown in it.

  • Played squash against a sporty friend who had hardly ever played before. He was almost better than me by the last game…

  • Gone shopping for Christmas presents and found out quickly that I should have completed it at least a month ago… Anyone know where you can buy large plastic crisp bowls or a nice hanging wooden thing for a garden? I'm stumped!

Right, time to, erm, find more things to do to waste my time!

Sam

P.S. Didn't get in to Mars, I'll find out why on Wednesday but think it's probably something to do with the final interview I had with them… Ah well, IBM is still my first choice anyway.


December 15, 2005

Interviews, phones, producers and chocolate

Hi all,

Well, life has been very productive since I last blogged. I've done no work (of course), but I have:

  • Got my phone back (hooray!)
  • Had 2 more days at assessment centres in Slough where they fed me lots of chocolate, put me up in a hotel and gave some evil interviews
  • Been to London and seen the Producers (good show, let down by the two leads), gone on the London Eye and seen my brother for the first time in around 6 months.

It's always interesting seeing Tim as he changes job too often for me to keep up, though everytime I see him he's one step closer to his ultimate goal of directing films. This time he's gone from being a researcher for a firm that is making a series about penis envy (don't ask…) to being a producer/director for Channel 4, working on a daily podcast that will be bought out sometime in the new year if the pilots continue to impress. I've seen a couple and they're pretty good; if any of you want to see one I have them on my computer.

Right, I'd best go and do my chores before heading back to Southampton tomorrow,

Sam


December 08, 2005

Genius headline

Whilst in the process of avoiding work (a favourite hobby of mine), I saw this headline on the BBC News website:

Virgin lands in hot water over fondling angels

Genius.

Sam

P.S. It was relating to this article


December 07, 2005

All better

Follow-up to An interesting day… from The Drunk Drummer

A nice girl called Anna found my phone on the tube and is sending it to me, so all is better, and I feel slightly stupid now.

Good good,

Sam


December 06, 2005

An interesting day…

(If you don't have much time, skip to the end, important stuff there!)

As some of you may have known, I was doing an interview in Slough for Mars today, which didn't go too badly.

It's just everything else that's been $%@&#*!

  • Firstly the TWM buses didn't turn up so I had to jump in a taxi to make it on time for the train…
  • That turned out to be over an hour late, so I had to go via London instead which meant I had to…
  • Change my ticket but the not-so-helpful man's machine wasn't working, but this was OK as…
  • The London train was also very delayed, which would have been OK except…
  • On the underground a poor woman fell down the escalator, which meant there was no way down and that I almost missed the last train to…
  • Slough. What a dump.

Anyhow, the interview went OK except for the odd dodgy moment and I think I did alright in the psycometric tests, so I was in a pretty happy mood until on the tube on the way home, when I realised that I'd been pick-pocketed and my phone had been nicked. Bugger.

Well, I've now cancelled my phone and since I'm coming up to the end of my contract anyway it's not too bad, I'll just have to go phone shopping tomorrow instead of working on my project.

The real problem will be phone numbers though: I haven't backed up my phone's memory since last Christmas (whoops), so if anyone has given me their number or changed number since then please e-mail me with it!

Thanks a lot, and I hope you had a better day than me,

Sam

Edit: All better now, see above


December 02, 2005

What can cheer me up…

Finding out that I'm getting a double bass drum pedal for Christmas! I can finally do a hard-rock version of the Floral Dance!

Hooray!


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