Monday, 27 February 2012

The Week That Never Was...

Well last week was fun, but it didn't feel very much like a week at all...

Monday I had a meeting to join up with a local editorial group - CHECK

Tuesday I had a driving lesson which was loads of fun - CHECK (I should probably book my test after this)

Wednesday I had a meeting at the Job Centre - CHECK

Thursday I had to catch a train to Dark Horse's, where HB drove us to G's with my helpful, if slightly misleading directions - CHECK

Friday I had to enjoy the journey back from G's, directing as I went - CHECK

Well, as you can see, obviously I didn't think it was a week, after all I was only doing something on the first three days and had a small holiday on the last two. The week before however, HB had work almost all week so I was, dare I say it, bored out of my mind.

Anyway, this week I'm on Work Experience at a Publishers in town. One day down, and I'm enjoying it so far. Believe it or not, I have been reading all day. Which certainly makes a very pleasant change to everything else I've been doing recently - namely job seeking. I managed to read the best part of three manuscripts, and review them.

Well I say review them, the Publishers seemed more interested in my opinion and how I would try to sell the story. Which is quite an interesting way of approaching a review, don't you think. Though, saying that, I am slightly ashamed to say, that I might have shot down the dreams of those three manuscripts today, though my opinions might not have been bad, but they weren't the best - and that was certainly the case with the final one I looked at today. I sat at that desk reading and writing for almost eight hours, and I didn't take my lunch break, mainly because I wasn't hungry when lunch came round. It was quite pleasing to share my views on the first one with the Publisher, only to have him agree.

This is going to be an interesting week. I hope I'm working quickly and efficiently and doing what they ask correctly. It was all quite bizarre. I wonder what's in store for me tomorrow and the rest of the week. I'm sure I'll keep you up-to-date.

Also, this editorial group thing I'm a part of ('Bwsted') also got back to me today, setting up meetings with me, and praising me for my two of three articles they posted on their website. I don't know whether I can keep this up, but I will certainly try - I'm already tired.

It feels good to have done a proper day's work on something I enjoy.

Carpe diem, until next time bloggers...

P.S. You can read my articles at these locations: 'The Networking Society' and 'Mass Effect 3: Take Earth Back'

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Patronising Game...

Well I just had an experience I don't want to experience again...

Travelling into town today my main aim was to buy a video game for my mate. Now, I don't know about you, but he likes shooting things and I know nothing of video games or their ilk. Therefore, I'd hoped that the kindly men and woman at the Game store would assist me in my en devour.

How wrong I was to hope that.

The shop assistants seemed more interested in having conversations with people who already knew about the games they were buying, and discussing the intricacies of something that I knew nothing about - very much like being in a room with a group of people who are speaking a different language.

I tried getting the Manager's attention, and when I did he asked me which type of game and then just scrambled my brain as he spouted countless names of things I knew nothing about. I smiled politely and left, as I knew I was out of my depth. All in all it wasn't my best shop experience...

Rant over.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Bedtime Thoughts...

I really can't stop thinking about her.I'm lying in my bed, writing this on my phone and I can't stop thinking.

I'm sure she had a nice time on Friday when we spent time together eating rubbish, talking about everything and watching dvds, but I couldn't help but think that something was off.

She said that she was feeling a bit under the weather, but when she left and didn't come back for a hug, like she usually did, I thought it was strange. Though she did text me to tell me that she had arrived safely home, which was also odd as it wasn't the norm.

Well either way, I'm sure its just because she wasn't feeling quite herself. But I've been trying to keep contact with her to a minimum, mainly to not disturb her at work, but also to see if I can.

There have been plenty of opportunities, like on the xbox today, but she seemingly ignored the join party requests. To be honest with you I'm actually writing this here now so I don't attempt to text her and put my foot in it like I usually do.

I never know where I stand with her, but I'm glad I can write this here knowing that no one will read it and take it seriously. Now I must go to bed. I'm just impressed that I've written all this on my phone, technology these days...

Carpe diem, until next time bloggers...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Employment And Other Things...

Well I think the news has gotten out now, mainly because I told everyone in the last blog, but I did actually reject - in a very roundabout way - my first job opportunity...

Well I say it's my first job opportunity, my first job was offered to me when I was seventeen, by a shopkeeper who I was friends with. But more on that on another occasion I think. As you all know, I rejected the job offer at the Call Centre.

And just as I thought I had closed the door of employment for the time being, it leaked in through the window. Because we all know that employment can be seen as a very wet thing, perhaps a storm, in this on-going metaphor of my life. What do you think?

Anyway, after rejecting, in a roundabout way, a job I really didn't want to do, I managed to acquire myself a work experience position in a local publishing house, and if that wasn't enough I also managed to spark up a meeting between me and a local editorial group - I know what you're all thinking, it doesn't pay the bills. No, you're right there, they really don't pay the bills, but they're all real-world experience in a world I want to be a part of.

I was having a conversation with HB and her Cousin yesterday, and they're both fed up of the jobs they have, and just want to get to the careers they, we, and I deserve. We didn't all work for those bloody degrees to work on Customer Service until we're in our late twenties.

I think the problem with me is that I'm just ambitious and a dreamer, waiting for the world to make sense to me, and serve itself up on a plate of silver and gold. And now I know why we came up with the term 'silver platter'.

Anyway, I just wrote on Twitter (@BigTomAjax) that this and Disney films were obviously the cheapest form of therapy, so let's get on with that therapy business.

Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney film, it's not the best one, but it is my favorite. I just told someone that, much to their surprise. So without further ado, it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure, that I welcome you tonight - as we analyse which of the characters I would probably suit the best.

I don't think I'm either of the male leads, I'm not as much of a meat head as Gaston, and I don't have Beast's rugged charm (otherwise I'm sure I would have already won over Beauty and be living happily ever after until death in our grand French Enchanted Castle with a staff of hundreds). Nor am I the female protagonist, I'm smart, but I'm not that smart.

As for supporting roles, I'm not Codsworth, Chip, Mrs Potts, or the simply handsome and irresistible Lumiere. And nor am I Belle's Father - that would be wrong as I quite fancy Belle.

In actual fact I think I'm more the trusted, loyal, and brave in the face of danger, but completely willing to run away from danger trying to save the ones I love Phillippe - and if you were wondering, yes that's the Horse.

Though of course being Phillippe I have the aspirations of becoming the Beast, and all his might, bravery, and getting-the-girlness. Would you believe that? What do you think?

Well there we are then, if I'm a little shorter with women, then I'm sure I'll make some ground somewhere. Now don't read into this next bit, because it's been going on in my head all evening, so I thought I should get it down on paper and make the voices stop. And like I say, this is cheap therapy. I wonder if something good will span from this next bit, but just ignore it and skip to the end if it's boring...

Are you not talking to me?

I'm trying to ignore you.


Because I like you.

That doesn't make any sense.

It does to me. It hurts me every day knowing that I like you but you don't like me, all because of my mistakes.

I never said I didn't like you, and would you stop bringing up those 'mistakes'. You always do this when you're drunk.

I love you. Is that what you want to hear?


I know, I had my chance and I should leave it. But when something feels so right it's that much harder to leave behind.

Don't do this to yourself.

Everyone already thinks we're going out. My parents, your parents, our friends, your friends, my friends. Everyone, even strangers. Everyone knows, apart from us.

Please stop. I don't want History to repeat itself.

But that's all History does. Repeat and repeat until something changes for good or...

Yes, or... I don't want to hurt like that again.

I can promise you won't ever hurt again.

No you can't, but I like that you care. But enough's enough.

No it's not. Not for me. And I'm sure that's what you keep telling yourself to stop yourself from doing this.

Please stop this.

And I think I should stop there because the voices in my head are starting to sound a bit teary. I don't know what that'll turn out to be. Maybe a superb play/musical. Oh I'm the queerest straight man from these parts you'll ever meet. But I try. That's enough talking for the moment I think.

Carpe diem, until next time bloggers...

Friday, 10 February 2012

The BIG Company...

Inspired by real events, this blog is filmed, LIVE, in front of an engaged studio audience...

I know what you're thinking, that would be the most boring Tv show on the tellybox. I don't know why I'm writing this at all really, perhaps it's just something to do, and some way to convince myself that it was the right thing to do - and partly admit to my mistakes.

I had an interview this week, some of you already know this. I definitely didn't like how quickly I was informed about it. Wednesday Afternoon I receive a call saying that there will be interviews for this BIG Company at some point the next day, I naively say I'm available, even though I didn't like the sound of anything the person on the other end of the phone was saying. Either way they said they'd phone back later on to confirm times and places.

Sort of nervous and excited I called them back, possibly a bit too soon, like you're not meant to with women you like. Which caught the woman off guard slightly, but as I was in Porthcawl I lost signal and the phone call ended quite promptly. Curse the signal-less place! Well, I really didn't want to call, I just thought I should.

Anywho, I got the call the next morning, after calling them back inquiring again (I was at home I should add, so the signal was better), saying that my interview would be at 4:30.

So there I was, 4:30 came, I was dressed in my best suit, my Father thought it was a bit OTT, so did I - but it was either that or a Funeral Suit - I don't think either would have mattered. I get to reception, sign in and wait in the waiting room. The security guard at the reception desk unhelpfully said 'You're with the 4 o'clock bunch.' (It was already 4:15)

You are, after all, meant to arrive at your interviews early - it didn't help that we had to drive around the industrial estate a few times looking for something with the name I was told over the phone, rather than the name of the company it actually was, which I suppose had a very similar name - but like I say, it wasn't the name of the company I was told.

So there we go, two things that felt wrong, three if you include the suit. Four if you include the woman, who had invited me to the interview arriving at the front desk, having a conversation with the desk man, obviously about me, and then asking for my name.

Now it was 4:40, I thought I was late, and lost, and all around in trouble. I caught a glimpse of the room of 500+ computers, you could see it from outside. It was horrible, and I didn't like it one bit. But here's where you all go, 'shouldn't be too fussy'. Truth is, I wasn't fussy, not then, I was there after all. The truth is, after they sat me away from everyone else, made me sit a few tests, they interviewed me in a room where there were ten or so other interviews taking place, so it was already quite loud. The person, my interviewer, wasn't the person they said that would be interviewing me, and all in all I felt like a right tit 'role-playing' with this man, who could have been a bit older than I was, but then I suppose he might not have been either.

I feel like I've been going on a bit now, but don't worry if you're getting bored, it's almost over. Don't worry, persevere.

Therefore I got home not feeling too great, I was friendly and open, and I tried to answer every question they posed, even though I had researched a company which wasn't their's, and even though I really didn't want to work in a call-centre, I went with it, and they shook my hand and said 'we'll be in touch'.

I really had a bad feeling about this whole thing from the beginning, I can't work in something which goes that quickly without some knowledge of the thing I was trying to work at, or even towards. It was something about broadband I believe, or so I was told at the door.

Well after discussing it with my friends and family -- oooo, I know quick quiz. Guess who said the following and I'll give you some points:

1. 'You'll say 'Yes' if you get the job, there won't be others.'
A. Mum B. Dad
C. Clareg D. Hb Sauce

2. 'There will be other jobs, some with people you'll get on with straight away and some you won't.'
A. Mum B. Dad
C. Clareg D. Hb Sauce

*note: All phrases are paraphrased, but they give the same message I'm sure, unless I'm doing that unclear thing I do where I use too many words and confuse everyone to my point of meaning.

Anywho, if you need help with any of the questions, this next bit might help, if you don't the answers are at the bottom.

So driving back from a shopping trip today, after still not having the call, mum says 'How can you not get a job at a call-centre?!' She seemed surprised, not by the fact that I didn't want to work there, but more by the fact that they hadn't phoned me or even better given me the job there and then. Then I replied by shouting many things, I'm sure, it all seems like a blur to me now but I think she got the message. I even said the words, 'even if I get the call now, I'm going to decline it because I never wanted to work there in the first place.

I stormed off with the dog down the street and then I got the phone call...

I declined. Like I said I would, and I'm not sad about it or anything I just felt guilty because of their surprise on the other end of the phone. I had to give a reason as to why I didn't want the job, and I was quite certain 'I don't want it now' wasn't going to cut-it. But then I thought about it, and I thought about those 500+ computers, and the way the woman introduced herself to me and how she walked me through the interview procedure face-to-face despite never making eye-contact with me the whole way through though I suppose that could have been a medical problem, though, saying that my interviewer seemed to have a hard time making eye-contact with me as well.

And all these thoughts ran through my head, and the women was just there on the end of the phone wondering why I hadn't explained myself to her - as if I had to. I said 'a change of circumstances,' I would have hoped that would have thrown her off and she would have left at that, but she pushed forwards, trying to convince me that the job was perfect for me, and that come Monday morning I would have become a call-centre associate. I didn't like that, but she finished her 'sale's pitch' and quickly said goodbye as she heard that I wasn't buying any of it.

So I declined her, and the job. And it wasn't because Mum wanted me to jump at the first job that came along, and it wasn't really because of the distance I would have to travel to get there and back, it was partly because it was a call-centre and people with degrees don't work in call centres - well some might but some of the interviewers I went to school with, and they certainly don't have degrees, they have children, but that's another story for another wet Friday.

The main reason I declined is because I was afraid. I've never been afraid like that before, having someone else reliant on me to do my job, I was afraid that I would have been just a face in a room of faces, and I was afraid of the people on the other side of the telephone of course.

But how do I explain any of that to my JobCentre Adviser on Wednesday?

I was raised in a small town, went to small schools, went to a smaller university, and now approaching large rooms stuffed with workers, that's a scary scenario for me.

But I've had some interview experience, I just have to avoid the admin jobs I think - retail should be easy enough, and the main goal - WRITING - well that's just something that's approaching slowly, but I do see it on the horizon.

People told me not to do that degree, they all told me my mistakes, but I didn't care, it was something I wanted to do, and I took on everything that went with that, even the unemployment, even though I didn't know it was this bad. But that is my job, that is what I am, so I hope now that this job search gets me what I want, and not another repetition of something I know absolutely nothing about, and I hope it doesn't get in the way of my writing any more. Which it has, I assure you.

I had planned to have finished my proofread second draft and tested the waters with it by the start of this month, but since this search started, I've not written anything, if at all. And I don't like that, nor how down it gets me.

Just being near a call-centre has put me in a bad mood, HB was certainly right about those places. I'm just quite annoyed that they wanted me, I hope they didn't reject someone else so they could 'have' me. I don't think that's how they work, and I hope its not.

But I've rambled on a bit too long now. I've got a few things in the pipework at the moment, and I'm sure I'll end up telling you guys about it all very soon, but until then...

Carpe diem, until next time bloggers...

P.S. 1A and 2D
P.S.S. Thank you for all the supportive words, those who have given them.