I do apologise that this blog is a bit whingey – I guess I’m just going through a phase where there’s quite a lot to whinge about!
Today I completed another online job application form. I did one a few weeks ago (for the job I didn’t get shortlisted for) which I found very frustrating, especially the education section where every last O’level ended up having to be picked from a drop-down menu, and it felt like it would have been quicker to sit all of the exams again. Maybe that’s why I was so peeved at not being shortlisted, having spent what felt like hours of my life ploughing through the form. Anyway. Today’s is for a temp job, 6 months full-time but with the potential to be part-time possibly, for a place that’s sort of part of the uni and sort of separate (without giving too much away). It’s a job that I’d really enjoy – doing research, in my broad area of interest, but mainly doing the fun bits of research without the hassle of applying for funding and all that, so it would be a good thing to do whilst finishing my writing up, and would be good experience of working in a field that is related to what I do but isn’t area studies (which I’m finding is a bit restricting when I’m looking for non-area studies work) which will be good for future more senior/serious applications. But the FORM! Argh! Again it was the education bit that particularly wound me up. Rather than have a page for each educational establishment, it was a page for each qualification. Which is fine for a place where I got a degree, but for my school, where I got 3 A’levels and 9 O’levels it would have been so much better to have only had to put the name of the school, place, and dates of starting and leaving once, and then just added each individual exam result. Instead I had to fill out all of those details 12 times, I was getting a bit sweary by the end of it I can tell you. And then as if that wasn’t bad enough, the degrees were part of a drop-down menu, and although they had “undergraduate degree” as a category, they didn’t have “masters degree”, but did have MA and MBA. So, my Masters is an MSc, and I ended up putting it under “other” (which looks really great, not) – if I’d been applying in England I might have put MA, but here in Scotland where undergraduate degrees are 4 years not 3, you get awarded an MA as an undergraduate degree so if I’d put MA they might think I meant an undergraduate rather than a postgraduate qualification. And having whinged about the O’levels, they didn’t have O’level as a category so I had to put “GCSE” and I made sure that I wrote “O’level” in the description because I was being pedantic. This is so not good for my blood pressure!
Yesterday I encountered further frustrations, first in the form of the Benefits Office, who wrote to me randomly over the weekend (having told HD already that he probably wasn’t entitled to this particular benefit) to ask me for a load of information I’d already given them over a month ago. The guy I was talking to agreed that the letter wasn’t clear and asked me to clarify the income stuff. I started talking about my PhD stipend, he asked for more detail and I started saying “Well, it’s £X per month” and he said “No, I mean, what actually is a stipend?” Argh! And especially as we’ve been told we’re probably not entitled anyway, why don’t they just go away and be numpties to someone else?!
As well as that, I also had to deal with the university payroll office, who had got a decimal point in the wrong place and paid me for 15 hours of tutoring instead of the 1.5 hours I had claimed, meaning that I now owe them nearly £200. Argh!
It’s not all bad though. HD has an interview down south at the end of the week, and another one at the beginning of next week, and in between we are going to see friends for the weekend and have a walk around some nice countryside. So maybe the end of all the numptiness will be round the next corner (how many times have I thought that this year?!).