Tag Archives: applications

2011 Project365 (day296)

23rd October 2011

I’ve been pretty productive today – I have applied for one job, and marked 8 essays. I had this on in the background while I was marking, and I have to say I’m really quite impressed with myself that I managed to follow it and pick up the bulk of what was going on, given that it’s been 4 years now since I was in the country.

I reckon I can manage another 4 essays this evening, and leave the remaining handful for tomorrow. I’m going to apply for another job as well (both these 2 have closing dates this week). They are both part-time, so could work out perfectly for the research and practice together side of things and give me more time to write and do OU work. Everything crossed. I have a full-time job to apply for too, which would be brilliant but make life complicated, and another OU course (which I could manage if I get the part-time ones). What I haven’t done today is any packing. Somehow I suspect next weekend (last weekend before the move) might be a bit fraught, especially as I have another lot of essays coming in! No rest for the wicked (though I am very grateful for the work I have. I just reserve the right to moan occasionally).

Online applications and other minor irritants

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?!).

Of chapters and jobs

Yesterday evening around 10.30 I finally (finally!) finished chapter 5, which has been like pulling teeth (much like the other ones, in fairness – I guess this is just how I write, the first draft is always agonising and the redrafting process is much less painful). This was considerably later than I had hoped to get it done, as I also had a job application to be in today and still had to complete the form. By 10.30 though I was shattered. So I had a bath and went to bed, and set the alarm for 4.30 (a.m.!) so that I could do the form and get it sent off in time – I can’t do that every day, but once I’m tired at the end of the day I’m incapable of anything, whereas I can get up at stupid o’clock in the morning and have had enough rest to be able to use my brain.

The job is for tutoring with the Open University. They are actually really competitive – I know a number of people who haven’t got past the 1st interview, if they get called for interview at all. It has been suggested my experience as an OU student might be helpful though – we’ll see. Job applications are complicated by the fact that I have no idea where we’re going to be living due to HD’s crappy (lack of) job situation, which is why the OU would be ideal, but even then it’s complicated as they do things by region and you have to apply to regional centres. I’ve ended up applying to 4 (Scotland and 3 in southern England) with a note about why, and hope that it works out – not all regions have vacancies for the same courses.

It’s a bit scary thinking about proper jobs again – the OU is fairly flexible, but if I have a proper job with an office at some point and 9-5(ish) hours I wonder how I’ll manage it after all this time. I also have to submit a revised writing-up plan this week, as it is my end-of-year review next week. I had hoped to submit in September, but I really don’t think that is going to happen, so it looks like I shall be working and finishing writing up at the same time.

As if that’s not scary enough, I have also just booked a haircut appointment. Eek.