Interview.

Tomorrow I have a job interview, which is why I have been somewhat distracted of late and have put off the blog move until I can devote time to approving first-comments. It won’t be tomorrow night because that is reserved for celebration or for drowning sorrows, both of which take much the same form and require exactly the same materials.

It’s been over 20 years since I had a job interview but this one is perfect. It’s microbiology and it’s a one-year contract. Exactly what I need to wait out the recession. Not too highly paid but high enough to allow for some decent malt whiskies and rebuild some reserves too.

That’s why I’m putting in some effort, not drinking too much tonight and going to bed early. I even ironed a shirt and looked out my least offensive tie, the one with no LEDs or music – yes, it’s that serious.

The age thing shouldn’t matter because it’s a one-year job. I can understand why companies don’t want to invest training in the over-50s who are just going to retire a decade later. Much more cost effective to train a 20-year-old and hope to get at least 40 years out of them. I won’t need any training for this job and since it’s fixed-term, there is no pension issue either.

My one big worry is that I am massively overqualified for the job. On the plus side – no training. On the downside – I probably have more qualifications and experience than their head of department, and some heads of department aren’t happy with that. Not that I have any plans to take over. I have had quite enough of the job following me home. These days I have other things I want to write in the evenings. Clocking off and forgetting about it has a great appeal at the moment. I have no more ambition. There’s no point, in this country. Just enough and no more, that’s the way of things now. Work harder, earn more and the government will punish you for it. And that’s the conservatives!

In the twenty years since my last interview, times have changed. When I went for that lecturing job in 1990, nobody wanted to see any of my qualifications, not even my PhD. This time I have even had to hunt out my O-levels! They want it all. I also have to take along my original birth certificate (written on parchment, in Latin, with a quill pen) and passport and evidence that I have a real National Insurance number so that I can work in this country. Wonder why they want all that, eh?

I’ll take my CSE in biology along too. When I did the biology O-level, in 1976, it was part of a new experiment. One exam for all. So if you failed the O-level you went into CSE grades. Naturally, since the government was running this, there was an unintended consequence. If you passed the O-level you also automatically passed the CSE so you got that one too! I have a qualification for which I wasn’t even registered to study. As far as biology goes, I almost have the full set now.

I found them, eventually, although the print is a bit faded. One shot with a photocopier should bleach them away. There are also S-level biology and something called ‘Use of English’ which nobody even recognises any more.

There’s the publication list which I have as a separate document because it’s 14 pages long, single spaced, pitch 12 and I don’t want to scare the interviewer. I might not show them that at all. Nor will I mention the books, articles and stories. Not relevant, and it’s another four pages. The list is not stapled. It’s fitted with a plastic comb binding.

So I have to appear capable, but not so capable that I’d have the head of department’s job by the end of the week.

Anyway, best get some sleep so I don’t look like the living dead tomorrow. No smoky whiskies tonight.

There were two stories in the news that I wanted to have a pop at but Dick Puddlecote has already covered one and Frank Davis has fisked the other.

I see the Mail is still repeating the mantra of the brain dead – that supermarkets sell alcohol cheaper than water. Well my local Tesco will sell me two litres of bottled water for less than 20p. If you know where I can get booze at less than 10p a litre, I would be very interested to hear about it.

Purely in the interests of research, of course.

As for those ‘social smokers’ who feel superior, don’t they know that tobacco is  more addictive than heroin? The ‘social smoker’ cannot exist. Perhaps they.. like those antismoking vapers, or CAMRA, think they will deflect Righteous attention from themselves? Good luck with that.

You’ll need it.

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