Tag Archives: work

The frustration of job-hunting

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The frustration of job-hunting

I always forget that job hunting is in fact a full time job in itself. I have spent approximately six hours a day sifting through reams and reams of online lists looking for and applying to what seems like an infinite list of very basic job descriptions to no avail. I have thoughtfully and faithfully applied myself to some of the most mundane and boring job applications known to man, and not even received an AUTOMATED EMAIL to say ‘Thank you for wasting your time writing out what I’m sure was a carefully planned and original job application’.  I have not received ONE response, which can only mean that whichever idiot that told me to leave out the well-thought-out personal statement which introduced my work history, is simply just an idiot, as I used to get far more response than this with a CV which followed NONE of the conventions of CV writing set out by ‘THE MAN’.

The thing is, I’m applying to rather a lot of marketing and communications jobs at the moment, making use of every SOCIAL NETWORKING site known to man, diving to the murky depths of Totaljobs, Monster, Indeed, Prospects, Milkround and every recruitment agency with a telephone number and a website. I have even gone as far as sharing with them the web address to this blog so that they can get really up, close and personal with me, but I guess it’s like that line that Daniel Atlas uses as his motto in ‘Now You See Me’; “The closer you look, the less you see”. Maybe I should treat it like an online dating profile and not show them all my best cards at once, you know, string them along like a girl who just wants to have fun.

It’s kind of like being the ugly girl at the party. You put on your best dress, cover up the blackheads with foundation, powder and a bit of bronzer,you’ll line your eyes and flatter them like they’ve never been flattered, and tuck yourself into tight Spandex pants to make the wobbly bits less wobbly, yet even a simple hello to some of the least catchy men at the party is met with a one word response before you return to the comfort of your friends who will lovingly ply you with white lies about how they cannot believe how you can’t get what you want. My apologies for the dark metaphor, it is the only thing remotely close to the rejection of a job application.

The final straw of rejection came through this morning when even the Preston benefits office rejected my application on the grounds of some sort of tax review that they carried out from the last two years, not really explaining what it was, but nonetheless, unless I go back into the thankless world of hospitality soon. All I thought was ‘Oh great, I’m even lower than Lancaster’s chavs’  I am going to be eating baked beans for eternity.

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Post Season Hues

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Dear All,

The seasonnaire diary that I was meant to write whilst in Megeve never really took off. I am full of excuses over this, but checking Facebook was nigh on impossible anyway, so I doubt the Soleil d’Or’s internet would have been able to deal with the upload of thousands of season pictures and rants about the unfair cleaning regimes and staffing problems which seem to be an all too common problem on seasonal jobs. So here is my winter summed up in one blog post:

I set off to Gatwick airport in the early hours of December 6th, loaded up with two holdall’s and my super nerdy backpack (it does make me look like a primary school pupil) where I met some of my colleagues before we boarded the plane. We were all buzzing from too many travel sweets and the anticipation of what the season would bring and more importantly to get on the ski slopes. We arrived at the Soleil d’Or hotel late in the evening and got unpacked and into bed as we were told that the next day would see us up early in the morning for the busy training week which would set up both of the hotels after winter. 

Training week consisted of learning to clean rooms, how to lay out the tables and figuring out the bar. Much alcohol was consumed and alliances were already forming within the group. At this stage, only a few days in, I already realised that there were some people that I would get on with much better than others, but hey, that’s life. Some of the highlighted drunken antics of me and my colleagues included climbing through a bakery window, eating many cheeseburgers, a threesome (not me by the way) and some of the chalet girls chundering EVERYWHAAARRRREEE!

As the weeks went by I enjoyed many of my favourite Megevan hotspots, dressed up as Robin Sidekick for the New Years Eve superhero bash, lunch at The Radaz, sunbathing at Espace Mont Joux and consuming far too much cake ( Saturday afternoon’s Caramel Slice was literally to die for though and had the additional bonus of easing the pain that was transfer day.)

We had lots of interesting guests too. Obviously a lot of them were way wealthier than I will ever be, but generally they were a pretty cool bunch. We had racing drivers, doctors, nurses, dotcom wealth and the inheritance tax avoiders. You get to know people pretty intimately when you’re pinching their dirty pants between two fingers when you go in to tidy their rooms everyday, then blush through the conversation with them at dinner because we’re both aware that I saw those magazines that you tried to hide under your bed. 

I feel rather as though I’m brushing over the details of this season, making it sound rather as though it was some big old jolly, but maybe I should give you a bit of insight as to what a typical working day entails.

6:45 am: The first alarm goes off. Outward groan. Hit snooze.

6:50 am: Second alarm. Repeat step one. Keep repeating this step until it gets to 7am.

7:00 am: Definitely cutting it fine to get up. Swivel legs out of bed into trousers that you left at the bed last night and grab t-shirt from the end of the bed. Pull over head. Scrambled around in the dark for hair bobble. Scrape hair back, ensuring there.are no ‘pubey bits’ as Chef calls them.

7:05 am: Brave turning on the lights and standing up

7:10 am Power walk to kitchen of Chalet Antoine, or breathe a sigh of relief if you must merely stand in the lift to the basement of the Soleil d’Or (I am henceforth going to abbreviate this to the ‘Soleil’.

7:15 am: Find a large mug, pour in Carrefour discount coffee granules in triple the recommended quantities and dissolve in boiling water from the already boiling jug. Accompany the mud-like mixture with a paddling pool sized bowl of cardboard cornflakes. Avoid eye contact with managers for as long as possible to put off the briefing which reminds you of where you are.

7:30 am: Breathe a sigh of relief that it’s not your turn on pot-wash or the toilets this morning.

8:00 am: Somehow end up on pot-wash anyway.

9:00 am: Crave another coffee like you have never craved coffee in your life.

9:05: Receive the daily inspirational pep-talk from Chef who thinks he is God, telling you he could do the Mont- Blanc of porridge pans in 5 minutes. 

9: 45: Breathe a sigh of relief that your hands are no longer scrambling in suds and pan grease to crack on with groundfloor duties or rooms.

10:00 am: If on rooms: ‘You should be on your 5th room by now, what is taking you so long!?”

“I don’t know” I reply, angrily trying to make the corners of the duvet fit in the cover and desperately trying to smooth it out “I’m not just sat up here with my thumb up my arse you know”

“Ok well when you’ve done that, the fan in the bathroom is looking a bit grubby, could you get a toothbrush and clean it out properly? Guests DO notice these things you know”

“Sieg Heil!” Proceed to go and find a toothbrush, resisting the temptation not to use the nearest one to hand.

10:15: Move on to fifth room, pleased that the inhabitants are not dieters and nick a Cadbury’s Rose for motivation and energy. With both hands on toilet brush, saw away at the caked-on excrement, and ‘buff the chrome’ on the bath taps, knowing that despite best efforts, will be asked to go back and do it again anyway.

11:00: Quick whispered discussion (bitching session) with other chalet girl, giggle that she is ‘Not a professional cleaner, but just an 18 year old with sponge”

11:45: Hoover the corridor and smile inwardly that the worst part of the day is over and I will not have to make beds for another 20 hours. Head down to kitchen and enjoy a feast of last night’s leftovers sandwiched into a chunk of baguette.

1:00pm: Semi run in ski boots to bus stop, sweating profusely and breathing heavily.

3pm: Return from ski slopes early to squeeze in a shower and a power nap before next shift.

6: 15 pm: Arrive for evening shift: Choice of the following activities:Activity choice one: Bar work, which is actually just standing on a mostly empty bar folding napkins and polishing glasses whilst catching the highlights of the Winter Olympics with mouth agog when you see the Moguls race. Activity choice 2: Running round like a headless chicken trying to make knives and forks straight, finish job proudly before being told that it’s actually soup night and you need to remove all of the starter cutlery and replace it with soup spoons. Activity choice 3: Veg prep, the most preferable as it usually means you can just stand there and go braindead for 45 minutes whilst peeling Jerusalem artichokes, carrots and potatoes for very little hassle. Activity choice 4: Potwash again- Everest compared to the morning.

8:20 pm: Starters and mains served with relatively few dramas. Pull up a crate around the staff table in the cellar with dinner larger than what the guests would receive, using soup starter as gravy. Enjoy a few moments of sanity and immature conversation with colleagues.

9:30 pm: Dessert has been served. Try and cram in a leftover tiramisu served with a doughnut whilst frantically polishing cutlery. Get asked to go and help upstairs with clearing the dining room. Resist the urge to punch supervisor square in the nose.

10:00 pm: Guests still not budging from seats due to exciting conversation about the advantages that private education can offer. Try to clear glasses, but immediately recoil under stony glare from guest who loves free wine.

10:15pm: Eventually step out into cool night air and breathe in freedom.

 

I am aware that that was a very long post, but I did this everyday for four months and it is more for my own benefit that I remember this so as not to work in hospitality again. Despite the negativity about the actual job activities I did enjoy myself. It was challenging and amusing. I made some really good friends doing a season and improved my ski technique a great deal, as well as broadening my CV by having a go at nannying (best contraception EVER!) A warning for anyone who ever wants to do a season though, it is NOT for the faint-hearted!

Round robin

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I started writing a year anniversary blog post a couple of weeks back just to summarize my 2012 highlights and some of the low points too, but never got round to completion. 

Just finished a lovely couple of weeks trying to squeeze in as many hours at work as possible trying to earn some dollar to complete operation overdraft. Started back lectures today. Travaux Pratiques (French speaking and listening) was so pointless it could have been a component of the TV show ( Most pointless lessons anyone?)

The last couple of weeks have been pretty tough, mostly because my brother’s deployment date to Afghanistan has been moved forward and I’m trying not to look at the news as it makes me feel a little bit sick. I’m going to do something that I’ve never done before and go home during term-time to see the family before he leaves. 

Exams are finally over, essays handed in. Translation result came back, it was a fairly decent grade, though on one of the points I really really wish I had gone with my initial instinct and gone with what I thought it meant, but hey, next time I’ll know that instinct is usually a good thing to follow. 

I’m about to crack on with some German prep now in the hope that Petra (Osterreiche Frau) does not eat me tomorrow. 

Bedding down

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It’s 1.30am. I’m tired but I’m going to stick something to watch on my laptop as I often can’t sleep without it, and I thought I’d offload about work once again to the cyber world. Right now I’m honestly wondering if I would just rather be poor, but then again, even if I just did 10 hours a week, it would probably be better. 

After this week I’m going to do a serious bit of cutting down on work. It’s not my problem if they can’t find staff. They should have employed more people, or just not spent several billion on a gym. 

I have so much reading to do and I am MEGA panicking for French, but we’ll see how it goes.

Can’t see a social life happening soon. 

Offload offload

I’m in brain emptying mode. Getting it all out.

Might watch Sherlock. Or should I watch House? Which one. House is a bit too complex I think for this state of mind. I keep falling asleep and only watching half an episode at a time.

Right that’s enough. I’ve finished my fake lemsip. Just need water. 

I hate being ill!

Night.

The latest goings-on in Sarah world…

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Well, the good news is I got the job. The bad news is, I hate it and I’m already ill (Fresher’s Flu I imagine).

Started on Friday night. The other staff are lovely so that’s always a win, but since coming back to work they’ve done some serious job cutting and now we’re severely understaffed, though mgmt don’t seem to realise it. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of serving students, but I am seriously knackered, and have barely had time to catch up with myself before starting another shift. Going to have to have a chat with Mrs Boss about cutting down my hours so I can actually concentrate on my degree, although having money is nice.

Also went out on Friday night with my housemates. Well 2 of them. One had her French boyfriend over so we thought we’d give them the house to have plenty of loud-lover-time together without us hearing it. Not sure in that situation who would be more embarrassed. Anyway, was a fabby night. We danced for a bit then went to socialise on the smoking terrace, where my friends all fell in love with a guy with a very hairy chest (I admit that I thought he was fit too until he stood up and I realised I was taller than him). I eventually started chatting to some other guy, who was also rather pretty, I gave him my number but forgot to take his. Ahh well, shit happens!

Since then, my life has revolved around getting up and going to work, then coming home and doing it all again. It’s very tiring and I hope to have a life again soon before I get to the brink of insanity.

Had a very weird dream about my old geography teacher last night, that he took us on a tour of the world in 2030, and everyone was transported around on log-flumes. I don’t know what my subconscious is playing at!

Anyway ciao fellas!