January 26th, 2006
Categories: Uncategorized

One Night In St. Helens


I’m back from my job/assesment thingy and it certainly was interesting and challenging. Overall, it’s been an exciting 24 and a bit hours. Here – in true chronological form – are the highlights.

Day 1

12:30pm: Arrive at the assessment centre. Three jobs to be filled, three of us there. I like those odds.

12:45pm: Four more people turn up, still pretty good odds for the jobs available: 6/14.

1pm: We are tossed straight into the deep end, with some verbal and numerical tests. I was the only one to mess up the example questions, doh!

3pm: Tour around the sight. Suprisingly very interesting.

4pm: Presentation on the IS team. Unsuprisingly very boring.

5pm: Arrive in hotel to find that I’ve been upgraded. Bonus! Unsure what sort of upgrade I’ve got, but it may be that I had my TV personally welcome me.

It may look impressive, but a HAL esque female voice greeted me with “Good Evening, Rice Wine”. Resistance to kick in the TV was nullified by the fact that it had Sky Sports. Abuse Sky Sports by watching 2 hours of WWE action.

7:30pm: Go down for main meal. Order a Budweiser. Not to girly but not too lager loutish. Costs me £3.

7:30:01pm: Tab is opened for us. Doh!

8:00pm: Meal begins. Nice to see I’m not the only one who milks free food and orders steak, as everybody else does. Conversation topics are as wide and varied as Big Brother, Big Brother and….errr….Big Brother.

10:00pm: Meal ends. Catch last few minutes of football.

10:15pm: Informal chat about application process. You know you’re with geeks when you hear this: -

Manager: “So what did you find tricky about the online application process?”
All: “You couldn’t use firefox. You had to use Internet Explorer”

I’m in heaven.

11:00pm: Tab closes. Order more beer just before.

12:00pm: Retire to my room, switch on television. Automatically switches to Television X. How do they know?

1:00am: After watching ten-pin bowling for an hour I fall asleep.

Day 2

4:00am: Wake up call for room 131. I hear it.

5:00am: Wake up call for room 127. I hear it.

6:00am: Wake up for the third time in the night. Not through a wake up call. Have a nightmare that Bam Margera is trying to break into my room. Develop intense hatred for Bam Margera.

7:00am: Wake up, have a rubbish shower and head for breakfast.

7:30am: Breakfast. Recieve (well…nick) a “complementary” copy of the Guardian. I’m chuffing in it! Technology section, page 4.

Notice, they edited out my pimp for Civ 4, and also for Technorati Tag Generator. The bastards. Still tired, even after a rubbish breakfast.

7:50am: Text my mum to say I am in the Guardian. Use loving terms such as “mummy”, “love” and finish with an “x”.

8:05am: Get a text from a very concerned housemate worrying that I called him “mum” via text. Apologise and send the text again to my mum.

8:30am: Head to the assessment centre. On the radio was the Jungle Remix of James Blunt. Cue manic laughter.

8:55am: Saw somebody I knew from university working for where I’m applying. I used to pick on him (well, if you walked around the uni with “Extreme Programmers”, you kinda deserve it). Both simultaneously scared and happy (in the “if you can get a job here, so can I” school of thinking).

9:00am: So begins the main part of the assessment. I’m going to skip over this, as it’s relatively boring, and they’re running another group of people in March through the center, I don’t want to give too much away, as you could be nicking my job, and I don’t want that.

5:00pm: Head home, wishing everybody good luck, though I kind of hope it’s not that good luck. I feel so dirty.

And there you have my 24 hours. I actually managed to slip in the fact I’m in the guardian into my interview, which is nice. I hear back next week, wish me luck!

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