Friday, 27 July 2007


There are days when I wonder what the people in charge are on. Then I wonder how on earth some people get jobs at all.

This is one of those days.

After being given strict instructions about showing up on time, I and a motley collection of people spent nearly an hour watching television in the foyer.

After signing in I decided to go to the toilet. I had to pass through a security barrier, past a security guy and then I was left unescorted. From the barrier I could have access to any part of the building.

Luckily, I'm a good girl, who's pathologically honest. I came back and sat to watch BBC daytime television.

A pair of pensioners who were looking for a house were given three to choose from and chose the new build (with boundary issues with the local farmer) and a chair upholstery nut with mobility issues was assessed by an RSPCA man to see if she could give a loving home to a dog.

Then, we were called up for interview. Some of the candidates had Visitor passes like me, but quite a number seemed to have a headstart with Staff passes around their necks. Oh, goody. Unfair competition.

A HR child came down to collect us. On our way up, some of us asked for the toilet. It was about half an hour before we got started again.

While we were waiting for the toilet goers to come back, ther were a few comments along the lines of "we had plenty of time downstairs". Frankly there are some very slack people around.

We were taken up to a conference room and we were handed test booklets identical to the ones I saw at Sandwell Council's Test and Assessment day.

The answer forms were identical too. Using pencils, fill in the circle which matches your answer. Fill in your name (using circles which correspond with the alphabet letters) and fill in the date (230707).

As part of the preparation for the test, we'd all been sent a test battery booklet showing the type of tests that we could expect. The practice battery was tough. Checking, rapid checking, mental arithmetic, mathematics, deletion, addition, omission errors and computer printout versus hand filled form checking.

The tests we were given were laughably easy by comparison. Scarily, they were easier than the one for Sandwell Council.

Then, after we'd been delayed by well over an hour already, the HR child spotted a problem. for the second test, we had been handed one set of test booklets and she had an instruction booklet for a different test.

The tests were similar but slightly different. It was a rapid checking test. Instead of getting someone to come down with the instruction booklet to match our test, she asked someone to find the test booklets to match her instructions. It was only another 20 minutes before we were able to start the test.

Then when we were finished, we were escorted out.

I think I did well. However, as most places value existing staff over external candidates, I won't hold my breath.