31 March 2015

March 2015

I can't believe it is the end of March already. So much for having a great permanent job offer within a couple of months! But it's not all bad, I'm back at the Ministry of Education doing the same job as last year, which I enjoy so it's a good place to be for awhile. I would like to stay there if I could. Right now I am showing my worth by being the unofficial acting coordinator of my team and the process, because our actual coordinator has had to go away and be with her sick mother. Which is awful but a good chance for me to show that I'm up to a bit more responsibility. As for other jobs, I am still applying for permanent jobs. And remember that job at Statistics New Zealand that was a big deal a month or so ago? Well, a month after my interview, I finally got word from them. I didn't get the job but they wanted to keep me in the loop for the next round of recruitment, which was happening right then. So I was going to apply for that role anyway, but instead I was asked to just go straight to the psychometric testing stage and that they wanted me to come back for another chat and check my references. So that was really good news and when I finally got feedback it turns out the testing went really well. But I say finally because once again they were really rubbish at staying in touch and keeping me in the loop. Two weeks after I had done the testing I finally got fed up and starting trying to get hold of the person that had called me last time. When I finally got through to him he chased up the issue for me - because it was a different group of people in charge of the second round of recruitment. And no, after all of that they were going to stick with the group they had interviewed and not invite me for a second one. So all that stress for nothing. But the thing is, if I had sent in my application despite already being invited to do testing and stuff, would I have got an interview?

Anyway, that's it for now on the job front. They will be recruiting again soon and I will apply but truth is, I wasn't impressed with their communication so don't really want to. I will because I have to. At least I know I have full time work until July, and going back to the same job is actually a good thing, because it shows they wanted me back.

So this month's post is mostly negative and complainy I'm afraid. The next thing to go on about is my car. It's been playing up for awhile, but this week it has taken it to a new level. It dying a slow painful death would be bad enough, but what's worse is that it's quite intermittent. I never know what to expect. Sometimes it's fine. But when you turn it on it revs quite highly at first. Then other times it revs really low. Then sometimes, every time you slow down the engine just dies, as if you have stalled. What's worse is sometimes when it dies, the steering wheel freezes up, which is really not ideal when you're in the middle of the city, halfway through trying to turn onto the busy one-way system. Then just when you're really frustrated and feel like you're flogging a dead horse, it starts to behave itself again! On the Saturday just been it got really bad, then an hour later we went for another drive and it was mostly fine and it's been OK since then. But that's not all! Sometimes it has the opposite problem, and instead of low revs leading to it dying, the high revs increase to the point where it's practically driving itself! The first time it happened I was pretty freaked but Dad told me how to find the accelerator cable and spray it with CRC to stop it sticking. So second time it happened I did that again, but I don't know how long that fix will last. So I guess my first few pay checks will be going into buying a new car, because at this point there's not much point trying to fix the old one. Time for a fresh start.

To top it all off, I had to put up with a sick dog for a week. I'm not sure what started it, but then her food was exacerbating it, so now I have to get her a new bag of food, and it's not even on sale.

The only good point is that it's a short week this week. A bummer that I get paid less, but I'm looking forward to the weekend.

01 March 2015

February 2015

OK so my scheduled post is two days late but I think I can be forgiven that on account of it was the weekend so I didn't check my diary and also it was a short month so the end of it came around sooner than usual ... Anyway how about I just get on to filling you in about my month? I left you last time with high expectations that the big deal job interview I had would come to something. Well, that was a month ago now that I had that interview, I had to jump through so many hoops, with stressing out over a presentation, being prepared for an interview and then doing a written test. And you know what? I have never actually heard from them! How rude. And now the same organisation is advertising for more statistical analysts! In different groups this time I assume but you think they would contact all the previous applicants before re-advertising. So I will apply because it's still what I want to do but I'm not impressed with their HR department. I will call before starting the next application, get the final word on my last interview and ask for feedback.

Of course I have been applying for other jobs in the meantime, and I nearly got an interview for another analyst role - I was longlisted but didn't make the shortlist. My temp work at the Ministry of Education has finally run out and this week I am just taking it easy and working at the museum, to give my eyes a break from all that computer work. Then in two weeks time I'm starting full time work at the Ministry of Business, same job I did this time last year. So it's secure and pays decently, I can probably stay there till July again like last year. Yet it's a casual contract so I can keep looking for permanent work while I'm there. Hopefully something will happen and there will be no gap between jobs. There is actually a permanent role going there too, one I applied for last year, but my friend there got instead. She has moved on to a different position so that role is open again, but after seeing how overworked she was there is no way I'm applying for that!

With work stuff going a little way forward at least, I can pay my bills without worrying anymore, and I am nearly out of overdraft. I would have been out already but I had to buy some flights ... It is so expensive to fly to Invercargill, even if you are booking three months in advance! So $240 later, I have flights booked down for Friday June 12th to early morning the following Monday. I'm sure it will be OK to take a day off work. Just as I was writing that I suddenly panicked and thought I had booked the wrong weekend! But I didn't, so it's all good. Now I have three months to get to work on the project that I have in mind.

So thinking back over the past month I have just remembered one funny story to tell, then I should probably go get my day started. So we were driving to the outlet store that is just out of town, and we got stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway. It was gridlocked and crawling along like a snail on account of an accident ahead, which required three lanes to merge into one lane. We crept along and crept along, and finally came to the big truck that was directing traffic to merge and the police cars on either side of the accident site. As we came closer we could see something on the road between the police cars but it sure didn't look like bits of a smashed up vehicle. It looked liquidy and brown, and as we got closer, we saw that yes this patch of road was indeed liquidy, and brown, and also full of fish ... So my guess is somehow a car accident caused a truck to lose some of it's nasty load of fish, and they cleared away anything else but now three lanes of traffic were forced to merge into one because it was too hard to wash away some fish goop? Seems a bit ridiculous. And my car speakers were all screwed up (they're not now, Daniel got sick of it and replaced them!) so we didn't even have good tunes to listen to while stuck in the traffic jam! We finally got past it and continued on our way, and the first then I had to do when we arrived was find the loo. While I was in the bathroom I could hear a child screaming and throwing a huge patty, and when I came out of the cubicle I found a crowd of ladies around a closed door, trying to encourage the child to try again. What did she have to try? Opening the door of course, the girl and locked it and couldn't open it. So I went into the next cubicle, climbed up on the toilet, clambered over the partition and rescued the poor thing. And the lock wasn't stuck at all, she had just panicked and wasn't turning it right. I hope I didn't break anything during my climb, neither the toilets or the partition seemed very strong. And so after a long journey I then saved the day for a distraught little girl, and proceeded to go shopping and treat myself to discounted outlet things that maybe I don't need but I wanted anyway.

And here is Cher: