Monday, 3 October 2011

I was looking for a job....

I'm so annoyed with myself. I've allowed the house to become something which resembles student digs.

I haven't been plucking  my eyebrows regularly enough, so now I look like Oscar from Sesame Street (that reminds me - I used to look after a girl called Oscarina who had 'Sesamstrasse' trainers - I loved them).

I have been eating bread, chocolate and crisps most days. I'm not particularly enjoying my own company, I'm constantly telling myself to 'pull myself together' and clean the house. In my defence, the weather has been too nice to stay in tidying up and cleaning. Then again, not doing any chores for 2 weeks is inexcusable.

I completed an on-line 'talent screening' contest for a cashier post Marks and Spencer - the algorithms deduced something I already knew:

Dear Lucy,

Thank you for taking the time to complete our on-line talent screener.

We received a very high standard of response for this position and we are sorry to tell you that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

The abilities that we test online are those which we believe are good predictors of success in Marks and Spencer and have been validated to ensure they predict performance in the role.  Unfortunately we felt that based on the answers given, you did not meet all of these requirements.

We would of course welcome your application again in 6 months time for a Customer Assistant role, all of which are advertised on our website

May we take this opportunity to wish you every success with your future career and hope that you will not be discouraged from applying for any future vacancies.

Kind Regards,

Resourcing Operations Team

I'm not what they are looking for!

I'm not what anyone is 'looking for' I'm unique - you don't realise you're looking for me 'til you find me - then you wonder how ON EARTH you got through life this far without me. If you just give me the chance Resourcing Operations Team, I'll prove I can do this. I was BORN to serve customers. Retail is in my blood. All my friends and family tell me I'm a brilliant till operator.  I'll prove you wrong*.

Anyway, I'm not really a massive drama queen having a sulk, honest. I'm mildly fed up because I go through periods of restlessness and boredom quite regularly, and I only have myself to blame. I have hobbies, but I also have 3 children and an almost obsessional addiction to cooking fresh meals every day - so time consuming, no dishwasher either. Woe is me.

At least the keywords this week in my traffic stats were amusing:


* I am fully aware that working in retail is not easy. I have previously worked in a clothes shop and I was awful. I walked out on a busy Saturday I hated it that much. The animated cartoon interviewer saw through my usual impeccable impression of an ideal employee.  BITCH!

p.s I think you should all check out this post by Genius Loci for a visually stimulating treat.


  1. That reminds me of the time I applied for a job for Mr Charming on McDonalds website. We didn't get it and I felt a strange kind of rejection. And another time I did Red's Art homework for her and only got a an Art teacher that was particularly galling.

    K xx

  2. Oh, and my highest keywords are 'mcdonalds bag on head' and 'cannibalism at a clash gig'. I have never written about eating people.

    K xx

  3. Ah now you're forcing me to relate my own M&S experience . . . !

    I got through the online process and was offered an interview. Had applied to work in the Per Una section but all that was on offer was Cafe Revive and the food bit, shrugged my shoulders and thought 'why not'. Turned up to interview and was greeted by a fairly grumpy lady who treated guiding me to the interview room with such seriousness I was already tickled. Due pomp and ceremony after we sit down and again, I'm finding the whole thing quite funny. Enter the laminated cards; pictures of food with which I'm told to create my own supermarket laid out in a logical manner. Interviewer disappears for 5 minutes while I'm doing this, I'm barely containing my giggles by this point, when she returns pretending to be a shopper (complete with M&S shopping basket) and it takes all my control not to lose it there and then. I then have to role play with her about sausage rolls and manage that okay but then she asks where the haddock is and all I can think to say is 'the sea'. Game over. I had to apologise and leave the room laughing my ass off.

    Needless to say they didn't call me back!

    Jem xXx

  4. your in a lull Luce, a lull necessary to conserve energy for a forthcoming period of greatness. If Jems (totally friggin mental!) expereince is anything to go by you've had a lucky escape. Wonder if you'd get through if you tried it out again, as yourself, 100%?

  5. ha! i liked the key words!! i used to work in asda.... on the deli counter serving meat and cheese (am vegan)i was awesome at that job. there was some kind of test for that one too about bread or something...x
    the online test thing sounds crazy anyway, how can you tell what someone is like using that?

  6. Hello Lucy:
    Your day will come!!!! Having interviewed and been interviewed n more occasions than we can remember in our time, we are always of the view that rejection is a positive thing. After all, they are not rejecting you personally, they are merely rejecting the 'persona' that they think will not fit their template. And, so be it. On another day, you will be the perfect fit and far happier as a result. In the meantime how you juggle everything that you do with three children to care for is quite beyond us....but then we are the original lazy tarts!!!!

  7. Well OBVIOUSLY you're not suited for till work, you could do it, but you're destined for far better things. I'm guessing the stupid online test could tell that. I mean, seriously, everyone I know could do that job with their eyes closed, so it goes without saying you could probably do it without even turning up.

    My most ridiculous interview was for a legal publishing role, the bloke waved a load of pieces of painted card at me and asked me to pick the one I was most drawn to. He'd then mutter "yes, interesting" and ask me to pick another and another. Then he asked what my father did, and whether my mother was a good mother. Clearly I wasn't quite posh enough to work there.

  8. Bad luck on being rejected, although it may be for the best in the end. I did summer jobs in Liberty's and Selfridge's and it was boring and tough. I'm not cut out for retail work at all.

    Good luck with your search for something more suitable. :)

  9. Firstly I can't believe the rigmarole they put Jem through! Would you really want to got through that Lucy? You'd have to bite your tongue and try not to wet your pants from laughing. I think you would hate working there. Really. I know how hard it is being stuck home with the kids, it can be a thank-less (although v.important) job at times. Quite often, when my girls were younger I wanted to run away and never come back...still get the urge now.
    I return to work on Thursday and I feel sick about's a good job, great for me professionally, but at the moment I really don't want to go. And btw I'm anal about cleaning and its never really got me anywhere! x

  10. Congrats on winning my giveaway chick, 2 in one week - awesome - my luck must be rubbing off on you ;o).

    I cant believe they do an online talent test for M&S - seriously! You should see the crazy people they have working at my local branch, i bought a skirt in there once for my mums birthday and the guy annouced the size loudly, i thought this strange but then witnesses him doing it to every customer he served, hmmmm not great if your having a fat day!

    There will be a perfect job for you and by the sounds of Jem's interview you have a lucky escape :o)

    Scarlett x

  11. Boo to M&S! Judging by the moron who served me on Friday the on-line test can't be a great judge of character as she had no people skills whatsoever.
    Your day will come and the perfect job will be yours soon enough.
    You're definitely on a lucky streak this week, I've just noticed you've won the wonderful Scarlett's given. Well done. x

  12. my house is a mess too. when my parents were here last month i felt so together having my house so clean for two weeks. and the it all just fell by the wayside. but i have learned this - you will fill a whole lot "more together" if you just clean it. trust me...

    if it makes you feel better, i filled out an online application and did the personality test to apply for a job at "michael's". i know you don't know what that is but it's like...a crafting store that has everything under the sun it it but it has a bit of a reputation for anyways, not classy. but i applied and they never called me! and applying took two hours so i was so mad.

    we are too good to work at these places! lol

    you were joking about your friends and family saying you are a brilliant till operator right?

  13. Can I just quote two lines from your post and add one word? Here are the lines: '...not doing any chores for 2 weeks is inexcusable'
    'I also have 3 children and an almost obsessional addiction to cooking fresh meals every day...'
    Here is the word: 'Wow!'
    I do one, or the other; neither very well (and I have a dishwasher). Then again, I am a man...
    I'll get my coat.

  14. These bloody online tests. What is the point of them?My partner had to do one for a Media Officer job he applied for. He's had decades of experience too. Ridiculous meaningless rigmarole.

    Btw, not doing any chores for 2 weeks sounds absolutely normal behaviour to me! There's more to life.....

  15. I must say, these have been the most entertaining and encouraging comments ever!

    Keshling - what a knock our self-esteem has taken eh? You should be thoroughly ASHAMED at not getting an A+ for that art project! I bet the teacher had an inkling you'd done it.

    Jem - what you described would make such an excellent scene in a film. Trouble is, viewers would say "that's a bit far - fetched". You definitely win the best interview award.Brilliant.

    Max - I WAS myself 100% - that was the problem. I don't want the job and I answered honestly, the truth was there for all to see.

    Sian - that must have been odd, handling meat and cheese all day. Bet you felt proud to be vegan when you saw some of the specimens buying breezeblocks of mild cheddar and mysterious meat which looks like skin grafts!

    The Hattatts - thanks for the kind words. I do a poor job of juggling, never have all the balls in the air. Organised chaos is the best it gets.

    Lakota - you win most unusual interview hands down! I just want a year of peace and getting the house back to normal really. Work is for the super-organised mums who have a family planner on the kitchen wall.
    Sarah - there isn't a job to suit me really. I was good at dealing with challenging behaviour, but my patience reserves wouldn't be so full now.

    Kylie - thanks for such an honest and supportive comment. Good luck for Thursday. You'll soon feel like you've never been out of work, and will possibly get a lot of satisfaction from it. Maybe our cleanliness habits need to merge for a happy medium?

    Scarlett - what a charming gent. "Magic knickers in size 24 madam? Splendid choice".
    SO happy about winning your giveaway.

    Vix - when Woolworths closed, most of the staff decamped to M+S. They are without doubt the most bitter, miserable, scruffily presented ladies you could imagine. I told one of them she looked "nicer in the M+S uniform anyway",in a friendly, jokey sort of way, she replied "what a thing to say to someone". And that was it. End of dialogue!

    Kaitlyn - you can't be untidy - your work, appearance, attention to detail etc is so neat! You are absolutely right though. I cleaned up today and the fog lifted accordingly. Yes - till comment tongue-in-cheek, a sort of 'X-Factor reject' impression.

    The Dotterel - hi! Thanks foe commenting. Don't get your coat. There really is no exaggeration in the chore comment. Even my youngest (nearly 3) said it's a really 'gusting mess mummy".

    Loo - I feel so much better after reading comments like yours. Tonight I will go to bed feeling very lucky to have support from my friends and family, and the blogging community. 3 cheers for you, and M+S? In 6 months I won't be applying again.

  16. Toe Cleavage. What kind of mind?

    The words 'Resourcing Operations Team' sends shivers down my spine. I've got a very funny feeling (probably an incorrect one knowing me)that all this corporate crap-speak is going to get swept away soon. I hope it does anyway.

    Sod M+S and well done on the fresh food every day. And be safe in the knowledge that there are houses out there that are exactly the same as yours. Ours certainly is, until we, like you, have a guilt attack and clean and tidy it from top to bottom. It's back to it's usual state in 48 hours maximum.

  17. Screw them! What kind of dismal rude generic form denial letter was that? RUDE! Impersonal! What do they know about treating anyone right? Don't be too hard on yourself for letting the chores go out a little longer, they aren't going anywhere. I think no matter what your life is like we all experience a bit of restlessness at times, just go with it and do what makes you happy.

    I think it's fantastic you cook almost everyday, can I come over? I'll bring some wine :)

  18. Classic! Initially I thought you had entered a 'talent' competition. Oh gawd! I love Jem's comments. You don't need them. You would just be a puppet to a load of middle management wankers!

  19. Why do they call it a talent competition? Bizarre! I got an interview for M&S after college but I think the nice lady interviewers were a bit uncomfortable with my over-the-top-ness.

    And I'm still hunting for droll search terms on my blog. They're still mostly weather related this week...apart from 'Fancy dress gone wrong'. Not sure what that's about.

  20. Ben - I used 'toe cleavage' in my last post, but still very surprised to see it in my traffic!
    My friend used to work for AXA, it was her job to turn all the business jargon into plain English. They made her redundant, and the following week a giant billboard ad for their jargon-free approach appeared opposite her flat. People skills eh? All about money when you go corporate.

    Krista - cheers! I'd love to feed you all. Nothing goves me more pleasure than filling my guests with food and drink. Not sure I could ever become one of those 'feeders' though. Can't imagine Rob weighing half a ton and still being any use to me!

    Nick - I couldn't care less about not getting through, this post was meant to be a bit of a joke (but many a truth are said in jest perhaps there was SOME disappointment). I dread the day I have to find a job, 4 years out of work and I feel I've learned an important lesson. Work drags you down unless it's emotionally rewarding.

    Blue Sky - I am looking forward to entering M+S soon to see what talent they uncovered. I'll do the "so, what have YOU got that I haven't?" sour grapes thing!
    I do a bit of gushing at interviews sometimes. I may need a job club for some interview tips soon.

  21. The more I read of your blog, the more reassured I am that I'm not the only one who feels like that! Not cleaning the house for two weeks when you've got kids is completely understandable - I've only got the one littlepants around, and she's so much work I don't get anything done!

    And as for applying for jobs; I applied for a temp position at Lush, a shop and company that I love, and went to the interview full of product knowledge and determination to get through it - and I was offered a trial day. So in I skipped with high hopes that since I'd done so well in the interview, and since they'd actually encouraged me to have crazy hair and make-up, that I'd get the job.

    But no. I scared away a customer (by smiling at her (in a severely non threatening way) as she was looking in the window, just so you know) and I made a joke comment about my appearance scaring her, and that, apparently, was me making a negative comment about the job while on the shop floor.
    I'm not afraid to admit, I cried on the way home. That was the only job I've ever really actually wanted, and seeing the people who DID get the job was definitely a case of sour grapes for me.

  22. Mumma Rivvy - I think all of us set unrealistic goals for ourselves when it comes to juggling everything. I always get the impression I'm being watched, judged and tutted at by some higher being.
    I'd love to know something. Where are all these wonderful customer assistants? Where?
    I don't come across many. The best service I get is from volunteers at the charity shop.
    Rehearsed, false politeness is all good and well, but I like a bit of natural banter
    with staff.
    I think it'd be good for M+S and Lush management to read these comments - do you?

  23. I read almost every blog u write but this one is one of those which appeal directly to me because in it i find the most natural outflow of emotions. Yes everyone has to face the fact of rejection at one point or the other in life but that shouldn't be allowed to discourage our spirit. U r absolutely right in saying that u can prove urslf when u r given opportunity to perform. Of course u r unique so far as talent is concerned.

  24. Eh, eh, eh! or should it be, Ha, ha, ha! Punkin is coming. He is tap, tap, tapping at your window! "Let me in" he whines in an ingratiating tone. Then more forcefully, "Let me in!" His straw hand breaks through the the glass. He clumsily grasps for the latch to open the window. But his fingers are just straw stalks. They break with the pressure...he will find a way in. He will! Just you...wait!

  25. I'm trying to catch up on blog reading - am way behind what with all the sewing I'm doing (and housework has taken a dive too) - and was reading St Bloggie de Riviere (which I have lurked on for years and years - since I used to live in France in fact) and went to read the comments and saw you there. Such a surprise - I almost never read the comments on any blog but this one I did (it was the A-Z thing) - I am always taken aback by how small blog world is and how we keep bumping into each other in what I think are unlikely places.

    Anyway, that has nothing to do with this post. Sorry.

    I have thought about going out to look for a job but just the idea of the interview process has stopped me taking it any further. (That, and the fact that I need to be able to go to France every couple of months to fetch my boys.)

    Anyway that test sounds plain stupid. Just silly. M&S employees generally don't do it for me anyway - most of them are dour, middle-aged and unhelpful. So can't see you fitting in with their corporate culture.

  26. Raman - thank-you. As the teens say "I'm SO over Marks and Spencer. It's time to find something else to feel inadequate about now!

    Nick - I really don't think horror is your 'thing'. You paint 'Punkin head' as a bumbling idiot, not some demonic being.

    Wendz - it is usually easy to see where someone has found your blog, but with some I'm just puzzled. That 6 degrees of separation rule seems ludicrously big when it comes to blogging.
    I will find a job next year. Mainly to keep everyone quiet as these 4 years bringing up my children have clearly been an extended, exotic holiday.

  27. Everyone else has said it all really, but M&S - pah? Who are they anyway?!
    I am also a mum of 3, with an ex-career and no idea what to do now.
    Plus I get the run-away blues from time to time.
    AND my house is a total disaster, I hate housework and prefer to while away my days perusing the blogs or charity shops.
    There's a lot of us about!
    Love Curtise x

  28. Curtise - lovely name! There are so many of us charity-shop obsessed slatterns around. I only ever seem to get visits from minimalist high-street shoppers who look at me with equal pity and contempt.

  29. Sorry, dont get whats happening! Once had a job for 4 hours. Betterware! Lovely blog by the way!

  30. Have you tried freelancing? it's a good source of income. According to the blog that I have read (Freelancing Can Be a Career Option for New Graduates) is a good choice after graduating since there are many people in the market who are so eager to have jobs at the same time.

  31. It's so sad to hear that you're just rejected by a certain company because you're not the one they're looking for. Anyways, something better is coming for sure so cheer up! :)
    If it is not for you today something unexpected luck will come. I hope you can make it soon.


Sorry I am having to filter comments at the moment