Archive for July, 2007

Mould

July 31, 2007

I’ve learnt so many new things since moving to England. One of them is that curtains can mould. And I’ve learnt that washing curtains in 90 degrees won’t get rid of the mould.
I’ve also been told when discussing this matter that wallpaper can apparently mould too. I hope I don’t have to witness that. I would not like it!

When I was living in halls at university my shower cubical was covered with mould. Lots of it, not just on the surface it was thick layers of mould. I went to ask for my shower and bathroom to be decontaminated but they just looked at me and told me off: “all you international students come here and complain about everything”.

How come every bathroom in this country is accessorised with mould and not mine? I don’t have mould in my bathroom. Does my bathroom know I’m Swedish?

I don’t understand the love for mould. Mould is not good for you. If you don’t like infections, eczema and a rundown immune system I suggest get rid of the mould. NOW!

When I was about 7 my family were moving to a bigger flat. We had to wait to move in for a couple of weeks since the bathroom ceiling had a patch of mould. A decontamination team came and treated the bathroom and got rid of it before we were allowed to move in.

If this procedure were adopted to England everyone would be homeless.

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Working 9-5

July 8, 2007

I will soon start my 4th job since moving to London three years ago.

My first job was as an administrator in an old, carpet decorated hospital. I was this cool IT person that had to try and adjust to an administrative role where no IT existed. A few months before I started, the hospital had just been connected to the internet and introduced to e-mail. This was in 2004.

I was the best thing that ever happened to that hospital because I had used a computer.
I stayed there for 9 months.

My second job was in a primary school. Here the problem was that this school had a few pests. And as you know I don’t like pests. My boss saw me as a pest since I wanted the school to do something about it. I did learn that air freshener wont kill cockroaches and that a bat and a mad janitor will not get rid of mice.

In Sweden this would be front-page news, over here: not so much.

I stayed there for 1 year.

At my third job it didn’t take me too long to realise that I wouldn’t hang around for too long. Way too much stupidity, and unnecessary hierarchy. You don’t need that in an office of eight.

I stayed for a record 1 year and 2 months. But I did start to look for jobs after 7 months it just took me some time to get a new one.

I think people over here love job interviews so much they have them just for the sake of having them. I would call it “wasting everyone’s time”. Two interviews is average, but if you are as lucky as me: four.

I applied for a job and my first interview was with the company’s recruitment agency.

My second interview was a thirty minute long phone interview. At my third interview I met the woman who interviewed me over the phone and her colleague. They asked me exactly the same questions I had over the phone. The interview went well but the feedback from the recruitment agency (I had to deal with them and not directly with the company) was:

a.    I was nervous (the truth is that I wasn’t nervous, but who isn’t a bit nervous at a job interview?)
b.    I was furious

Go ahead read it again. Furious. How can it be possible to be furious at a job interview? And why do you ask that person to come back? Time to meet the big boss but before that I had to do a personality test. You would have thought that after four interviews you would have picked up on some personality.

I went to my fourth interview and was told it was going to be the last. Hallelujah! I was the only one who had past all the interviews so it was me versus me. So I met with the boss, it went very well (I wasn’t furious).

After three days in the lab analysing my personality test, the recruitment agency called to give me some feedback. I didn’t get the job. The reason: I was too hard working. Apparently this wasn’t a skill they where looking for. Since I was a hard working person they thought I might have problems working with some of their more laid back members of staff.

The whole process took one month!

Another interview I went for was a receptionist job in a school.

Me and another girl who also had applied for the job were shown in to a room where we were given a timetable for the day.

First a computer test typing in word and doing some very basic tables in excel, followed by a conversation in sign language with a deaf member of staff. After that I was given a tour of the school and was finally led in to a room where the interview was going to take place. To remind you: receptionist job, not head teacher. 7 pair of eyes was looking at me. There was a class teacher, the office manager, the head teacher, a mother of a pupil and an old grey woman from the council and 2 interpreters.

It does make me wonder: if I ever want to apply for a CEO post what would the interview process be like?

I have now found myself a job where they didn’t see hard working as a bad thing. I mean who wouldn’t want to have a clever hot Swede in their office. I have 23 A-levels and a brain.