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I will never say the word 'procrastinate' again - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
I will never say the word 'procrastinate' again
I'm supposed to be writing job applications, but the application form is appalling. For a start, the job description for two supposedly different positions are identical, so I'm just going to have to apply for both and let them decide which (if either) they think I'm best suited to. Other than that -- well, I suppose the typos are forgivable, although "You should note that each of the questions is equally important thought into each of them" made me laugh; but that's not the end of it. In addition to the usual "please cram everything you have done in the last 10 years into our badly-formatted table" sections, there are four questions where you have to demonstrate your competence in the following areas:

  • Delivering to customers
  • Working Together
  • Planning and organising
  • Communicating with customers and others

For each of these, you have to give just one example of a thing you've done which demonstrates competence in the relevant area; each answer has to be no more than 250 words long. The example answer they give, demonstrating competence in the area of What I Did On My HolidaysWorking Together, is excruciating:
"As a member of the University hockey team, we were planning an end of term party. My role was to help plan and organise the party, which we wanted to have on the last day of term -only 3 weeks away.

To ensure that everybody was involved, we all met up in the Students Union to discuss ideas for the party. After everybody had contributed suggestions we took a vote and decided on a 70's night for all the University sports teams.

We then decided as a team all the tasks that needed to be done. I took the role of writing the list so that we had a record of all the tasks that everyone could see. We then each volunteered to do a task, mine was to arrange an appropriate venue.

We decided to have a brief meeting every two days at lunchtime so that we could find out how the arrangements were progressing. I wrote down all the details so that we had a record of exactly who was doing what. Unfortunately, the day before the party, the DJ cancelled and we realised that we wouldn't be able to get another one in time. The girl that had arranged the DJ was very upset. I took some time to console her and I arranged a meeting immediately to decide what to do. We made the decision to pull all our disco records together, borrow my friend's decks, and do the 70's disco ourselves! All feedback was positive."
After 11 years of trying (with, I like to think, some success) to develop beyond that kind of simple (not to say simplistic) narrative style, I'm finding it difficult to go back to it, particularly in a context where I'd normally write in a more formal register.

Anyway, it's taken me the best part of an hour to do one of them, and about 40 minutes of that was spent trying to hack it down to the word-limit while still actually explaining the (fairly technical) examples from my current job so that they make sense. The whole thing is irritating me so much that I'm not even sure I want to work for these people anyway, if the application process is representative of their general competence; but I can't help feeling that beggars can't be choosers. (Okay, so I'm not a beggar yet, but my current job is hardly secure, and besides, it's slowly sapping my will to live.) Still trying to buckle down to doing it but my motivation seems to be at an all-time low.

* * *

The only positive thing to come out of this so far, in fact, is the result of extreme procrastination -- which has led me to rip a handful more CDs (though I'm not doing anything like the wholesale process that simont has been indulging in), and to create a couple of rather cute Miffy pictures.

I should do more of this kind of thing, it's remarkably therapeutic. (I would have made goth peg-dollies but I didn't have any pipe-cleaners for their arms. I think a trip to Heffers Art Shop is indicated.)

Current Mood: goldfish-like attention-span
Now playing: Richard Thompson: Old Kit Bag

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k425 From: k425 Date: September 7th, 2003 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)
application: I invariably bin application forms if they're like the ones you've got - do I really want to work somewhere that can't proof-read the job details? No. Do I want to faff about pointing that as a nurse you /have/ to be a team-worker? No.

However, I do understand the need to change jobs, so good luck.

Miffy: I /love/ the Miffies! Fancy doing me a pregnant Miffy?
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: September 7th, 2003 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a vision of a breastfeeding Miffy too. Is that wrong?
k425 From: k425 Date: September 7th, 2003 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope not, because that appeals too!
j4 From: j4 Date: September 7th, 2003 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll see what I can do...

The main problem with a breastfeeding Miffy is that, er, Miffy doesn't actually have any tits. I know you can see her nipples on the one with the bikini-top above, but really, she's as flat as a board. Probably because she's meant to be ABOUT FIVE YEARS OLD, you sick freaks. :-P
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: September 7th, 2003 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, flat-chested mums can breastfeed too.

Anyway, put the ickle baby wabbit in front in a cradle hold and you don't need to see any breasts.
k425 From: k425 Date: September 7th, 2003 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, flat-chested mums can breastfeed too.

Thank goodness!
j4 From: j4 Date: September 7th, 2003 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're not flat-chested! ... Eh, um, I mean, not that I've looked that closely. *cough* :-)

I didn't mean to be rude about flat-chested women, anyway, and I'm sorry if I offended anyone. But don't they (breasts, I mean, not women -- well, women as well, but specifically breasts -- eh, you know what I mean) kind of grow a bit fuller anyway when you're producing milk? And none of this changes the fact that Miffy's only a small kid, & therefore not likely to be having babies of her own any time soon. ... Am I getting too concerned about details here?
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: September 7th, 2003 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
In tiny details I delight/they keep my mind from bigger things

Anyhoo, yes, they do generally get slightly fuller (FVVO 'slightly'), but I didn't mean that you were being rude anyway, just that Miffy's apparent lack of embonpoint was not a particular barrier to breastfeeding. Admittedly her age could be, but I've never really thought of Miffy as having any age at all. If anything, since she was clearly a little kid when my brother was reading the books (I never did, but we've bought some for T) she's at least in her mid-twenties or older now. :-D And she could grow up to look just like that anyhow.

Oh, and the part of my brain which stores really useless/irritating information informs me that the youngest mother on record was five. (Ick!)
k425 From: k425 Date: September 7th, 2003 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're not flat-chested!

Oh, I used to be. Not that it worried me - it's very easy to run without boobs. These days I spend a fair bit of time cupping my boobs in my hands when I run. Well, not these days, these days I don't run at all. But I do enjoy having a cleavage!

And you'd be hard-pushed not to have looked, if you've been watching the website, let alone seeing me wander around my house in very little!

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reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: September 7th, 2003 10:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Vagabonds does goth-Miffy badges at Whitby.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 7th, 2003 11:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Can't see 'em on the site... so are they better than my Miffys (Miffies?) or not?
reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: September 7th, 2003 11:26 am (UTC) (Link)
They are smaller :-)
j4 From: j4 Date: September 7th, 2003 11:36 am (UTC) (Link)
For this purpose, mogrify was invented. :-)

Now all I need is a badge-making machine. (I keep meaning to buy one, actually.)
j4 From: j4 Date: September 7th, 2003 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can't see 'em on the site... so are they better than my Miffys (Miffies?) or not?
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 11th, 2003 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Job application

The competencies on the form look remarkably like the competencies my employer uses. Your written evidence needs to show clearly what you did, how you did it, and what the outcome of your actions was. You need to focus on your contribution (and not merely what the team agreed/did collectively. And you need to minimise the scene setting in favour of text that emphasises the actions you took.

The employer may be able to give some helpful descriptions of the meaning of the competencies (and if it is my employer, the 'levels' of each competency that is required for the post you are applying for) that should prompt you to provide sensible evidence.

When you are offered an interview for this employer, you need to make sure that you have thought about any other examples that illustrate these competencies, as the interview will focus on the four areas above.

If you follow this up, I can give further suggestions if desired.
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