Janet (j4) wrote,

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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.)
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