Wednesday, 29 July 2009

More Disappointment

Well, last week I was hit with a bit of a bombshell and I was asked to leave work. I wasn't officially fired, just asked not to come back and they are at least giving me a week's worth of money (I have just been paid as well so that's not too bad). The problem with the job is that the contract has one job title and the person who did the job before me used another - basically Administrator for the former and PA for the latter - and if you've done either job you'll know that the two are very different.

The job was as an administrator for the projectionists department in a very popular film institute in London, i.e. a glorified cinema. So my job included ordering in equipment for them, as well as making sure the casual staff were paid and any overtime was paid on time each month for the permanent staff. But I also did anything and everything that the head of the department asked which I know is one of the reasons why one of my predecessors left, as it wasn't made clear before the job started that it would turn into basically a PA role rather than as a support to the rest of the team. Now, the reason he said the job 'wasn't for me' is because he wants someone more technical which is a bit of a crap excuse to be honest with you. I didn't have any trouble ordering in equipment and no complaints from the projectionists (in fact, one or two of them were very grateful for my help) so I don't see why he would need someone technically minded when someone with a background and an interest in the creative media (which I have) is surely more important than knowing the ins and outs of the Xenon lamp I'm ordering surely? That's the projectionists job, not the Administrator/PA's. And if he doesn't work out what exactly it is he wants from the job, he is not going to get a PA with technical knowledge at the salary they're offering.

Oh, I should have mentioned that I am the 4th person to work at that job in the last year and a bit.

He did raise some issues with me about a week and a half before he got rid of me. He said that any new scheduling notes from a weekly meeting I attended were not passed on - when I still had the emails in my 'sent' box to prove I did. He said I needed to be more involved with what the projectionists were up to on a day to day basis when I was stuck in the office doing spreadsheets and stats that he had asked me to compile. And most infuriatingly of all, he would ask me about something he had asked me to do weeks ago which I had already sent him an email about and this translated as me not doing my job properly (as obviously, I should have been his babysitter too).

This wasn't supposed to be a rant on what happened with my job, but I do feel extremely hard done by as he didn't even want me to stay long enough to do a handover, or even until the end of my contract which was only until 31st August anyway. And I don't think a week and a half is enough to give me to improve and question the problems that arose I suppose. My continuing anxiety is whether or not I will get a place at university because I am at a difficult time now - do I look for a job that goes on past September and just give notice if I get a place or do I admit defeat and look for a long-term solution? One of the temp agencies I am with is putting my CV forward for a job that starts on 10th August and ends on 9th September to cover someone who is going off to get married, so that would be perfect if I get a place. But if I don't look for something longer-term and I don't get a place then I'm buggered for money unless I get something straight afterwards. Oh! This all feels so familiar!

Anyway, I had to blog as I am up at a ridiculous time and I need to justify the title of my blog. I am sorry for repeating myself and if you're bored just say so, but what is the point of a blog if not a little self-indulgence? Okay, a lot of self-indulgence. ;o)

Monday, 20 July 2009


As the description of this blog implies, I am hoping to become a primary school teacher after being made redundant at the beginning of this year. For all of my trans-Atlantic followers (well, both of them), this means I would like to teach children from the ages of 3-11, but specifically between 3 and 6.

I went to an Open Day for my first choice of university about 3 weeks ago. To be perfectly honest, it was my first choice because of its location and the fact that there were still places left, as making an application in the Spring to start in September is pretty late in the day. Also, I want to be able to teach Spanish with it as I did an A Level in it and kind of regret not taking it any further. Hopefully, if I was to teach it I could make some children passionate about languages and different cultures as I think the English are terrible at embracing anything 'different.' A big bonus with teaching Primary with another subject is that once you get a job you get a 'golden hello' once you get a job as they are desperate for people with certain skills. And at this particular university, you get to spend 4 weeks in Spain teaching over there which would be fabulous! Therefore, the university turned out to be pretty damn good (a Grade 1 provider of teacher training) and I was starting to look forward to the whole studying thing again after such an absence.

Now, about 2 weeks ago I found out that they had rejected my application and as you can probably understand I was so disappointed. I didn't even get to the interview stage which I think would have given me more opportunity to show the tutors how much I want this. The problem is, there are so many people coming straight from university into these post-graduate courses because the job market is looking so crap and I bet there are a good few people in my situation who have looked upon this career path as a last resort due to the secure nature of it (and I'm guessing the time off looks good too).

Now, if I had known the incentives and the funding I could get earlier, I would have taken this path a long time ago. It is something I have kept coming back to again and again whenever I have had choices to make, but I never thought I could afford to do it until now. However, I needed a kick up the arse (ass) to help me on my way and unfortunately losing my job was exactly that. And I just know that there are some people who have got places that don't really want to do it and who will quit before the Christmas holidays start.

One other thing that really annoys me about the whole thing is that I could only put down 2 choices on my application form instead of the 4/5 on the under-graduate forms I did when I first went to university. There were 3 spaces to write in, but as I want to do primary teaching I could only choose 2. Go figure. And because I have the requisite number of exam passes in English, Maths and Science the only way they can decide on who they want to interview is from the personal statements - which couldn't be more than 160 lines. Now, I know they have a hell of a lot of applications to get through, but I don't think that's one A4 page which is not enough to push your case. And that's why I really wanted an interview because I've got so much to say that would show them how sincere I am.

So now that I have finally made a decision about what I want to do with my life, I have to rely on the decisions of other people on whether or not I can actually do it. Which is stressing me out as you can imagine. Everything seems to have slotted in to place for me to do it this year (work contract ends on 31st August, mortgage payments have been reduced etc.) so I don't know if I can wait another year to start my training. If I don't get a place at this last choice, I don't know what the options are if I do want to train this year - but that's something I don't want to think about just yet...