If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 1 November 2010

Less of that blogging, young man

This blog seemed to go a bit frantic in October, with a massive 90 posts in the month - that's three a day. Some days, I seemed to spend most of my day either writing and researching stuff for posting, or reading other blogs and chasing up links and references for possible future bloggery. Well, it's got to stop.

I walked out of my last job in February. If anyone asked, I cited 'personal reasons', although the real reasons were complex. Partly, I was pretty exhausted after all of Anna's tribulations last year, and I wasn't 100% on the ball. Partly, the nature of the job I was doing had changed, and what had started as a relatively simple and manageable set of duties and responsibilities had become massively complex and burdensome. In the field of Health and Safety, if you're not on top of the game, bad things can happen, and I was starting to exhibit signs of significant stress - not sleeping, body systems going haywire, gloom, anger, negativity. Not me at all. I decided to make a clean exit. My employer and I parted on good terms, and the solution seemed to be the best thing for both of us. My health and outlook improved within days.

In my innocence, I had assumed that finding another job wouldn't be too hard. I am well-qualified and have a good employment record, and willing to work at almost anything. But my confidence was badly misplaced, and I have been unable to find anything. There are plenty of jobs out there, but for 90% of them I am absurdly over-qualified, and employers don't want over-qualified people, as they tend to either make trouble or move on too quickly. For the few jobs that came up that I was suitable for, there was often an internal candidate and the interview was a charade.

Long story short, and my limited financial resources ran out. The workhouse or debtors' prison loomed large in my future. So I swallowed my pride and contacted my employer again. I didn't want my old job back at any price, but I was willing to work in some other capacity. I was called for interview, and landed a position as a shift leader in Security. It's not completely problem-free, as I will need to find the time and money to get the SIA qualification to meet the job requirements, but they are being flexible about this and allowing me to do this within the first three months of the job. I start work tomorrow.

Which is a long way to go around saying that I won't have as much time to devote to the blog as I have had over summer. I'm not hanging up the keyboard as so many (much more illustrious) bloggers have done recently, but I will be posting less than before. I hope this will allow me to be a bit more selective about posting, and tackle only the stuff that really matters - which will be bike-stuff and the occasional current affairs issue that just cannot be allowed to go by without a rant. And the odd poem. And I'm sure I will have something to say about working as a Security guard. That will be a new one for me.


  1. Pleased for you Richard. I know how large the readies loom when they stop being so ready.

    wv unced. That'll be some of your blogging then.

  2. Hope it works out as you want it to.

    "For the few jobs that came up ..... the interview was a charade."

    95% of interviews are "to give an impression of fairness"

    Your readership will now look forward to a succession of postings on new subjects.

  3. ...but for 90% of them I am absurdly over-qualified, and employers don't want over-qualified people, as they tend to either make trouble or move on too quickly.

    Leaving Uni that strikes a real chord, so much so the job I eventually got (and stayed 10 years before being made redundant) I only had an interview after leaving my degree off my CV.

    So much for being £15,000 in debt at the time.

  4. @Joe - thanks! I understand about the interview thing, and to be fair it's not a problem to me. I had a few with various parts of the local authority, but it was clear they were appointing for a new role while they were desperately having to shed jobs elsewhere - appointing an existing employee is the logical thing, and I don't blame them. I'll try to keep the posting varied :)

    @Frog - shame that you had to do that, but interesting that it was the only thing that worked. Again, I have sympathy with the employers in some cases. If I were working for Tesco and looking for a shelf-stacker, would I really want a graduate with long management experience, or a simpler soul who would do the job well and be grateful for it? The problem is where it leaves people with good qualifications and experience virtually unemployable - unless they falsify their CVs *downwards*. Funny old world.

  5. Good luck Richard.
    In the fickle world of recruitment, you either have the wrong degree, the wrong class of degree, or no degree at all, and if the interviewer came through the system at a lesser Uni to you (or the University of life), forget it to!
    When I was in the position to interview people I gave them 2 simple practical test relevant to the job. I looked at the CV only at the hobbies and other interests.
    Keep smiling, N.

  6. Best of luck with it, hope it'll be less stressful than the previous position.

    At least you already have an ex-police hi-vis jacket to wear, for extra Security cred!

    Back in the day, I dropped out of Uni only to discover that, in the real world, A levels were the single most useless qualification ever. Equipped with those, you were guaranteed to be over- or under-qualified for every single job on the market.So much so that I went back and did the degree after all, which narrowed it down to just mostly over-qualified... 20+ years later, it's hard to see how relevant academic certificates would (or should) be when set against both experience and a proven employment history.

  7. Thanks, chaps. I was always given to believe that a degree is not a demonstration of ability or skill or even knowledge, but an indicator of the capacity to learn, and I still think that is true. I have the under/over-qualified problem, plus the fact that employers in general don't tend to want people in their 50s, and of course I was applying from a position of being out of work - none of these were positives. I am glad (and indeed grateful) to have a job again. Now I am back on the hamster-wheel, who knows what the future will bring?

  8. Best of luck with it my friend. Hope it all works out as you want it to.
    Gretings from the Danish Vikings, Alice and Poul

  9. Thanks guys! First full day of work today ...


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