Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Glad to be grey

In 1976 Tom Robinson wrote a song for the London Gay Pride march, it was released in 1978 but I didn't hear it until I was 19, in my sophomore year of University and seeing a girl called Jenny. Complex. Actually I'll not go in to how complex my life was then.

The song was witty, catchy, painful, heart rending and told of the struggle of a section of society that were being suppressed on the basis that they were born that way.

26 years later I have the tune in my head again. This time the words have been twisted, distorted and turned to a new purpose. This time it's about being grey.

I'm trying to find work. Me. I've been working pretty much non-stop since I was 14. All through University I worked, and I don't mean in the bar. That was for social stuff. So not working for, what, six weeks now is as alien as alien can be.

I've had interviews. Four actually. Plus done numerous tests. I want to talk about them. I need to talk about them because the frustration is at boiling point, I've already broken down in tears and I actually found myself calling the nearly-ex because I had to talk to some one.

So the first. With megacorp. Initially I had a telephone interview, for an hour, it was very intense. Twenty minutes later I got the call to ask whether I could go and do a face-to-face. Now I was on the last day with my old client, so not a problem, I said I could and 90 minutes after my initial telephone interview I was in castle-megacorp for a two and a half hour interview. Remember this is unprepared. I've not even been able to change, I am tired, emotional, fired up and on the ball. They had interviewed more than 20 people. When I checked it was down to two. I was one of them...

I didn't get the role. The reason given, which I agreed with, was that they felt my HTML5 wasn't as sharp as it could be, and the other persons was better. But their Javascript was worse. It was a Javascript role. Okay, I will partially accept this. Pity.

Next interview. For a permanent role. Interview time, three hours. I did four tests, I talked a lot, it was seriously intense. I met the CEO and COO. They had seen many people. I was the only one left standing. They decided not to appoint. The reasoning was that as I'd spent the last two years doing freelance and contract work I might not stick around, which I had explained whilst we met. It took a few days to get to this point. I was distraught, but could see their point and, actually, recognised that such an appointment was critical and they had to be sure.

I really am fucking stupid.

Next. Now this splits around number four, so bear with me. First I had the telephone interview (one hour) then was called in for a long interview. Nearly four hours. With three different people. Again, an important position. They have been hunting for the right person for some time. I will admit I was seriously tired, one of the side effects of all this is I am beyond stressed and not sleeping. This on top of the usual nonsense swilling round my head like some foetid cesspit of confusion. One thing I was really aware of was, well, the age of the people interviewing me. The lead in the relevant area had been out of university as long as I've been freelancing in London. Hmm. Not an issue for me, I want to create stuff. The third interviewer made me realise that I was in deep trouble, he asked the innocent question...
"Why would anyone with this much experience want to do a job like this?..."
Oh. Marvellous.

I didn't get the role, they felt I "didn't have the right skills for this role". Hold on to that thought, I'll be coming back to it...

Then we have number three (see what I did there?). Now I liked this, it was a consultancy, it was interesting, I would get to talk with people and write clever stuff. They had seen a lot of people and they said I would hear on Monday. I didn't. I hassled. I didn't. I hassled again and the agent said...

It's down to two people.

And I'm one of them. But there is some inexplicable delay in deciding. Oh. Fucking. Great.

I made platitudes. I hung up. And then I contemplated what I've been doing today. I've been doing formal tests. My average score over the three was 94%. On one I reckon the single answer I got wrong was because they didn't take in to account that a CSS3 supporting version of firefox *only* supports a certain feature in specific versions, I had similar issues with the others, and pointed them out. Stroppy cow? Moi? I should be pleased. The average worldwide is 70%. Not 94% then.

Which goes to prove that I don't have the right skills for a frontend javascript/html5/css3 role.


Which I've been doing for multiple clients for the last few years. Plus much more.

At this point, dear reader, I burst in to tears.

Yep, such a girl. Even if I've closed Pandora's box for now I can't just turn my mind in to some automaton. Neither can I remove a large part of 31 years of experience.

So. Here's the problem...
Iz it because I iz northern
Iz it because I iz experienced
Iz it because I iz old

All together now...
Sing if you're glad to be grey
Sing if you're happy that way

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