Wednesday, 30 December 2009

It's Christmas week, one Administrator job on board

Being Christmas week, only one "Administrator" is cropping up in my area on the main job boards, but look at this spec:
* Greeting customers, post and telephone duties
* Dealing with general enquiries
* Placing and chasing supplier orders
* Matching delivery notes with orders
* Administer clock cards and input timesheets
* Assist with payroll
* Arrange carriers and administer records
* Banking, Post office and filing
* Ad hoc general office duties

The usual thing that it combines the sort of computer input work I would be good at, but with customer and supplier contact that I wouldn't.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The death of the Office Christmas Party?

"The death of the Office Christmas Party?" on BBC News online struck a chord. The article is about how, understandably with the current recession, many companies are not having Christmas parties or if they are, getting staff to pay themselves. I do hope that those staff who wouldn't have wanted to go anyway, aren't forced to pay.

These were the comments in this article that really stood out for me:
- More people, like myself, prefer temporary contracts and do not expect, or want, to get involved with office based socialising. When I did have work I still preferred my away-from-work circles of friends, as described above.
- I'm not sad to see the end of the party, as a spouse I find that one ends up in a venue that really isn't to your taste, surrounded by people talking shop and trading office politics. Says it all, office politics was the biggest turn off for me.
- Who really wants to 'socialize' with their bosses anyway? Tomorrow I have an awkward lunch with my co-workers. Over the weekend I'll have a 'tree-trimming' party with friends, family, food and fun. No doubt which this person is clearly looking forward to a lot more.

I did try a couple of the parties when I had my last programmer's job in 1998 and 2000, ok those were paid for, but I did feel uncomfortable with some of the people at that place and I'm not one for meals out anyway, and in later years opted out. In my more recent admin work in the local public sector I was given peer pressure to go, resisted but got lots of "why aren't you going?" from my line managers and one particular person in the team at my level. There was to be a departmental lunchtime meal, a departmental ten pin bowling evening, and a big organisation-wide meal with disco, all at our own expense. Now I do enjoy bowling, and answered the line managers that I was going to that and felt it was unfair to criticise me for not joining anything when I was going, and I did enjoy it, but as for the meals that I wouldn't have enjoyed, for what I'd have paid to have gone, I went to several of the soul music dances I enjoy instead, with the better friends I have at those.

For how much I'm yearning for a job in my current unemployment, this time of year strikes me with that one thing I have not missed, the peer pressure to go to the office party and reading this article about their "death" strikes me, is that really such a bad thing anyway? The comments showed many folks aren't into socialising with their colleagues, just as I wasn't. I take the point that one person is quoted saying "The whole point of the Christmas party is saying thank you for all the things they have done throughout the year", but there are other ways of doing that anyway.

This post on the Career Surgery on Jobsite is a good read on the subject too.

Monday, 14 December 2009

"Present a professional personal brand" - Reed e-mail newsletter about a timewasting e-mail

As I'm registered on Reed for e-mail alerts and to search and apply online on that site, it sends me e-mail newsletters every so often. This latest one struck a chord for me.

Headlined "Present a professional personal brand" it continued:
Whether you're a new starter or a company veteran, maintaining professionalism can make the difference between keeping your career on track or hitting the buffers, as one employee found out to her detriment last week. A female graduate trainee found herself out of a job after resigning from a leading global accounting firm due to an email she described to the Daily Mail as "just a light hearted joke to celebrate Christmas". The message, sent to female colleagues asking them to vote on who the best looking and best dressed man in the office was, found its way around the world. She resigned just 24 hours later.

This just made me wonder, was she someone who had initially impressed the interviewer with her "good communication skills", started the job and then done this? It annoys me so much that I'd undoubtedly have been pipped at the post in the interview by this very person, yet had I got the job I wouldn't have pulled a timewasting stunt like that!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Interview rejection of "People who may not fit in"

This thread on the Money Saving Expert forum was posted when the poster attended an interview, didn't get the job, asked for feedback and was told the job went to someone more qualified, later found the same job re-advertised with an additional comment "previous applicants need not apply".

Replies pointed out that employers are entitled to decide who they want to hire, as long as they don't act illegally, and to re-advertise if they don't find someone suitable. Poster 10 struck a chord when an interviewer was impressed with their experience, qualifications and fed back about performing very well in the interview but weren't sure about whether this poster would fit in their team and they didn't know why, the poster going on to state he didn't have any personality issues.

A later poster talks of how "People who may not fit in" are not covered under antidiscrimation laws, whilst technically with a named disability I would be covered, an interviewer can still get round it by justifying the communication required in the role and stating that I wouldn't fit in, and they merely chose the right person, and I could go for such a long time not being anyone's right person.