Thursday, 10 December 2009

‘Thank you for your application…’

Not only are they thanking you for submitting your generic covering letter, they’ve also been dazzled by your embellished CV. Great stuff, but don’t pop the cork just yet, there’s still work to be done. If you’d like to be relieved from the despair of daytime television, Jimmy’s Fried Chicken & Kebab, and conversations with the postman, you’ll really have to nail the interview. Follow these reliable steps and you’ll be nailing jelly to the wall.

ONE. Wear a bowtie – Yes ladies, you too. Nothing says ‘I can get the job done.’ quite like a tuxedo. You weren’t just going to wear the tie were you? That’s the kind of half-baked mentality that will make you ‘unsuccessful on this occasion.’

TWO. A pipe never fails to impress.

THREE. Establish your character with a firm handshake. It’s likely you’ve spent most of your time ‘in between jobs’ putting more hours into the PS3 and bashing all hell out of your bishop than applying for jobs, so try not to crush the interviewers hand.

FOUR. Research the company. Inside information will have employers feeling like you’re part of the team before the interview is up. Who’s sleeping with who? Who got kicked out of the local last Friday? Who used a sick day to get their Christmas shopping done?

FIVE. Put your feet up. Drag a chair over; plant them on the desk, whatever. It’ll make you appear comfortable.

SIX. Smile. Don’t be afraid to show some teeth. A nice smile can put a room at ease, especially if you have the kind of face that found its way into the adoption program.

SEVEN. If you don’t have an iPhone, rent one.

EIGHT. You’re going to want to appear like the hottest prospect since Mylie Cyrus, so get a friend to call you a couple times. ‘Sorry, could you give me a minute? I have to take this.’ Step out of the room, make a show of it, take a few tokes of that pipe.

NINE. They are going to want you ask a few questions of your own. This is a great chance to sell yourself, not the time to ask about the boring stuff you could have Googled. Try something suggestive like, ‘Is there a local gym?’ Flex the biceps a little.

TEN. ‘We are impressed by your visual eccentricities and the past experiences documented on your CV. But could you share with us some of your weaker points?’ Every candidate goes silent at this point. It’s a question you never take the time get your mind around, so when asked all you can think about are the weak points you don’t particularly wish to share. ADD, your disregard for authority, anger management sessions, the real reason you’re unemployed, rehab, your criminal record, the lady under your floorboards, it’s not really your iPhone, etc. Don’t say ANY of these things! Instead, with a face straighter than Ron Burgundy’s say, ‘I don’t have any.’

Now if you don’t get the job after that you may just fancy reassessing what you plan to do with the rest of your life.

A to the . . .

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Lunch Hour

Without a doubt the quickest hour of the working day. What to eat? Where to get it? How much to spend? . . . The possibilities are far from endless and as exciting as watching paint dry . . . in a paint pot . . . with 3D glasses.

There are options, limited ones, but options nonetheless.

If your day’s not too busy you’ve probably been weighing up these options from about 09:15 or so. You’ve just finished a bowl of Kellogg’s Special K (or a real breakfast if you’re one of the few people left not on a diet), and you’re staring at a monitor thinking, ‘what should I have for lunch today?’

It’s quite an important decision as it could affect how your afternoon rounds off. How do I feel? What did I have yesterday? Do I need a shit?

There’s always the safe bet, a sandwich. The marvel we know as sliced bread was created solely for this purpose. I can’t help but drool wondering how large sandwiches were before sliced bread was invented. The good old days when a chicken sandwich may have actually contained whole bones! Now you buy it, you open it and then wallow in self-pity. This is what my life has become, sandwiches on the bench in between the high street’s two longest serving crazies as they argue Brown v Cameron.

…worse still if you’ve been to Subway. Then you feel like a kid in a carnival trying to knock down three cans with one ball.

An alternative is the usually cost effective grease box – not as in soliciting, although there are similarities. Junk food, the nation’s favourite mass pastime after X Factor (there aren’t figures to back that up). It’s cheap, bad for you and ready to go. We feel good whilst eating our oil drenched chips and deep fried jumbo sausages, but the comedown is horrendous and it’s so hard to shake off the shame. Society is filled with wannabe health freaks that couldn’t tell a tomato from a pomegranate. ‘Do you know how many calories are in the chips alone?’ Nope, but I’m guessing not as much as your muffin tops.

Payday, lotto winnings (not enough to quit your job) or a colleague’s birthday can set up the best lunch of all. The sit down meal. We’d all love to eat out of the gold plated trough five days a week – and could probably afford to if we walked 14miles instead of taking the train – but it’s just not feasible. So when the opportunity does arise the concern isn’t why we’re eating out, but where we’re eating.

…’Oh, happy birthday by the way.’

As the month draws to an end and funds begin to run low, out comes the Tupperware. As sure an indicator of poverty as putting £5 worth of fuel in your car . . . and paying with coins . . . lots and lots of coins. Of course some people purposely cook for lunch, their meals contain meat, veg and some sort of side – it’s balanced. However, it’s most likely the dregs of last nights’ meal crammed into a plastic pack and your granary roll isn’t fooling anyone. Once done with the microwave are you greeted with, ‘Hmmm, that smells delicious’ or ‘Erm, that smells in-ter-res-ting?’

Seeing as you can (and most people do) spend most of the day eating at your desk anyway, it’s unlikely that the appeal of the lunch hour is food. We are of course at times hungry enough to eat a horse, though rarely given the opportunity to test the theory. The appeal of the lunch hour is knowing that for at least 60 minutes you’re free from the hassles of your job that make you wonder why you don’t just turn the alarm off each morning and stay in bed instead of pressing snooze. What’s a snooze really, other than a soon be reason as to why you were late and will as a result work through your lunch break?

A to the . . .

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Hitting The Right Vein

True Blood – Season One

Tits, ass, murder and more tits. The highly promoted vampire series has all of this in great abundance. It is certainly not one to watch with the parents, unless of course your dad bought you your first porno mag . . . and showed you how to use it! Shudder.

Over halfway through the first season I figure I should have grasped an idea as to what all the fuss is about. Does the show have any real substance, and can the storyline carry it? Well it’s not gripping, but it’s certainly fun. True Blood is not a show that relies on cliffhangers week in week out to reel the audience back in. The idea here is that you’ll enjoy the fifty or so minutes so much that you’ll already be looking forward to the next installment before the current one is done.

Those yet to be exposed to the blood fest, open your minds to a world adjusting to humans and vampires cohabiting. You don’t need to go too far back in the history books to know that the up rise of any minority group has never been a smooth ride – so buckle up as it’s no different here. To make it an even bumpier ride the show is set in Bon Temps, Louisiana. The town is fictional so don’t go there looking for a ‘fang bang’, but I have it on good word that the State of Louisiana is very much real.

We are in the Bible Belt of America, and we have Vampires. A clear binary you’d think; good v evil. Yes, but we’ve seen good v evil more times than Amy Winehouse has been spotted in a KFC. So what’s so special here? Firstly, no one is really that good, least of all the humans you’d naturally identify with. The town oozes fornication, murder, racism, bigotry and more. And those exempt are either half-past crazy or (soon to be) dead.

True Blood is highly rated here in the UK and it’s a show I certainly recommend to those not easily offended. It’s fun, frisky and imaginative, with bimbos for the guys and jocks for the gals. Aside from the jiggling breast shots there are generous helpings of genuine romance, mystery, suspense and thriller – don’t forget the laughs, the show doesn't take itself too seriously.

You can catch leading lady Sookie, Vampire Bill, their friends and foes Wednesday nights on Channel 4 from 10pm. You haven’t missed much, jump online and catch the first two episodes on 4OD.

A to the . . .