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Posts Tagged ‘boredom’

  1. New boring work that is hopefully not boring

    December 16, 2011 by superlative

    This is following on from my recent post about the interview I had for a secondment opportunity in our central web team.

    The short version is I didn’t get it, but it looks like I’ve got something else which may even be better, and I’m quite pleased.

    I went to my interview on Wednesday morning, and did a ‘Short technical test’ (which I stormed) and then a surprisingly long interview of about 50 minutes, which seemed quite a lot for an internal post. They asked me lots of questions and I answered them all (as is traditional with conversations), and it was quite good natured and relaxed, and I came out feeling pretty good about it. I’d been really nervous beforehand, and was terrified I would balls it up and make a fool of myself, but actually once I was in the interview and talking it didn’t feel too hard at all. I did myself justice, and it was fine.

    Unfortunately, that wasn’t actually enough to get me the job. One of the other applicants (whom I vaguely know) was far better qualified, with a degree in programming and loads of professional experience, and apparently although we both interviewed equally well, I was just outclassed in terms of skill. There’s nothing I can do about that really.

    And I’m actually not sorry. There were aspects of the job that I was applying for which didn’t sound very nice (being hassled a lot by people, for example), and after the interview I’d kind of made up my mind that I didn’t want it. That was partly a pragmatic opinion, and partly a panicked one because I don’t deal with change very well. Either way, I would still have taken the job if offered it because I couldn’t possibly turn it down when I desperately need more development experience, more variety in my work, and when I bitch constantly about being bored. So I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t offer it to me, and was relieved when they didn’t.

    However, the story does not end there. When the interviewing man came to see me to let me know the outcome (which I thought was odd, as he could have just rung me), he said unfortunately we aren’t able to offer you the job BUT we’d like to offer you something else.

    In essence what he said was they really liked me, I did well at the interview and they know I’m good, and I had made them wish they had two jobs they could fill. They were also very sensitive to the reasons I gave for applying: namely that I need more opportunity to do development work (as opposed to the web editing I mostly do); that I am ready for a change after four years in my job; and that it would do me a lot of good to work with and around other web professionals instead of entirely on my own in a little office in a field.

    So what they have offered to do is to buy me for two days a week from my manager so that I can go and work in the central web team on development projects, and then for the other three days I’ll do my normal job in my current office. And actually that will suit me really, really well. I’m ever so pleased. I’ll basically get to do exactly what I wanted, to gain more experience so I’m better placed for applying for jobs in the future, to improve my development skills, and to work with other web people, but I don’t have to do the hassle parts of the job I applied for, and I don’t have to leave the friends I have in my current office. And if I’m completely honest, I’ve said a number of times in the past that I could probably do my job in three days a week anyway, so my faculty won’t actually be losing anything. My manager saves money on his staff budget, I get the experience I want and a change of scene, they get extra help in the web team (they’re woefully understaffed), and I’ll be in a better position when they review how we support our websites in a year or two’s time to make sure I can slot into any new roles they create and not find myself redundant. It’s pretty much a win all round. I suppose technically yes I’ll be working harder for the same money, but that basically means I’ll deserve my money because at the moment I’m paid a lot for doing not very much.

    So I’m pleased, and I hope nothing happens to scupper it. With a bit of luck I’ll be able to start in my new half-role in January. Multi-yay.


  2. Boring work, possible new boring work

    December 2, 2011 by superlative

    I’m not writing very much again this week as I really haven’t been up to all that much. We had friends to stay last weekend, which was nice, and we had dinner at the recently revamped restaurant in the Lansdowne Place Hotel, which was pretty good but not amazing. Other than that I’ve just been plodding along at work the same as normal.

    I do however have an interview coming up now for a secondment opportunity elsewhere in the university. It’s still a web job, but it is working in the main part of our web team doing a hopefully more challenging role involving more development work. The interview’s in about a week and a half.

    I’m a bit nervous about it, because I haven’t done an interview for four years, and it will be a panel of people who know me so I can’t blag it or make stuff up. In some ways that’s a good thing though, because they already know that I’m good at what I do and they should have a good idea of whether I’m suitable for the job or not.

    I think that I want it, if only because I really need SOMETHING; I can’t carry on being bored all the time and not really doing anything most days. I am scared though, because I’m not very good at change, and although I complain bitterly (and constantly) about how dull my job is, it is at least cosy and not stressful and I know what I’m doing with it.

    I’ll go to the interview anyway, and then we’ll see what happens. It sounds like they’re interviewing more than one person for it, so I might not even get it. But if I do it should be a good opportunity, and I’ll be an actual web developer again instead of a sack of meat on a wheely chair. So wish me luck!


  3. Becoming de-skilled

    January 7, 2011 by superlative

    I’m totally becoming de-skilled at work I think, and it’s not good.

    I’m writing this post at home, which I almost never do, and that in itself is quite telling. When I want to blog about something, I usually just bash a post out at work because a lot of the time my workload is so light that it really doesn’t make a lot of difference. And in some ways that’s very nice – my job is pretty easy, I’m not often very busy, and it doesn’t stress me out in the slightest because quite frankly how can one become stressed out poncing about on Facebook and Twitter for most of the day?

    But in the longer term I’m starting to think that it’s not very good for me. At all.

    Officially, I am a web developer and I’m required to have the skills that job title involves. In practice however, the vast majority of my work is web editing – updating text, doing a bit of HTML, cropping and tidying up a few images, and that’s it. I do some proper development from time to time, when I have to create a new site from scratch, but I probably only do in depth development projects about twice a year. And for the rest of the year I sit on my ass and copy-paste text into Dreamweaver.

    I try to keep my skills up to date as much as I can, usually through self study and also occasionally with training courses. I need to do so both for my sanity (I’m frequently in danger of slipping into a coma at work), and also so that when a web development project does come up I have some reasonably modern skills to use for it. So since I’ve been working in a dedicated web role, I’ve greatly improved my knowledge of PHP, I learnt Javascript and then jQuery, I did a bit of Flash, I polished up my Photoshop abilities, I started doing a bit on object oriented programming, and I learnt to build sites in WordPress.

    But my problem is I don’t really get to use any of this in my job. I use the PHP a bit, and I’ve done one piece of work that used jQuery. And other than that it’s just a case of going “oh that was interesting”, putting my book down, and then promptly forgetting everything I’d just taught myself over the next few months.

    And it’s very frustrating! My job isn’t challenging, BUT it pays well (I’m overpaid really given the level of the work I spend most of my time on) and it’s a nice environment. If I wanted to take a more challenging job, given my actual level of skill and experience, I would have to take a pay cut. And who wants to take a pay cut and move into a more precarious position in the private sector?

    So anyway, I’m just a bit annoyed at the moment. I really enjoy doing some proper web programming but I never get the chance to, and then it takes me ages when I do because I can’t remember the stuff I used to know. I feel like I’ve stalled professionally, I’ve got nowhere to move up to in my current institution, and I can’t move out elsewhere without losing money. I suppose really I should work on some projects of my own – either just for fun or as freelance projects. It’s just hard to find the energy for it when I’m at work full-time already.

    And I don’t know what I’d build if I wanted to do something just for fun. I made an online comic publishing system once, that was quite interesting to do (this was before I knew about things like WordPress that I could do it in now much more easily). And I made this listings site for a friend, and that was challenging trying to get all the bits working the way she wanted.

    Maybe I will have a little ponder about things I could make just to see if I can do it. And if I think of something good I can try to use some of the things I used to know about and have forgotten, and might even learn something new along the way.


  4. Braindead and mildly schizophrenic

    September 16, 2008 by superlative

    God yesterday was just the worst, most boring day I’ve had in ages. I’ve got very little work to do, and the work I have got is both pointless and mind-numbing. On top of that, our office is currently plagued by a million tiny black flies that are coming out of the pot plants. They are attracted by the CO2 you breathe out, which means they end up flying right around your mouth and eyes, making them impossible to ignore and causing me to keep leaping backwards and flapping my arms throughout the day like I’m having a minor hallucination.

    So not only am I bored rigid, I’m also undergoing psychological torture, and it’s driving me CRAZY.

    On a lighter note, BBC weatherman Matt Taylor is gorgeous. I want to bite him.