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Quite a week… July 11, 2009

Posted by Matt Domm in Life, Random rants.
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Well, a week of ups and downs (mostly downs).

Last weekend, I had two interviews arranged (well, one recruitment day) set up for this week – good going as I’d not had one until this point. Today it is Saturday and neither of those happened.

Obviously I have no frame of reference, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t good interview technique if you phone your interviewee half an hour before the time and tell him “sorry, we’ve relocated our office – we can’t do the interview today.” Apparently, they’d only just got internet access to find my number… Didn’t go home for the weekend, then?

To cut a long story short – let’s face it, this isn’t interesting to anyone but me… I had to reschedule for the date the recruitment day was. The only reasons were: I thought I’d be better at this job, it was more money and it was a better location.

Turns out someone else was better or, apparently, Superman. The evening before my interview, a swift email told me the position had been filled – good job I have internet at home, isn’t it?

There is an upside – those of you still reading would be pleased to know – the website I’ve been working on behind the scenes is finally up, and I have been able to put effort in what with not going to interviews… So please take a look and let me know.

P.s. sorry for the long delay for such an awful post – I’ll update frequently from today onwards. Promise.


Pet hate #1: Morons who think they’re right… But are wrong! June 20, 2009

Posted by Matt Domm in Life, Pet hates, Random rants.
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I have a lot of pet-hates, but people thinking they’re right when you know 100% that they aren’t, is my biggest. I was reminded of my intolerance of such people whilst in my car recently.

If drivers must prove they are road-safe, then so should those who travel by foot. I propose a new law that pedestrians should be made to pass a ‘Green Cross Code test’ before stepping out of their houses.

If I, or anyone else, was to hit a pain in the arse pedestrian who doesn’t know the rules of the road then I’m certain the law would be more than happy to take my licence away when, realistically, the walker should have their feet sawn off.

No, I’m not confessing to any recent hit-and-runs – but I can give an example…

The other day I stopped at a red light. As I’m meant to, well done me. It was a pelican crossing (I even know the names) so I, of course, waited for people to cross the road until the light changed from red. This is where it gets tricky – there is no-one on the crossing at it starts to flash orange: which means, as we all know, that drivers must wait for people to get off the crossing but NO ONE CAN START TO CROSS.

Herein is the problem: just as I start to drive off – after making sure no-one is there – a couple decide that their lives are irrelevant, and start to cross while the lights are flashing amber. Of course I stop again but they are now taking the piss – the woman takes an age to get to the other side, so I help her across by edging towards my destination. Cue stupid woman thinking she is right, pointing at the lights while they flash to suggest I have done something wrong…

If there weren’t other cars behind me I would have happily walked with her to a bookshop to find her a copy of the green cross code, where I’m sure there’s a list of what crossings do what. Nothing winds me up more than know-it-alls who actually know fuck all.

She’d soon be sorry when she fails her ‘walking test’ on something so simple as lacking the common sense to cross the road… which makes me wonder actually how many accidents are caused by idiots like this.

Who else would feel a whole lot safer if pedestrians had to prove they are worthy of using roads – just as we drivers are?

Working for free – the result of my degree June 5, 2009

Posted by Matt Domm in journalism, Life, work.
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It’s about time I wrote something relating to my field of expertise – journalism. I use that term as I assume a journalism degree at the very least allows me to call myself an expert – I can’t call myself a ‘journalist’ yet, let’s face it.

Four years ago, a letter to the editors of my local rags enquiring about a trainee scheme was, I hoped, my first step on what is an extremely long ladder. A very small step it proved to be as my applications were all routinely denied, except one. No, it didn’t offer me a place, merely advice on how to get into the industry.

I needed formal qualifications – an NCTJ accredited course or equivalent – to even become a junior. To cut a long story short here I am, four years later, clutching waiting for my degree – and I am most definitely not even a junior.

Instead, I have become qualified to whore myself out – for free – to anyone willing to accept my blood, sweat and (lots of) tears in exchange for a byline and a sentence on a piece of paper entitled ‘cv’. Be it writing for websites or interning at magazines, it is a tricky road to even get to the stage of charging for my effort, let alone making a living out of it.

With three placements recently completed and another lined up later in the year, and contributing to a couple of sport websites I am very slowly moving up the ladder to rung… two, probably. I imagine rung three is the holy grail of being paid in money rather than gratitude so, by my maths, I will be 25 by the time I can actually claim to be a proper journalist.

What an industry and what a price to pay for ambition… but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I wonder if McDonalds is recruiting?

Hot Air Balloon pilot – the easiest job in the world? June 1, 2009

Posted by Matt Domm in Life, Random rants.
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They actually fly these things?

They actually fly these things?

Where do I apply? As far as I can tell, the only experience I need is that I can wait for a phone call to tell me I don’t need to fly today – now, I’ve never flown anything but, from my experience of air balloon flights, so far  nor have they, surely?

What a fantastic weekend of weather we’ve had; the birds loved it, the bees loved it but, alas, it has been too windy for me to take my girlfriend on a floating basket – a gift I bought for her birthday, last November. That’s right, windy – and how can I argue with their “safety levels”?

Usually when I think of the weather as ‘windy’, I imagine full-grown men fighting for their lives on the seven seas; not a small tree outside my window gently swaying in the whirlwind created by a butterfly flapping its wings. Which, in case you’re wondering, is what I was looking at when I listened to the recorded message cancelling our fourth attempt at this cursed experience.

At midday, I could see why the flight might have been cancelled – I mean a flag on St Andrew’s church was billowing – but by the evening it was as calm as Mother Theresa and Ghandi’s love-spawn. If I were in charge of one of these companies that supposedly operates balloon flights, I would have waited until I could see the wind was fading from 0.5 mph to nothing; I think the exact sentence the robot told me was “The winds will not have died down enough to be able to fly.” I have no idea who sends them their weather updates but I’m pretty sure I heard Michael Fish whispering in his ear.

The closest we’ll be getting to any ‘hot air’ is when I phone the company tomorrow morning to rearrange the date. Hopefully I’ll get lucky and next time it will be clear, dry and calm – that’ll be the flight cancelled then.

I can’t help but feel they’re taking me for a ride…

If only they would.