Monday, September 6, 2010

Unemployed No More

Today I got a job. Well, actually I got two.

I woke up early and got ready for my day and my aptitude test. I was wearing the same thing as when I had my interview because I didn't want to risk picking out something new because I have no fashion sense and it's just pure luck I got a nice combination of clothes last time. This time I brought a pen and I remembered the documents I needed, so I was feeling very prepared.

The car was empty, so I stopped by a petrol station to put five ringgits' worth of petrol in it and drove over to the office. I arrived a wee bit early, so I read a few pages of The World Is Flat before going up for my aptitude test.

I was let in to the second floor and told to wait. I met two other applicants, Victor and Sean. We talked about college and stuff for a while. I also noticed that the nice paintings in the lobby are actually the same scene with different colours so it looks like Summer, Spring, Autumn, and Winter. That discovery made them that much nicer.

Jack came in and told us that there was something new that had just come up. There was some part-time work with HP Customer Support that had just come up, so if we wanted to we were welcome to take that on as well. It would be from 8am-12am from Mondays to Wednesdays and the pay would be RM12 per hour. It wasn't for long, though, the job would be finished at the end of October.

We met with two guys in charge of the HP thing. One guy was called Dave and I think the other guy was called Sukarno. We were briefed on what our job would be and why we would be needed. Basically, people with HP desktop computers would be calling us about their computer problems, and if they had a warranty we'd process their information and then send their call to the appropriate department so that they could get their stuff fixed. If they didn't have a warranty, it would be our job to sell one to them. If they needed new computer parts, we'd have to try and sell those, too. Also we learned that the payroll department had recently decided to do the pay on a monthly basis instead of a weekly one, so we'd be getting our money in one big lump at the end of the month.

After the brief, we were sent on our way to the third floor for our aptitude test. We were told that the test was going to be handled by Ms Cali and that she would meet us in around five minutes. While we waited, I talked to the guys about how my typing speed was so fast, which led to a discussion on RuneScape. As a side note to anyone who cares (which is nobody except me in the future, looking through this post to try and recall what this day was like and feeling immense shame every time another I spot another error), I made a little over a million gp recently by buying up yews when they were bottoming out and selling them right at the peak of the bonus XP weekend. Boom, 20% profit, which is brilliant. Anyway, after I was done with my rather long and very nerdy speech, we started talking about what we which jobs we'd be doing. Victor still hadn't sorted out his schedule for college, so he wasn't sure if he could get either job. Sean had classes from one to five, so Roy Morgan was probably out of the question.

By then it had been a while and there was still no sign of Ms Cali and we started to consider the idea that maybe the test had already started and they were trying to see who would take initiative to go look for her. I volunteered to do it, but right after I went outside I saw a lady walking over to the room we were in, so I rushed back over.

Ms Cali asked us what we knew about the job we would be doing, so I told her what I had learned from the websites. She said that I was exactly right, so we got to skip a bit of introduction there. We were briefed about the aptitude test. We were told what it was for and what it would involve. After that she went out to set up the test and once again, we waited. I think I may have talked about gambling.

When everything was ready, Ms Cali came in to get the first applicant, which was me. The test involved reading out questions and filling in Ms Cali's answers. It was very straightforward. After it was over, she asked me how I thought I did. The first thing that came into my head was "7/10", but I couldn't figure out how to put that in words, so I just said "slightly better than average". She told me that my pace was too quick, which was a problem because New Zealanders are laid-back people who take life slow and talk slow, too. Also, I used words like "er" and "um" quite a bit, and I had a lot of dead air when I was filling in the responses. Overall, though, she said I did very well.

I waited outside in the lobby. There was a magazine on outsourcing on a table, so I read a bit of that. It was quite interesting. There was an article at the end about how 20% of Britons thought that Steve Jobs was a footballer, so that was interesting. After a while Sean came out and told me how he did. Apparently he got quite nervous and ended up with a lot of dead air. His pace was perfect, though, and he didn't have any difficulties with "er"s or "um"s, so he did better than me. We talked about 3D films for a long while after that. He had watched Avatar in 2D, and I was trying to convince him that it was worth a watch in 3D. When Victor was done, him and Sean went downstairs to wait for Jack. Meanwhile, I had to go back to get the photocopies of my IC and transcript that I had accidentally left behind.

I went downstairs and waited around for Jack to tell us what to do next. I continued my conversation with Sean by telling him about how post-production 3D was different than proper 3D and how it was the next big cinematic step and such. He was either genuinely listening to what I was saying or very polite and extremely good at feigning interest.

Jack showed up and told us that the HP training would start tomorrow, so he needed to know if that was okay with us. I told him that that was fine with me, Sean said that he had a presentation tomorrow for college that was quite important, and Victor told Jack that he needed time to sort out his schedule. After a discussion, Victor left. Jack said that there were no hard feelings, but he couldn't afford the time for Victor to sort everything out so Datacom would just bring in someone else since there were other applicants that Jack with going to meet with later on in the day.

Kuberan stopped by while Sean and I were waiting for the HP interview to begin. He told us about how he and Arun and Elo and the others had applied and how he had chosen to work with HP SEA (Sean and I would be doing HP ANZ) instead of Roy Morgan because there was this guy in Roy Morgan who he instantly hated. He said he's glad he got the HP job because he is literally being paid to sit around wasting time for most of the day. He only has to work when the calls come in, and the calls don't come in often, so he spends a lot of time watching stuff on YouTube. I think he's finished, like, five seasons of The Amazing Race or something. He also told us that the reason HP SEA was hiring us was because they had just recently decided to end the thing by October, so once everyone was notified they all started looking for new jobs and whenever they got a position they just left, so there were a lot less people to deal with the calls and that's why we were needed to fill some of the newly vacated spots.

So Sean and I went for the interview for the HP position. Once again we were in an interview room with Sukarno and Dave. Dave interviewed Sean and Sukarno interviewed me. The questions started off pretty normal, but they got unusual fast. They were also sneaky. There was on question that seemed like it was about what we'd do if we were asked about something we had no knowledge on, and it was actually a test for our listening skills since if we had paid attention during our first brief we would have known there was something wrong with the question. Sean did better in the interview than I did, but I felt pretty sure that I was going to get the job because of what Kuberan had said. Dave and Sukarno told us to wait outside while they discussed some stuff.

Sean and I waited in the comfy chairs near the nice paintings for a while and talked about stuff. After a short while Dave and Sukarno left the meeting room to hand in the forms they had filled out during the interview to Jack. When they passed us they joked that we had better settle how we were going to distinguish between ourselves or else they'd just hire one of us and not have to worry about having two people with the same name working for them. Unfortunately our names are spelled differently so the joke is impossible to write in text. Oh well.

Jack came out and told us that we had both passed. He collected the photocopies of my transcript and my IC and said that he would call us to let us know about the training, since it might start tomorrow or might be delayed to Wednesday, depending on whether he got enough people in the meanwhile. He told us that if we had any friends who needed jobs, we could ask them if they wanted to work at Datacom. I tried calling a bunch of people but the either weren't picking up or they already had jobs or they were going to start college midway through October so it wouldn't work. Anyway after that Jack said we could leave, so we did.

When I got back home I told everyone how my interview had gone, and my parents were pleased. Hannah started thinking up ways that I could spend my money. Most of her ideas involved paying for her stuff.

I called Clement to ask if he had any friends that needed jobs, and he said he did. I told them to call me if they were interested. I also called Jared and told him about the job.

After that I watched the first part of the Christmas Special for The Office, and then I took a nap. I woke up to a miscall, and then a few seconds later I got a call from Jack telling me about the HP Training. He told me which day it would start and what time it would be and who would be in charge and what their phone number was, and I wrote all of it down except the day. Right after the call was over I forgot what day the training was going to be. Fortunately Aunty Rosie was in the room when I answered the phone and she heard me say "the day after tomorrow", so I think it's Wednesday. It's from 7:45am (Well, technically 8:00am, but I'm to report at 7:45) to 5pm, and I'll be getting paid for it, which is good. The training will last for five days, I think, and then the Roy Morgan training is for three days from the 15th to the 17th.

After that I got a call from Jan. He was at the YMCA since his Advanced NCO Training thing had just finished, so I had to go pick him up. He told me stories from camp. Apparently they were staying at an NS barracks and they watched The Dark Knight as one of their lessons and also there was a gay guy named Leslie Gan and when Jan got home he told Hannah and me about how he accidentally "caressed" (that is the word he chose to use) some guy's junk while he was doing star jumps. I'm glad I'm not in BB any more.

Dinner was very delicious. Auntie Rosie made fish and chips, and the fish was very very very tasty because of some special marinade and nice breading. I got a call from one of Clement's friends during dinner and I told him how to get to the interview the next morning. After that I called Jared to ask if he was going, but he couldn't make it. Oh well.

I finished The Office by watching the second half of the Christmas Special and I was glad to see that it had a happy ending. Yes Hannah, I cried a little bit. Well, I didn't actually cry; not with noises or wails or sniffles or anything. I just felt a couple of tears welling up, all right?

Anyway hopefully the training starts Wednesday and not Tuesday or else I'm screwed.

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