Plants, Jobsearch Frustration and Other Stuff

As today’s photos will make clear, the Nicotiana and Geraniums that featured earlier in this blog are in magnfiicent fetle, helped by the belated arrival of some proper summer weather.

The following job description comes from Friday’s job search, and was a source of considerable annoyance:


We are currently looking to recruit an enthusiastic and highly efficient candidate to work within our team. Day to day tasks will include scanning, filing, photocopying, post runs and assisting in the smooth running of the office. You will be highly organised with a strong work ethic and have experience of working in a busy office. A full driving licence and basic computor skills are essential. The position is a full time position however part time applicants will be considered. The vacancy has an immediate start date.

How to apply

You can apply for this job by sending a CV/written application to Karen Farrell at Mick George LTD, Second Drove, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 4YQ or to

Most of the job description is standard fare for an office job. The bit that aroused my ire is the demand for a full driving licence in his context. A few seconds on Google maps confirmed that the location is not such as to make a demand for a full driving licence defensible. Yes the job requires getting there for an 8AM start, but leaving King’s Lynn on the 5:46 train and changing to he appropriate bus at Cambridge would see me getting there at 7:42AM (and this would not represent the earliest start I have ever had to make to arrive at work on time). Full details can be seen by clicking the link below:

If there is a VALID reason such as a location hat is genuinely inaccessible oher than by car, or the job actually requires driving then no problem (evidence as to why a driving licence is a necessity would be a big help), but requiring a driving licence for an office job without justification is a form of discrimination agains both those who are officially barred from driving due to a medical condition, and those who better than to trust themselves in sole control of a ton of metal with people’s lives depending on the outcome. Given the failure to explain this requirement and the fact that a trifling amount of reserach on my part made it clear that location is not a proper explanation I am disinclined to be charitable. As a final point, there is no contest as to who is more likely to be punctual out of me, with a clearly worked out public transport route, or any motorist relying on an estimate of how long the journey will take them, and it is not the motorist who wins.

After the rainout in Cardiff on Frday, the ODI series between England and South Africa should get underway properly today.

The promised photos…


Of Peterborough and Postponement

I travelled to Peterborough yesterday to provide Hays Recruitment with some proofs of ID as required for the vacancy that I was supposed to be interviewing for today. Peterborough is a surprsingly pleasant place once you get away from the area round the bus and train stations, which is even more hideous than the corresponding part of Lynn. I got back to Lynn to find an email from a Hays consultant asking me to phone them. It turns out that the assessor is sick and no replacement has yet been found, so I now endure a wait to find out when thi interview will be happening.

Belated congratulations to South Africa who outplayed England conclusively in the recently concluded test series and thoroughly deserve their world number one ranking. Jonathan Bairstow, replacing the ostracised Kevin Pietersen in the side contributed two fine innings (95 and 54), but the top order failed in both innings. The other youngster in the side, James Taylor, showed that he has the temperament for the big occasion, and was unlucky in the second innings when his senior partner, Jonathan Trott, caused him to be run out. Surrey kept alive their hopes of qualifying from thier group of the CB40 (Clydesdale Bank 40 overs per side competition in full) by winning the Tom Maynard memorial match against Glamorgan on Tuesday. I listened to this first on my radio, and then on the computer when the powers that be decided that spoilt babies in football kits (yes, they are back in action for the new season) took precedence on 5 live sports extra.

I have some photos for you as usual (please note that the first and last pictures were taken through the window of a bus)…




Telephone Interview, Birds and Birdmen

As I write this England are struggling horribly in the third test match against South Africa, which they need to win to retain their world no 1 ranking. Kevin Pietersen was omitted because he sent derogatory text messages about Andrew Strauss to various members of the South African squad. Quite rightly this was considered unacceptable, so England have two youngsters (James Taylor and Jonathan Bairstow) on the middle order.

The big event for me this week was a telephone interview for a job as Order Administrator for Virgin Media, based in Peterborough. If you are thinking that a telephone interview would be tough for an aspi you are absolutely right, but having located a document that explained how to handle an interview of this nature (competency based) I was able to succeed. The approach is known by the acronym STAR, which stands for Situation/Task; Action; Result. more details on this technique can be found at

I now wait to find out exactly when I will need to go to Peterborough for the next stage (it will be some time on Thursday, with a view if all is still well to a start on Tuesday 28 August (last Monday in August is always a bank holiday).

As always I have some photos for you…


That was the week that was

I have had a busy week. On Monday I attended an interview at Sainsbury’s. This consisted of two parts, a DVD based assessment which was in the main very straightforward. The only part of this assessment that caused me a furrowed brow was the attention to detail section. At the opposite end of the scale was the “basic maths” section, which Elias or Evie could probably have done without undue difficulty. This was followed by a fairly informal one to one discussion which seemed to go well.

The online learning for the course I am acting as guinea pig for three my week slightly off kilter because owing to a problem on my own computer I had to book a session at Learning Works (outside my volunteer hours) to complete it. The combination of this, my other plans and the fact that I have to stow my computer away somewhere when the cleaner comes because she, understandably, does not like trailing wires meant that I concluded my weeks jobsearch only just in time to email the results to my caseworker at Seetec, which leads to…..

The latest example that I have personally received of the contempt that the mollycoddled old Etonians who comprise our government have for the unemployed. I received a letter from the DWP today reminding of the sanctions that can placed on people who are on the Work Programme if they do not meet their obligations. The implication behind this could not be clearer had they spelt it out: If you are unemployed it must be because you are slacking. Not only is unemployment overall rising, but the statistics relating to disabled people make especially grim reading (and if the Remploy closures go ahead they are about to get even more disgraceful). 51% of all disabled people in this coutry are unemployed, and for those with non-physical disabilities that rises to a jaw-dropping 75%. I makes these points not in any spirit of self pity but just to back up the fact that unemployed does not equate to lazy.

Thursday gave me an opportunity to hone my timekeeping skills. I had booked a morning session at Learning Works to finish the online learning for my current course. Knowing that for the rest of my day to work as planned I needed to be on the 1:45 bus to East Rudham (whence I would going on to Norwich for an evening meeting having attended to matters there) I set myself to have the work done by 12:00. This was achieved comfortably inspite of having to switch computers part way through. I was thus able to to visit East Rudham and then get on to Norwich by 4:30PM, which gave me time to visit the library and get some supper before the meeting.

just a couple og photos this week…


All sorts

Last Saturday was Norwich Pride, and what a huge success it was. The parade was much bigger than last years. The whole of Norwich was dominated by the events that formed Norwich Pride, with rainbow flags adorning the castle and the city hall among other buildings. The forum was packed for most of the day with people looking at the stalls.

Wall to wall sport this week, with the Olympics in full swing and a test match going on. The test match is interestingly poised, with England 48-0 in reply to South Africa’s 371. 

Last night’s meeting of my Aspergers group went well, and we had a new person attend, which is always good news.

Two big events coming up next week for me: The interview on Monday, and an Open Day at Learning Works on Wednesday at which I shall be assisting.

All todays photo’s are from Norwich Pride…