Saturday, April 26, 2014

oh, flip

i've just published my modernized version of narcissus and echo after deciding that it's good enough without my pretentiously ruining it with rhyme. i came to the starbucks intending to sort out an nda for mti but my netbook is seriously griefing me. also, i don't feel like doing anything else until i finish posting, it's been a crazy few days and the weekend's probably going to be interesting too.

i'll start with a quick summary of the things at the forefront of my mind right now:
(in no particular order)

1. job hunting. i interviewed yesterday for the aerospace job. it's not exactly what i expected but it's still an awesome entry point and it has room for mobility in the right direction if i play my cards right. long story short, i interviewed well and already received feedback that i'm their top candidate. my recruiter's pressuring them to move quickly in light of my final interviews for the other super-exciting opportunity on tuesday and while writing this post received a callback.

2. gd. i've been weird about things for the last few days, but it's more psychological sabotage than anything real. everything's fantastic in spite of skeptical me and feels right.

3. i retook the french oral comprehension exam this morning. my oral comprehension has definitely gotten better, but the number of "je ne sais pas" answers has increased noticeably. i hope i improved my score!

tuesday evening:

the gym experience was full of amusing faux pas (mainly with the kickboxing couple) but was primarily a good, solid training. the jolly moroccan has been implementing the diet and was eager to report that he was feeling really good on it ^_^

the dark, quiet and wet streets on the way to gd's felt like home. i love that sensation, it reminds me of misty middle-of-the-night streets in cape town. gd gave me a quick pre-interview haircut, after which i was totally bombed and fell into bed.


i slept amazingly well, though it included a long dream in which i needed to escape from brother bear and i felt like i'd done something illegal. waking up was perfectly comfortable, and i left with gd who advised me to go to winners to find a tie for my big interview. winners wasn't open that early, so i spent the forty-five minutes waiting with a cup of tea and half-heartedly trying to produce poetry.

ties are stupidly expensive. i managed to find a couple that i liked and happened to be "discounted", but i think paying $10 for a tie is ridiculous so when i see a scratched out $50 i just don't know where to file the information. as it is, i was on my way out when i noticed a loose thread on one of them and i guess that was the reason for the "good" price.

i came home insanely hungry, peanut-buttered a couple of slices of toast and was walking past my desk calendar on my way to my computer when i noticed that i had made an appointment with army brat's recruiter that was going to begin in half an hour and i'd completely forgotten about it. what absurdly fortunate timing! i hurriedly stuffed the food into my mouth while pulling on some smart duds, left the recruiter a message to say i'd be a little late and fast-walked to the metro.

when i arrived, fifteen minutes late, the receptionist directed me to a computer where i'd have to fill out a form. annoyed - wasn't this supposed to be a meeting with a recruiter who already had my resume? - i started filling in my details but stopped when they asked for my social insurance number and i couldn't proceed without it. i returned to the receptionist's desk and told her i wasn't comfortable providing that, which prompted her to call the recruiter and disdainfully inform her that i wasn't playing ball.

the recruiter came out and asked what the problem was. she then explained to me that i could simply enter zeros in that field instead, told me that the receptionist was supposed to have let me know, and that i could ignore all the fields aside from the basic personal data. i certainly wasn't about to spend an hour telling them what's on my resume... which they had already... so i entered null data as much as i could so that they could let me sit down with the person i'd come to see.

let's just say they didn't make the greatest first impression on me ever. although, to be fair, it's better than another recruiting company that took over a year to contact me.


the actual meeting was pleasant, and the woman seemed to have a vague idea of what i'm about by the time i left. although she did say something really weird: apparently she has a number of employees who had to physically leave the country in order to apply for permanent residence. nobody else i know had that experience and that's certainly not what the immigration site says, so i can't help but feel that somebody there's doing something very wrong indeed.

i had a big lunch (i was still hungry) and then napped with french radio in the background. the cleaning lady arrived and gave me some very helpful immigration info - a real-life contact that i can consult for free! hooray! i napped a bit more and then hit the starbucks. i got some studying done and was comfortable except for a weird minute or two when i noticed that one of the eyes of a creepy-looking dude with a squint was on me and i couldn't figure out if he was staring at me or out the window.

i went to the further supermarket to pick up sublingual b12 for gd, and the walk there and back was consumed by my working on the performance of my latest piece. it's one thing to remember it all, it's quite another to get the emotions right :)

i made it to muay thai, which wasn't a great class for technique (i partnered with a beginner again) but it was excellent for conditioning. he made us work really, really hard. i chased that with boxing, but skipped sparring because i'm *not* risking concussion before two important interviews :P

gd came over for another relaxed evening.


i slept well, and woke up slowly and pleasantly. once gd had left i called back a company i'd applied for and the woman i spoke to was really nice; the only issue is that halfway through the call she informed me that their bread-and-butter is adult content. i decided that i'll interview anyway, but i'm not sure i'd accept a job like that.

the big interview: the only real preparation i had to do was dressing nicely. i gave gd a chance to vet my clothing before she left, and i walked out feeling capital! as in, like a capital letter. irrationally presentable, and just as confident without the fancy dress. but confident i most certainly was.

which is good, because i didn't have a chance to pick up coffee on the way. i was comfortably anyway, and i'd done some research so i ended up demonstrating my skill-set by asking more questions than they had the answers to. by the time i walked out i was feeling really good about our hour together, although there were a couple of things that i wasn't entirely happy with. i'd referred to "remote terminal" as "remote desktop" on a couple of occasions and they'd asked me to quantify my customer-facing experience. on the spot, i didn't really have anything to go on and i'd only figure out a rough estimate in the evening.

i walked out exhausted, i'd drawn on a lot more energy than i'd realized. i was under pressure to get passport photos taken, print out my convocation and registration form for the french exam, pick up coffee and write a follow-up email before getting to morgan stanley for their recruitment event. the last two items didn't get done, the former because there was a long line at the starbucks and the latter because i'd only really figure out the numbers i needed to send later.

of course, when you're in a hurry and dressed nicely the street-cleaning truck has to drive precisely along the route you're taking to the metro :/
*and* a girl careened through a stop street and would've taken me out if i hadn't suspected that that was going to happen.
*and* running to get into the metro car and having the person just ahead of me *stop* as they stepped inside.

once i got to the right metro station i took a bit of a wrong turn, but by that stage i was a little more relaxed and less certain that the world was hating on me personally. as i met up with my friend* and we walked inside my phone rang. it was the recruiter, calling to let me know that i was the top candidate. that totally made our day! and gave us a good excuse to pick up some wine from the bar :P

* the name tag i'd been given said "totalwaste" with the title "friend" underneath.

we had a good time talking, i finally met her husband and we've made up some good excuses to see more of each other.

the first developers i met were a really nice bunch and we all hit it off. the guy who presented at the end made his job sound fantastically boring.


i finally got home, had a quick chat with my mom, sent the email that needed to be sent, got all my exam stuff together and ordered indian to gd's place. i was completely braindead on the metro, and arrived just before my food did. we couldn't find any french movies that we agreed on, and ended up watching an episode from the first season of heroes instead before heading to bed.


i barely slept, i woke up with a sore throat, a sore back and running late for the exam. fortunately everything was better by the time i arrived with coffee in hand, and just as fortunately the two degrees celsius wasn't particularly cold because i didn't have a sweater.

registration was efficient, there was a little confusion prior to the test but everything went smoothly.

i went straight home after the exam, lay down on the couch and resumed watching rebellion, a very clever french movie about imbecility in war. i fell asleep long before getting to the end of it, and when i woke up i came here to try and Get Stuff Done.

aside from this, though, that hasn't really happened. but i'm in "i'm a little distracted by the insanely good news and i don't care too much about anything" mode ^_^

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