Friday, 20 January 2012

Missed opportunity

I left work nineteen years ago. I had a career in management in the clothing industry, first in production and later in sales. To get there I went to college and studied Clothing Management, a four year Diploma recognized by the industry and becoming degree equivalent after a further two years in a ‘responsible management position’. I was a career girl for eleven years and didn’t consider other possibilities before I met Husband. Having spent our first two years of marriage living in different counties we decided not to live in two different countries. We took the view together that we would want to bring up our hoped for children ourselves and we wanted to share a home. I gave up work as the one of us who would have said children and followed HM Forces directions to Germany.

While I have occasionally set out to explain just how much parity I had with Husband at the time I chose to stop paid work, mostly I haven’t regretted my decision: I am lucky to have a busy and happy life and a family of whom I am proud. Despite gentle teasing from Husband and Mefromafar I have found no motivation to return to paid work.
I remind you of this because I recently applied for a job! A Textile Technician at the local comprehensive: no pupil contact, just supporting the Textile Teacher by tidying and advising on ordering her fabric and commodities, threading machines and filling bobbins, setting out the classroom , cutting out fabric as required and being very flexible for a whole five hours of employment on two days. It sounded like something right up my street that I could do standing on my head and that would fit in with all the other things I do, so I applied.
I was invited to an ‘informal interview’. Unsure what such a term meant I concluded that either I was the only applicant, or there would be some sort of practical test of my sewing machine and fabric knowledge. I was wrong. Five ladies turned up at the same time with the same invitation. We were divided into two groups taking it in turns to be told about the job by the Head of Department and given a tour by the Textiles Teacher. There was no test and no individual interview. The other woman in my group had also been in the industry, as a Fabric Buyer. Younger than me I think, and less managery, so, if I’d been the teacher choosing between us, I’d have picked her as qualified but less of a threat (cynic!). I didn’t get a real impression of the other three though the teacher implied they weren’t from the industry, but capable crafters.
Apparently school had been surprised to receive ten applications and called in five of them. They remarked that they didn’t know how they were to decide and we should all be proud to have got this far… I don’t know how they were going to decide either, but I haven’t heard anything more and must presume they selected one of the others.
My armour is undented: flexible hours may have been me being flexible, i.e. required on Mondays and Wednesdays when I currently volunteer in the primary school; a behind the scenes job that would still need me to change out of my jeans for a couple of hours but into something I could climb in (lots of high shelves to sort) and not worry about fabric dust; little contact with the rest of the DT staff because of working when the students aren’t there; debatable whether there would be opportunity to expand the role… I sound relieved don’t I? I am!


Fran said...

Sometimes you have to do these interviews to find out what you really want, don't you?

projectforty said...

Good for you for giving it a go - and you don't know the outcome yet - you might well be up and down those ladders sometime soon! As a 'flexible' freelancer myself, I know what it's like trying to make as much fit in as little time as possible without having to rearrange myself or my family. It's good to go and have a look and see.

Thecurateswife said...

Well done for coping so calmly with the interview. I hate them! You never know, now they have met you they may call you at a later date. But would you really want the work?

Previously (Very) Lost in France said...

I wonder if that's a 'school' thing. Not long after we came back from France I applied for a job as a teaching assistant and what you've written is almost word for word what happened to me. I didn't get it but did end up with something much better. Good luck if you do decide to dip your toe in the job market again

Wylye Girl said...

Oops, sorry, signed into the wrong account!

hausfrau said...

Fran you may be right but I fear laziness may have alot to do with it.
I,m glad I went Countrymummy, but I am sure that boat has sailed.
That's the question Thecurateswife: do I really want to work?
I don't know if it's a school thing, PVLiF, with my ex school governor hat on I'm somewhat amazed at their selection process and shocked that they don't acknowledge all applications nor inform all interviewees of the outcome - at least, that's what their website warns.

Friko said...

Anyway, now you've dipped your toe into the waters of 'casual' employment ou might do it again some time.

About Last Weekend said...

It sounds like you have really practical skills and you can apply for an actual job. I was a journalist and no jobs for those going anymore... What an interesting account, you are still in the race. My friend said she is looking for "hours" rather than a job and I know what she means.

SP said...

Have you thought of running a few craft workshops?

I'd love to be able to make some of the things you've produced and I bet others would too.


hausfrau said...

What a kind and supportive lot you are out there in the blogosphere! Thank-you for your suggestions.