Well, that’s better…

Okay, now that I can pretend to be awake, let me see if I can’t… at least summarize yesterday without making myself look and sound like an idiot. It’ll be damn near impossible, but hey, I could pull off a miracle. Possibly.
Before I get into anything, though, I’ll say right now anyone who tells me being up and actually on the road for 15 hours is fun deserves to be shot, pissed on, and strung up by their hair. Now, with that having been said, getting up at 6 to be in Ottawa by 9 for an interview that started at 1 is no fun. Fortunately, mom had an appointment she had to get out of the way, so we were able to get that done and still had time to swing by a decent restaurant for breakfast (by the way, Cora’s (probably misspelled) is bad if you expect to eat a light breakfast). Then it was to the interview, which was a whole adventure in itself. First off, the directions we got were a bit misleading, so we thought the place I had to be was actually closer than it was. To look at the directions, it looked like the office complex was kinda right on the corner of two streets, in an area where, you know, it’d be hard to miss. Wrong answer. So we ended up guessing at exactly where the place was. We weren’t far off, though, so it only really took us, maybe, about 5 minutes longer than it should have. And 3 of that was finding a place to park (visitors’ parking is just not heard of in Ottawa, apparently). So we finally get in there, and keep in mind I had to be there 15 minutes early for the interview, I guess to give me time to clear the security checkpoints and such, and the first thing they want me to go through apparently is a manager’s meeting. Okay, so no problem. Figure it’d take that maybe half an hour. Well, it did. Unfortunately, it took 10 minutes longer than it should have for it to start–I was there on time, but where was he? God only knows.
We finally got that out of the way, though, relatively painlessly, and he ended up asking me a lot of primarily technical/work experience questions (since when the hell do we still use MS DOS on a regular basis, anyway?). I think I did alright with that, though, considering the oddness of some of the questions. Then I waited another 5-10 minutes (they do like their waiting games) for the HR person who set up this whole thing so we could get onto the customer service assessment/simulation/thing, whatever the fuck it is you wanna call it. To say that was brutally tedius would be a grose understatement. I mean, I know the job itself calls for some degree of tedium, but that was just… over the top. It started alright enough, though, with anywhere from 150 to 200 questions related to the kind of person you are and work experience/preferences, that kinda thing–think personality survey. I think I did alright with that. Then they put me through 7 simulated customer service situations, 1 via a simulated chat environment, and 6 pre-recorded script-driven calls, or somesuch, for a fictional GPS tracking company. If you’ve never done call center/customer service work, I’ll warn you right now–bring a notebook or a good memory. That was a simulation for an interview and I still had a hell of a lot of crapola to memorise. I managed, though, considering I only had 5 minutes to memorise it, and the only particulars I had to look at were the minor, customer-specific things, for obvious reasons. I think, with the exception of 1 or 2 where I know I kinda fubared the answers a little, I did alright on that section. We shall have to see, though. It was pretty rappid fire–you’d get done one simulated exchange, then they’d sorta quiz you on it. Then you’d move right into the next one. So at least in that regard I didn’t have time to think about where I could have maybe done things a bit differently.
All told, the interview must have lasted a good 3 and a half hours, easily. Officially the longest interview on my personal record to date. I’ll hopefully hear back, the HR person told me, in anywhere from 5 to 10 days, so… we shall see. ‘Twas a learning experience, though, if nothing else, and definitely showed me that’s something I’d at the very least like to learn more about doing, if not make a career out of it. It seems to be a bit more… I dunno, relaxed than what I thought, which is kinda a good thing. In between meetings, I was sitting in the front lobby talking with someone who’s doing the same job I was being interviewed for, just kinda killing a few minutes before we had to go do our own things–apparently, he was applying to move to a different position–and I’m guessing they don’t try to enforce a strict average call time. Either that or he just got unlucky… we were both rather amused over a call he took the night before that took him 3 hours to resolve, and it ended up being something rediculously simple–the laptop the customer bought had a network card his router wouldn’t support. That’d be a kick in the teeth… 3 hours just to be told to replace the card or get a new router. So that was a decent distraction, anyway.
Of course, after the interview was over came the mandatory 3 hours of boredom–my mother and my aunt, in the same vehicle, in a city with at least 6 malls, maybe more. You can see where this is going. Lots of wandering through stores I have no interest in, and no actually buying anything. So after that interview, I got to try to stay awake for 3 hours while they browsed supposedly decent-looking art work, and other asorted pictures, then went clothing/jewelry shopping. My uncle, who had an appointment at the same time as my interview so at least they had something else to do while I was occupied, was probably less enthused with the idea than I was, and he can see the damn things. We’d planned to swing past my cousin’s place, but apparently there was no one home… so we ended up going out for supper (by the way, Montana’s is just bad, period) instead, then we headed home. And then I caught the last 5 minutes of a hockey game (rant about that mess to follow in a few minutes), thought about updating, half-ass attempted to update, and passed out. And now, I shall stay home today, and actually inside, unless I absolutely have to leave… because it is fucking *freezing* out there.

3 comments
  1. 3 and a half hours!? HOLY KRAUT!!! That’s a long forking interview!
    Sounds like it went well, though. I hope you get a job offer sooner rather than later. 😉
    I’d pass on the shopping, too. I like going for what I’m going for and getting the hell back home. B.C. (before children) I wouldn’t mind shopping as much, but now it can lead to meltdowns (including my own, LOL). I don’t mind going shopping with others and browsing, as long as I know that we won’t be there for hours on end. Oi. Look at me, rambling on YOUR blog, LOL, sorry!

  2. Bah, I can’t be the only one rambling here… go for it! 🙂
    I hope I get a job offer sooner rather than later too, but I’m honestly not holding my breath. And…yeah, 3.5 hours interviewing sucked huge. Just as long shopping, though, made me want to go back and do another 3.5 hours.

  3. I agree-I actually passed up shopping for a costume for Michael today while he was in school because I spent too much time thinking about shopping after visiting here, lol.

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