Still Struggling

‘Well, I can’t give any more, So now I’m giving up. ‘Cause nothing’s ever good enough.’

These lyrics from Good Enough by Hoobstank might be taken out of content, but they really say what I am feeling right. However, the other side of my mind is fighting against that and trying to stay positive, but that’s a hard thing to do when you are feeling down and worthless. I don’t want this post to be an emotional out pouring of my issues, I’d rather do that in private, but I’ve not written in awhile and well, I’ve got things on my mind. So maybe my out pour will help people to think or find their own voices on these matters.
I’ve just completed my four weeks of work experience. I wrote a few weeks back to say I was starting it and I did want to write another post about my experiences there, but I’ve been really busy and tried. Plus trying to juggle everything was really hard. Now that’s it’s over I’ve gone back to having more time, but I already miss it because I had something physical to do and I was motive. I got on with the people and became a team member too. I liked having different stuff to do each day and though some of the tasks did get boring and I did repeat things, I still give it my all and worked to a high standard. At the end of the day it proved I could work in an office and that I do fit the role of receptionist/admin, which was what I really wanted out of it.

It can be easy to become stuck with certain skills and not be able to expend out. Thinking in terms of a writer this seems true, but actually I know we do a lot more then that. A writer has to take on all the roles in a business team generally; boss, receptionist, admin, PA, account, writer, editor, proof-reader, researcher, mentor, tea maker and drinker. They sometimes become publisher too. I guess we don’t realise that though, but it is true. Having a job like a plumber or electrician can bottle the skills and some people feel like they can’t gain anything different. That’s not true. There seems to be more courses and sessions then ever before now to expend skills and knowledge. I don’t believe that a person can say they know everything. They might know a lot, but that knowledge won’t be about everything in the world. However, I do think that people can reach a point where they don’t think they can gain any more skills or knowledge. Sort of like me. What I lack is the experience and right now I think that is something most people suffer from.

Yes, my work experience went well, but as of yet it hasn’t helped me into a job. I have no idea why and if I knew what the issue was I’d be trying to fix it. However, I know everything is fine at my end. The problem seems to be with the employers. So granted I won’t be suitable for every job I apply for, but I’ve not even been given the chance to prove I could do the job with some of the others I’ve applied for. I don’t know why I’m being so over looked and I don’t know how to change this. I know there are certain things to put in cover letters and in CVs to attract the eye and make mine standout, but even that seems to have got me no where. Knowing the reasoning behind that would make me feel better, but I guess employers don’t have the time for such things.
You know what else gets to me though? This reliance on technology. Grated it is easier to write and send off job applications and its easier to find jobs. But I hate these personality and other quizzes some companies make you take. I get the idea of it is to cut the number of applicants so that only the ones suitable for the job can go of interview, but the problem with these quizzes is that it can under value some people. Like me, because I suck at those quizzes. For example, today I did a quiz for a customer service job at a bank. Now you’d think that I’d be a good person to give an interview to because I’ve had experience and loved doing a customer service role. I’ve just proved I can work in an office and do admin duties. Okay, so I’ve not got an experience selling products to people, but I had to sell my uni to visitors and I was able to do that. I’m young, hard working, wanting to learn and meet new people. I’m good with computers and I’ve a good phone manner. I’m not so good with numbers, but I’ve learned how to cope with that over the years. I just don’t understand and once again I’m starting to think there’s a problem with myself and that’s the reason why I’m struggling.

The other thing I also hate is how some companies want you to fill out a form that basically is your CV but just differently formatted. I don’t understand why they bother with this, because it means you have to spend more time sending them information that you are already sending to them in your CV and most of the time there’s no space for expending on things like the modules you took or else going into detail about your last job. So that seems pointless to me and gets me wondering why they just can’t be happy with a CV? I think that applying for jobs in some cases has become a lot more harder and complicated thanks to technology. You spend ages filling in stuff and then don’t get anywhere because you forgot to tick one box as it got lost under something else. Worse yet is when the website crashes or doesn’t save! I can think of lots of times I’ve just finished off an applications or part of one and it’s not saved or sent because of a problem on their website. Life was easier when you could go into these places and ask to speak to someone about the job. You could hand in a CV and talk to the people. You could leave feeling satisfied that they will call you back, whilst instead when you click that send button it just feels like a relieve to have completed all the forms.
I’ve not really put this into the actual context I meant to write it under. Basically, this whole thing has come about because my adviser at the jobcentre put me down this morning. I know that I am on her target list to get off jobseekers and into work. She thought it would be an easy enough thing to do and that I’d have got something a few months after signing on. It’s not been the case and I keep coming back. I hate going to the job centre and I hate having to sign on even more. It makes me feel so useless and like a bad child at school. I know its not true, because I’ve a good education and have proven I can do so many things. I’ve also proven I’m doing all I can to find work and I don’t think I could give any more. I feel like they should be offering more support to me and getting me to stay positive. Instead when I leave I feel so upset and depressed by the whole thing. Of course that then means I’m not in the mood to look for a job and like now I end up questioning myself and trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. Plus it also impacts on my whole day. I was at the jobcentre for half ten this morning and its now twenty to eight and its still all on my mind, worrying me and making me feel bad and emotional. At the end of the day, that shouldn’t be happening and that’s not how I should be feeling after speaking to them. Maybe next time I shall have to find my voice and tell her to stop putting me down.

Technically, I shouldn’t be there anyway and if I had it my way -job or no job – I wouldn’t go. My problem is the money and the hole that would create on my CV. I need the money, so that I can travel to interview places, so that I can have down time with my friends- though its been ages since I was last out drinking and mostly this time has now became dates with my boyfriend-so I can buy stuff and not feel like a teenager begging money off my family. I actually save my money too. I keep it and only spend it when I need to. I buy myself a small treat like a new book or cd or my favourite sweets once a month if that. I’d like more money to become independence, to learn how to drive and to save up to get my own place.

I need to end on a positive note or else I’m just going to go to bed tonight in this depressed mood. So, here is my one good piece of news today. When I got home of the job centre, they phoned me to tell me that a job had come up and that they had recommended me for it. I just needed to send my CV to the place and then hopefully I’d be called for an interview. Now the job is actually something I could do and would be very happy to be doing as its selling books. So, now I’m just waiting to hear back and I’m keeping fingers crossed for it.

For my next post I want to write about e-books and the changing reading habits of people because its been on my list to write for ages and I so need to do it. I also want to get that new review started on here and see how that goes. So, look out for those.

Volunteering with the Factory Youth Zone

Hey, I thought I’d switch from writing my Les Mis post to doing this one because I can get it out faster. Also because this is becoming important to me as well.

I started doing voluntry work at my nearest youth centre at the end of Nov/beginning of Dec. I saw a banner calling for volunteers on the side of the building and thought it might be a good opportunity for me. Not only to break up my struggle to find a job-which is still going down hill-but also for me to learn some new skills and maybe pass on my love for books and writing. Well, that hasn’t happened it! But the skills have and there’ll be more on that later. First though what really drew me to the The Factory and volunteering? The answer lays in the fact that I didn’t fancy any more time at the Charity shop. Yeah, I know I was doing a good thing there and I was in a comfit zone with it, but I just got bored of doing the same things and tried of the people, who could sometimes be unfriendly. I wanted a complete change of environment and to be doing something new that would actually make me want to do it. I’ve always been good with kids and thought that it would be another great thing on my CV.

That saying; you won’t know until you try, comes into mind. I guess because I was so unsure when I applied and went for an interview that I was the kind of person they were looking for. Most people they take on my age are either doing a related course and need the experience or have completed the course and either have a paid job or are gaining more experience. So it was odd I guess for someone coming out of a masters to want to volunteer at a job they had no qualifications or experience doing. I think it was my skills that I could bring to the centre though and my eagerness to try my hand at something different that saw me through. I did well in the training too and manged to take everything on board. There was a lot about the law and safe guarding children, as well as looking for signs of neglect etc. There was other stuff like how to deal with different and difficult situations that can happen. I took it all in and found it an easy day. I then choice to do Mondays and Tuesdays afternoons and work with the 8-12 year olds coming after school.

The factory itself has only been open a year or two now. It’s purpose is a designed space for all young people aged 8-21 to have fun, gain new skills, make new friends and be able to talk to someone about any issues. The building is divided into a number of areas across two floors and has; a gym, a rec hall, a craft area, a music room, a dancing/performing arts space, a climbing wall, a football field, a sports hall with things like netball, trampolining and other indoor sports and cafe/chill out area. They run different time slots for age groups as well so that people can make the best use of the time and activities on offer. There’s normally so many different activities running too, mostly these are sports or music, but the arts and crafts have a number of things running and there is also tables to play boardgames on.

My first afternoon though was a little scary, though nothing bad as the first day at school. I was unsure what to do or who to speak too, so it took me a few to speak to a guy in a blue t-shirt about what I should do. I was then meet by the senior/leader youth worker and I got put on the crafts table. I love getting creative and making stuff. Though I’ve to admit that since starting I’ve not done as much sewing in my life! That day does seem a blur now and I can remember what it was we were making. It changes every day or every week, though normally it has to do with sewing and creating things. I get a chance to make my own thing and let my creativity out, but mostly I focus on helping the kids and passing on my skills to them. Which is what it should always be about.

I’m still helping out on the craft table now and I’m pleased to say that I’ve taught a few kids to sew and helped many other things create things. So far I’ve also helped to make a xmas banner and xmas gifts. I’ve made these items for my self; a xmas hat, a xmas socking, a xmas card, a badge for my jacket and a poster about all the things I want to do this year. I’m currently helped two boys make superhero costumes for their secret club and I’ve been helping other kids with similar projects to the things I’ve made. I’ve also played a few games of badminton, table tennis and boardgames. I’ve gained a number of skills, like in teaching and leadership and looking after kids and being more in control and patient. Things that only come when in the world of work. These skills are pretty transferable to other things though and I’m hoping that they will aid me.

So, I am really loving my time at the Factory. I need to think about setting up a writing club though and also seeing if there’s a chance they can help me get into paid work as that would be much better for me. All my to do list and now I can get back to the Les Mis review too!

You can check out the Factory here;

http://www.thefactoryyz.org/

D&D 6&7: The End Is Coming!

I was at D&D last night and some exciting things are going down. Now, the week before we were all called in to this meeting, where we had to do a bit of role playing. Now, we had to decided if we were going to stick together or divide into our houses. This is important because the story could go in a number of different directions. This also connects to the actual decision of what the overall goal should be and I’ve listed them before, but here they are again: Support the male wizards and help gain more control for them, side with Lolth and over thrown the Council of Spiders, create the Demon Weave, or destroy it.

The DMs left the room and we got to talk in our houses and as a group. The numbers in each house were very off though, because there was only one Xorlarrin, three Brigand D’aerthe (Me and boyfriend counted) and the rest 8-10 of were house Melarn. I wasn’t feeling so well and so this meeting seemed like a nice break from playing, only it did involve some deep thinking and politics. I’d already decided though that I’ll side with my boyfriend and fight for myself. My character does appear to be taken on a life of her own now! Also my role playing isn’t very good and like the maths this is something that could do with some more work, but I’ll properly not get better at it. Which, is an odd thing to realise as a writer who often has to imagine myself in the form of different characters and think about their actions and thoughts in situations. That’s in my head though and not out in the open and with other people. Though, I do now believe I’ve been accept by the D&D players and the other people who use the shop to play games in, so to get into rp wouldn’t be a surprise for them.

We talked for about 20 minutes or so. Though it was hard to keep track of what was going on as everyone had different ideas and different understandings of the background information. It become clear that there was going to be 3/4 main speakers. My boyfriend seemed against the goals and wanted to take on Lolth and get revenge for her killing him in the last encounters. Which of course meant I’d have had to gone with him, but I’m not sure that taking on a Goddess is really the way to go and I think I backed out in the end. However, most of the group seemed to stand with Lolth and wanted to build the demon weave. So, when the DMs came back, they stated that the three of them were representing the three house role playing as the leaders; Ash’ala, Hoshtar, Ro’kolor. We had to report back and enter into the discussion about what we wanted to do.

After sometime and people jumping in, we had to convince the leaders that they should support us because they had their own options and we need to swing them if they didn’t agree with us. I thought this was going to hard and more arguments would start, but the main speakers were really good and managed to win the leaders over and so it was decided that we’d carry on where we’d left off, which was collecting the items to make the demon weave.

Now yesterday, we were faced with a large encounter, which could have gone a lot worse if the DM hadn’t had a bit of bad luck with his dice and rolled low, so we got to move before the monsters, which worked very well. I had bad luck with my dice after that though, because I hardly hit with my arrows. Everyone else did far better and though we were faced with eight drow fighters and a priestess. I almost got my sword out in the end because I was doing that badly, but there was little point when I was caught in someone else’s cloud of darkness. We defeated the drow and captured the priestess after that. We decided to question her, but it was pretty useless as she didn’t know much. Killing her ended that encounter. We were done really fast too, because the other tables were still going. I guess it helped that the drow fighters were easy to kill.

Next week is the last week for this story now. I think that’s a shame because it’s been really good and I’ll have to say goodbye to my character. I can’t believe she’s actually surviving this long and it’ll be great if she gets through next week. I’d like to write a short story about her, but the in-depth knowledge that would be needed puts me off a bit. Of course this does mean that I get to make a new character and have new adventures. We got told too that the system is being re-done, so things will be different come Halloween night when we play the first game of the new encounters.

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On another note, I’ve got an interview tomorrow and I thought I’d write a post about job hunting and interviews either tomorrow or at the weekend. I’m excited about this interview because this job is much more suitable for me, the only problem is I’ve to sit a maths test and I suck at maths. I’m hoping this won’t be my down fall and they’ll be able to see how good I can be. Have to wait and see. The weather won’t be better it seems, it’s raining and dark outside now. I am also reading Howl’s Moving Castle right now and plan to do a review with that against the film, as seems to be my thing at the moment. Also my boyfriend is currently running a story within his web show, which is so worth checking out as its Halloween related. Right, time to go and make pie.

Image from:

http://kirahagen.photoshelter.com/image/I00008EeaX0SLI2E