Sunday, 24 February 2013
I finally got hold of my brother on Skype today - my husband having diagnosed my lack of auditory connection for the last two months being because I had attached the camera with Prestik to the top of my Applemac right over the tiny dot (who knew?) that was the microphone. Anyway, part of the catching up on news was that my brother (aged, I think 56), has successfully negotiated himself a permanent post at his IT company (one that deals with the national banking system in the UK, so it is not in any danger of closing down): he has up to now been on nerve-racking three-month contracts there for the last three years. He travels up and down to London weekly, staying in a bedroom in someone's flat for the rental of £100 per week, and listening permanently to the Harry Potter books, read by Stephen Fry, on his drive up and down on Mondays and Fridays. You may remember that he has torn his hair out over his eldest son, now aged 18, over his poor A level results - so poor indeed, despite his VERY expensive private school, that he could not even think of applying to university. However, he is a very bright boy, if one-track minded (in fact, a carbon copy of his father, which, no doubt, is why they don't get on) and last month, my brother happened to espy an ad for a "Trainee Java Developer" at his own company. As this is his son's specific interest, my brother high-tailed it to the Human Resources Dept., found that the applications for the position had closed and the person responsible was jaundiced from his 19 telephone interviews, confiding to my brother that half the applicants sounded as if they would be reluctant to get out of bed. As my nephew, M, had spent the previous summer working in said company, HR decided to let him apply for the job. He was one of 12 on the shortlist, (5 of whom did not pitch for the one-day interview - this in a age of job shortages?) It was a day of personality trials: you know the sort of thing: you are marooned in the desert after your plane crashes. Do you take with you a) a picture of the queen, b) a can of baked beans or c)a travel catalogue? Of course, there is no sensible answer, it is all about team work. Guess what? My18-year-old nephew got the job (all the other applicants had degrees). How cool is that? HR said it was very impressive the amount of knowledge he had, compared with the others. And oddly, he has always been a people person. Very odd for a computer geek. I am so proud of him. He started last Monday.