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Michael’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 30 Aug 2006

Location: Oxford, UK

MapHey guys,

Day two of interviews, and again things went awry from the outset (but I will say, I had a better morning that the poor sod in the aircraft - more in that in a minute).

The day started pretty similar to yesterday - an early morning wake up, and plenty of travel ahead of me. Got dressed in my pimping French made pin stripe suit, and headed to Paddington Station for the train ride to Oxford. Well, the details on the net again didn't match up with the travel details at the train station, and my 822am train didn't exist, so instead I was on a 8:00am (I was at the station nice and early!) to Reading, then changing to Oxford. Well, in the end I got to Oxford at about 9:20am, as I was supposed to on the 8:22am, so was running 'on-time'. The train from reading to Oxford was a local train so made numerous stops and took a while (on the way back it only too an hour as the train stopped at Reading, then Slough and then hit Paddington... cutting out the best part of 10 stops.

Well, I was in Oxford and looking for Oxford airport - wrong move! Oxford airport is actually in Kennington and after running around the busses looking for a bus going in the right direction, and getting no help from the bus drivers, I opted to ask the cab driver... by now it was 9:30am. The first cabbie said it would be a £15 ride, and take 20 minutes. Obviously I didn't have any other option if I wanted to make the interview on time.

We slowed up as we approached the turn off into the airport (well, it is a small one, looks more like Lilydale airfield actually, just a bit bigger and a small tarmac runway instead of grass) and saw the flashing lights ahead of us. Half a dozen fire trucks and the same number of cop cars. What's more, they had blocked off the road that I (well the taxi) was due to drive down - doh! A trainer aircraft had lost engine power and the place came down in the middle of the road... it was upside down when we drove past it. Like I said, shitty start to an interview, but my day could have been worse, I could have been in the plane.

So, the journey finished with a 10 minute detour around the airfield, and an extra £6 added onto the meter... again I spent a fortune trying to get a job... £36 for the train and £21 for a taxi... ouch.

Anyway, the interview... well something was due to go right I guess! I thought I actually did really well, and I felt much more comfortable than I did yesterday. The only problem being that I wasn't too impressed by the work that they had. Alot of it seemed bordering on clerical. There would be heaps of report writing, but then even more mundane stuff... not to the point that I'd be filing, but i did get the feeling that some of it would be rather boring. As the head engineer said "We're way behind, and the work is piling up. We want you to start working through the work that we have left behind, and catch up to where we are now". So in simple translation... "We want you to do the crap stuff that we decided not to complete because people don't want to do it, and we'd rather move onto the next project than tie up the loose ends"... the only good thing in that is that it would be a pretty cruisy job, and something I could tollerate witha hang-over.

Hang-overs. Well, Oxford is a pretty funky town. It is actually quite large, and given that there are a couple of universities there, it has a much younger crowd than the retiree yachtsmen type that live on the Isle of Wight... at least I could learn how to sail? Admittedly, I could always buy a bike and live in Portsmouth or Southampton and ride to the ferry, take the ferry across and ride to work... but it could get particularly nasty in winter.

So it was a good day today.

Now the problem is which company to choose? Somehow, GKN actually came back today and said yes they want me to work there (permanent), I had a phone interview this avo with the HeathTechna Europa which offered me a 6 month contractor job last week without having met me, and I am confident about the job in Oxford which would be 6 month fixed term employment. Both the 6 month jobs expect the work to last longer, and have talked about full-time prospects, but no guarantees.

What a deliteful choice to have, and one that is causing me to loose my hair quicker than ever!

Will keep you guys posted on my decisions....

Also, random photos will hopefully be added in the next few days...