Wednesday was a crappy day. It was the most depressed I'd been in ages; at one stage I let out a loud yell in my (thankfully empty) street. It was more of a roar than a yell actually. That afternoon I'd met up with some agency-type person at a café on Ponsonby Road. In a rather uncomfortable semi-interview, he told me two things I already knew. Firstly I'm unlikely to succeed in a large corporation because I don't have the right personality type. Secondly my lack of outward self-confidence puts a severe dent in my chances of getting through an interview unless it's over the phone: apparently I have good mannerisms and facial expressions for phone interviews, just like some people are said to have a good face for radio. This bloke had a fair few contacts in the corporate world and suggested I join the business networking site Linked In. He said he'd become a world kickboxing champion after being badly bullied at school (a quick Google search confirmed that he indeed was an ace kickboxer). I presume he told me this by way of encouragement but, the way I was feeling, it had the exact opposite effect. The men's group that evening, where we watched the end of the Australian film Crush, came at a very good time.
On Friday I had an appointment at a recruitment agency in the city. There was a queue of about a hundred people outside the Queen Street Vodafone store, presumably itching to get their hands on the latest iWhatsit. I was at the agency all afternoon and got tested up to the eyeballs. Which shape comes next? Which of the following words means the same as 'random'? Which of these numbers is the odd one out? Well you can make any of them the odd one out if you really want to, but I suppose figuring out what it expected of you is a skill in itself. Then came some typing tests and, finally, tests on Word and Excel. These were the most stressful of the lot; it's amazing how many functions in Word and Excel I've never used. A lot of the time I'd be thinking, is it under Format or Tools or View or what? Unlike in real life where you can work it out eventually, click on the wrong menu and a box would appear: "Incorrect Answer!" It might as well also have said "Ha ha ha!" I needn't have worried though. I had more than enough points in all the tests to be eligible for some temporary work, and if I hassle them enough times over the coming weeks, who knows? When I got back to Devonport I bumped into the younger brother of one of my old colleagues at work. He knew I no longer worked there and asked me where I was working now. When I told him he was incredulous. "What do you mean, you're not working?!" There was a certain irony to this. According to his big sister at least, he's never been particularly fond of work. In fact he used to go to Australia to play a bunch of poker tournaments. I didn't think to ask him whether he still does.
I spoke to Richard last night. The first six weeks of his job involve role-plays and various forms of team bonding. Not my idea of fun at all, and I don't think it's his particularly either. I might pop over and see him again some time this week.
I had a successful day on the badugi tables yesterday. Playing exclusively at the lowest level I made $63. My plan is to take a few weeks off when my bankroll hits $2000 (I've got more important things to do), and then play some bigger games on my return. After yesterday's effort I'm tantalisingly close to the magic milestone, just eight dollars short.