Monthly Archives: July, 2015

I thought he loved me the way I am!

No, for once, that blog title is a total lie, I was just pretty sure that the guy wasn’t reading, or just plain ignoring the details about me on my Facebook, on my blog, and pretty much what I hinted at in the emails, but he still kept declaring his undying love for me…until now, he finally seems to have taken note!

Right, the full story. A couple of months ago, or so, I got one of those strange Facebook friend requests you get from time to time. You know, the ones where the guy has got a new account, no friends, and no details about him on it. Nowadays I can spot the spammers with a bit more ease, and with no disrespect to folks from that corner of the world, he wasnt from the sub continent. Nothing against those people personally, but as I discovered a long time ago, they are only seeking a woman for a ‘convenience’ marriage, so they can come and live over here. All those just get declined.

This guy seemed neither, he didnt look the classic spammer type profile, and he came from Switzerland. So what the hell, I accepted. A few days later, the emails started arriving, declaring what a wonderful woman I was, so beautiful, and that he was falling in love with me. So fine, I dont do love, so I did my best to put him off, but it didnt work. Anyway, having given clues in my emails that I was trans, and lets face it, the blog links all over Facebook say it too, so I had to assume, he knew.

So alright, I still try to stop him falling deeply in love with me (last few emails suggested I failed totally on that front), but sort of accept that he must know, and leave it there. Then, at the weekend, I sent him an email in standard form, usual stuff. Now normally, within a day or two (or less) I get a reply. By today, nothing. So I just went and checked, his Facebook account is gone. I assume at some point he put two and two together, made four, and realised I wasnt quite the woman he was looking for! Ah well, at least I dont have to try and write delicately written love letters any more lol! He seemed a nice, genuine guy, but I sort of knew he wanted a ‘real’ woman, and I wasnt that without a bit of surgery. So…I’m not going to become a Swiss Miss, or Mrs lol!

Right, the music. There is a slightly cryptic clue in the blog title, but I wouldnt blame anyone for not getting it!

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Just when I thought the job search was over?

Seems it isn’t!

Today, I got caught, not for the first time (though the other was 13 years ago), by an advert for a telephone call centre that was highly evasive with the information that they pass on to prospective candidates. Why, because its that hated, and highly abrasive job role, cold calling people to sell them something. Previous time, it was double glazing, this time around it was solar panels.

Whatever people think of me (and I know a few who certainly dont like me, who I’ve worked with), one thing no one could ever accuse me of being is a strong minded bitch. Actually, I’m pretty sweet when it comes to dealing with people, unless they really, really annoy me, but fine, that doesnt happen hardly ever. So therefore I am not designed for cold calling people, to try and sell them something.

OK, the story of this. Saturday morning, while doing my usual job hunting thing, I saw this vacancy for a telephone operative. Very few details about the job, bare details about the company, and less about the job. But from reading it, it suggested inbound calls, or at worst, calling people who had requested you to call them. So fine, I went for it. I thought no more about it, given it was a Saturday, I wouldnt hear anything about it until today.

Wrong. Late Saturday afternoon, I got an email, asking me if I was interested in starting training on Monday, as they had vacancies on the course. I sent back an email saying that I could, but asking for lots more details about the role. All the info I got back was that it was making appointments, and that I would learn everything else on Monday, when I turned up. I did wonder about it, they really didnt want to give me any details, which seemed strange, but at this point, I took them at their word, and went for it, rearranging tentatively a couple of appointments I had for today, but hedging my bets, given my hackles were raised.

So fine, this morning I turned up there, expecting an efficiently run office, a proper call centre, a decent phone system, and computers. They actually managed none of those. What I got was a scruffy looking room, phones that would have looked out of date 5 years ago, no computers (just bits of card to write info on), and for the first time since 2002, no one requested any evidence to see that I was who I was claiming to be. Oh, and the ‘good pay’ was just minimum wage rate, plus bonuses.

Oh, I quickly found out it was outbound calling, and very soon after, when handed a long list of names, addresses and phone numbers, I worked out it was cold calling. I was amused when one of the other “trainees” asked where they got the lists from, and the woman supposedly training us just said, “Oh, somewhere”. Illegal, possibly?

The training totally consisted of being given a script, and listening to her making calls, attempting to cold call people to convince them to buy solar panels. In the 30 minutes or so I was there, she didnt convince one! And all I can say is its just as well the people she rang couldnt hear what she said about them afterwards! Especially the ones who wisely just put the phone down on her.

So fine, at this point, I discreetly excused myself, and headed for home. Thankfully I’ve already managed to rearrange my morning phone interview for Friday morning, and the afternoon registration will happen later this week too. Not in time for the group assessment tomorrow, but I’m told there will be more of similar roles, if I need them. And if they dont get sufficient suitable candidates, I might get to one of those yet. A couple of other possibles have evolved this afternoon, so all is not lost, hopefully?

OK, the video, what they might not have told me, but they certainly didnt tell me the truth either

The next supermodel?

No, seriously, I dont think so! Apart from anything else, I’m far too old for that, but a model, well, just maybe? It all started when I saw this link on Twitter http://www.elle.com/fashion/news/a29446/apple-model-management-transgender-los-angeles/?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_content=55b0a0ac04d3017f8e000001&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

And lets face it, I’d love to be a model in Los Angeles, wouldnt I? Though agreed, I’d be a more mature model than most, but hey, arent they looking for folk to wear fashion designed for the more mature woman? Anyway, given I thought I had nothing to lose by sending off a few photos, and a few others thought “Why not?”, I sent off an email to their main address as requested.

What surprised me more was when I was told they were seemingly fine, and given the email address of the guy running the office in L.A to send all my stuff off to. So, I have! No, seriously, I’m not selecting my luxury Hollywood apartment yet, or anything, but hey, even if I only get 1 shoot, somewhere less romantic than L.A, it would still be something. And who knows, in this crazy world, me, a mature trans model living in Hollywood, no, surely not?

In all honesty, I’m not expecting to hear anything back, other than maybe a thanks, but no thanks note from him, as all the other models featured on their website seem a lot younger than me! Niche market, lol?

But hey, combined with the writers residence one, at least I’m not only applying for call centre work lol!

Right, the video, what other song could I choose? The superior German language version,

I’d love you to take me

As some of my regular readers know, I do occasionally, when the chance arises, dabble in a little story writing. Given the popularity of Amazon (plus the fact 1 book is exclusive to them at present, here’s a link to my stuff

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_hi_2?rh=n%3A133140011%2Cp_27%3AMerry+Brooks&bbn=133140011&sort=relevancerank&ie=UTF8&qid=1437587127

The author name will also work at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and a couple of other smaller places, though the latest one wont be there until September, when the 90 day Kindle Unlimited thing runs out. Yes, I do it for fun, though admittedly it can be frustrating at times, when nothing seems to sell, but anyway…

Something I discovered on Twitter (see, there are benefits to being there lol) is that some wonderfully generous places offer writer residences, generally in beautiful, and inspiring places. One of those became a contact with me on Twitter, a residence named Hedgebrook, on Whidbey Island, near Seattle, which just happens to be one of my favourite cities anyway.

Get out 1
Me, this is for serious writers, not people who write short ebooks. Answer, not necessarily, we consider anyone who writes in a good inspiring manner, and oh, who is female.

Get out 2
It costs money to apply, and given my personally perceived chance of making the grade, given I’m out of work currently, I shouldnt be throwing money away on something like this. Answer, when there is a good reason for not paying the fee, like being unemployed, the fee might be waived.

So at this point, with this information, and nothing to lose, I’ve gone for it. Well, its all set up to go for it, anyway. At this moment I’m waiting to hear how I apply, without paying $30 off my credit card, so that I can complete it, and submit my application.

Yes, it would be amazing in so many ways. Not only would I have no excuse not to write, in fact just the opposite, I’d get to meet other writers, get the chance to discuss so many things, and I suspect, learn to write a whole lot better! And yes, fine, living in my own little cottage (if only for 2 or 3 weeks), writing, walking, and generally being inspired by everything would be heaven. I suspect the networking would be fascinating for me too. I have requested 3 weeks (2 books in that time, maybe?), but if they offered me 2, I’d snatch their hands off.

My initial plan would be to write a much extended version of one of my short stories, actually, one of those on sale at Amazon, “No Place Like Nome”. Other possibles would be to develop, and extend “A Hollywood Happening”, or to do a Jean Harlow biography, and try and put a few things right, that were so awfully wrong in the early ones. Mind, 2 or 3 weeks, if I got as inspired as I suspect I would, I might get more than one done!

No, seriously, its not likely to happen. I’m told this is a very cherished spot to be, and there will be far superior writers to me looking for one of those delightful cottages to work in. But I guess you never know?

OK, to the video. What I’m saying to those nice decision makers, though I’m not sure how closely they will listen?

Speedy service

To be honest, nowadays when you apply for a job, you tend to end up waiting forever for something to happen. A lot of the time, to be honest, nothing happens. There are even a few agencies its almost got to the point where I cant see any point applying to them, because even when eminently qualified for a job, I’ve never heard from them. Given that nowadays, a lot of job applications are pretty much ‘point and click’ online, I do go with it sometimes, if only to keep the Job Centre happy, with no great expectations.

So, if I said to you that I applied for one this morning, about 8.30, and had a job interview sorted, and confirmed about an hour later, I’m saying wow! Now I know the advert did say immediate interview, but even so…quite something. No, I dont expect to start work 1 day later, but hopefully soon. No, seriously, I couldnt start work Wednesday anyway, got an appointment that morning to get my nails done. Given it will be a 2 week training period, its likely to start on a Monday, anyway.

But agreed, given how long some firms drag the whole process out (on at least 2 occasions I’ve heard from a firm a month, or more after application), one hour has to be a record! Get it, we will have to see. If anyone has a “smart” download they can load into my mind, tomorrow morning, to get me past the competency questions, I’d appreciate it. And fine, I’d enjoy the download at least! 😉

The only shame is, I’m currently 4 gel nails down, as they’ve been on far too long, and it would be more impressive with a full set. But cant be done, so I’ll have to go with it anyway.

But yes, a recruitment agency that does things immediately, long may they prosper.

The video is an absolute oldie, over 50 years old, in fact. Did seem apt though.

Choices, choices, how should I play this?

Or also known as how should I be balancing my current life?

I must admit, when I knew I was going to be made redundant, I decided to treat myself in a few ways. So yes, the Hollywood trip went up to 10 days, from 7, and I flew Premium economy, instead of coach class. And yes, I’ve decided that come what may, I’m flying in economy plus to and from Boston in September, though the difference between that, and coach class really isnt that large, principally because I’m still in economy, just the slightly better (and nearer the front, for the scrummage) seats in that range.

But beyond that, spend much at all, let alone rashly, no, I havent at all. Dont get me wrong, I have got a few little things I want to get when I get as job, but I’ve been saying not before then. A pair of those gorgeous Dam Hag (Lindy Bop) dresses for starters, for which the money is on the credit card, but…I’ve stopped myself from buying them, because I’m not yet back in work. So fine, I didnt expect that to take this long, but it has, and aargh…!

But I’d envisioned a few shopping trips (if only Charity shop hunts in Wakefield), or a day or two at the cricket, but so far I’ve done neither. Partly because I wanted to be here, should a potential employer (or agency) call, and partly because I have my old problem of having money, but in my head, I dont want to spend it, other than on necessaries. But is that the way I really ought to be doing things, or should I lighten up just a little, and enjoy my time off a little more?

I suppose I sort of decided that maybe I’m taking this “Don’t spend unnecessary money” thing too seriously this morning, when I turned down the chance of a trip out, simply because I felt I shouldnt be spending money I dont need to (only about £15), because I’m not working, and at the moment it feels like I have no idea when I will be. I know, it will happen, but…someone tell me if I’m doing the right thing, or whether I need to lighten up, at least a bit? To be honest, I suspect the job situation has so got to me by now that I’m not seeing things clearly.

Right, to finish, as always, the video. I’m pretty sure this is one job contract I’d turn down at present, all the same, but dont quote me on that. I suppose if he offered to literally turn me into Jean Harlow, I might, but…

Being wired up, and assessed would have been easier!

Yes, seriously, integrating me into the computer system, and assessing me that way would have been more relaxing, and probably more effective in finding out stuff about me, than the assessment centre I underwent on Tuesday. And yes, I can comment accordingly, as I’ve already heard I havent passed the tests, I’m only amazed anyone does! Even invasive surgery, to tap my brain with electricity could well have been more pleasant, and I’d have enjoyed it far more!

Up to now, the longest ‘test’ I’d done, had came in at just under 2.5 hours, and at least there, you thought the people holding it were on your side. They were as friendly as is possible, under the circumstances, and to be honest, I only realised how long it had lasted when it was over, and I looked at my watch, as I was getting out. This one was a whole different atmosphere, from start to finish, and that period was 3.5 hours, and then only that short, as I was one of the first 3 to do the final interview session, it would have been 4, or more for the other trio.

First of all was a group test, but rather than a straightforward exercise, they had each us (7 at the time) given a detail that would put us in direct confrontation with at least a couple of others. It wasnt fun, but I battled through, so on to the next point, the role play. By comparison, this was easy. It wasnt, as they wanted us to rearrange something, while giving us minimal ideas on what we were changing it with. I got through it, but 1 person walked out in the middle of hers, she’d had enough, and I couldnt blame her! From comments, several others felt the same way about the whole scene.

Oh, the final interview. Normally with the interviewer, you get the feeling they’re on your side, trying to help you through, but not this time, it felt more like a psychological battle! And to be honest, I was so worn down by the length of things, and the nature of it, that I didnt perform at my best, or close to it. So no, I wasnt shocked when I got the email this morning telling me I hadnt passed in the slightest! I was offered the chance to apply again in the future, but I dont think I’d want to go through that again!

So as I say, being integrated into the computer system, non-invasively, or even invasively would have been a positive delight compared to that! And yes, regardless of what kind of answers my mind might have given, with my free will taken out of the equation by the machine, I would have enjoyed that far more!

Ah well, the search goes on…again…

The video, well this would be my preference to being grilled by them again!

Part of the system?

Normally, when you get invited to an assessment centre for a job, you would expect to get the email from a person, right? So fine, for tomorrow, I get the invite from something called ‘system integration’! Yes, I know, I should be so lucky! And even more when the instructions say that you are to report to them on arrival. How is this assessment going to be handled lol? I know, I know, I’d love to be connected up to the system, integrated into it, and assessed by a machine controlling my mind, but generally, most people… Oh fine, a short while after, I got an email telling me to report to reception instead, far less exciting! Would bring a whole new meaning to the group exercise, Borg like assimilation, I guess? At least I wouldnt need to think of any answers to those competency based questions, the machine would probably discover the answer to those for itself!

Mind, I joke/dream about this for now, but I guess at some point in the future, the human element of interviews may be reduced, or even totally taken out of the equation, but not in the near future I suspect…shame! Just imagine, the inability to ‘improve yourself’ taken out of the situation, as a machine probes your mind for the correct answers.

Yes, I know, if that happened tomorrow, I’d love every moment of it, regardless of getting the job, or not. Mind, if you’re integrated into the system, surely they could ensure you were the perfect candidate for the job anyway, and have no desire to leave the company at any point? 😉 Shame I know its not really going to happen, but a girl can dream!

OK, the video. What hopefully I wouldnt be able to do for myself once integrated into the system

Oops, I did it again!

Yes, fine, alright, stop laughing, so I managed to miss (again) where my appointment was yesterday afternoon, but it wasnt my fault, honest it wasnt! More on that shortly…

But firstly, back to Thursday evening…

Actually it was a good, fun evening, which I thoroughly enjoyed, even if you could strictly say I shouldnt have been spending money on something like that, when I’m not actually in work, but hey, a girl has to chill sometimes, so…The fashion show was fun, though in all truth, I’m probably glad I was only watching it, not taking part. Though there were some lovely outfits, but anyway…One thing that did come out of it, beyond wearing a nice dress for the first time, was having my hair styled. No prizes for working out what look! Fine, you want to see, well, OK…

Me in lacy dress

Anyway, then to Friday. Yes, finally managed to get the phone interview with Jet 2 sorted, and I passed! Assessment centre is on Tuesday afternoon, feel free to wish me luck! After that, and signing on at the Job Centre, I headed for Leeds, to register with a recruitment agency. Yes, I knew the address, and yes, I knew where it was, but… I was expecting it to be like the others, an easily recognisable office from the outside, oh dear!

So I walked right past the building, and did a loop of that section of Leeds. Then I specifically looked for the address, and discovered this huge, multi floored building matched the address. So I walked in, and there on the 2nd floor, my goal. Hey, I passed it 15 minutes early, and only got there 3 minutes late in the end!…facepalm!

Then, all duties done, I headed for home. Today has been calmer, beyond picking a few losing horses for a competition I’m in, watching England win in the cricket, and writing a new story for an anthology, its been a calmer day! Oh, and got an email, I actually sold 2 books today!

Fine, the video. Well, you have a choice tonight, or you could play both, I guess? Firstly, the Britney version, if only because of what she’s wearing

Secondly, and the version I would go with, is Post Modern Jukebox bringing out the Marilyn Monroe version of the song

And alright, lastly, the plea for support, so that the picture you have seen is of Stephanie Harlean Carpenter, not Stevie Lou Nicholls. Honest, its the last time I’ll annoy you until nearly the end, so…if you’re feeling generous…

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/e10ypc/ab/c2hJdb

Queen of your hearts?

Right, firstly, an update from Monday’s posting. Yes, I’ve decided to try the fund raiser thing, and see what happens. As I say, I cant actually do the name change, or anything until after I get back from the US, because the air ticket is already purchased, and no, I’m not paying that silly fee to change your name on the ticket, even if the full amount of money is raised in double quick time. After that, the possibility of becoming Stephanie Harlean Carpenter seems a lot more likely. Probably stop messing with this Ms lark too, and become a genuine Miss!

So fine, if there are any readers out there who havent already seen this on Facebook, or Twitter, and want to help out, the link to the campaign is at https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/e10ypc/ab/c2hJdb

Yes, thats right, one truly wonderful friend has already donated, very generously, but anyway…Look at it this way now, if 20 people each gave £5 (or 50 gave £2), I’d be there! I know, probably wont happen, but no harm in asking, I guess? Now, if only I knew Bill Gates, or someone lol…I wish!

OK, the other “event” this week is tomorrow night, in Leeds. Cocoture (with whom I’ve had both of my brilliant photo shoots done) are having an evening to celebrate their (relatively) new studio in the centre of Leeds, with a fashion and lingerie show. Proceeds are going to charity. For those of you on Facebook, and in the area, the link is https://www.facebook.com/events/1608781949397731/ though please contact Karen to check there are still tickets available before turning up!

I will be there, dressed up “a little bit”, and hopefully thats an incentive to support, not the contrary. Hey, you’re reading this, if you hated me, why…lol? Alright, there might be someone, but…

So there, sorry, a blog full of requests to spend money tonight, I know! Hopefully next time, something less demanding!

The video, well, you can tell this is live, as Dave Edmunds forgets the lyrics near the end!