It’s not often I’m contacted by the media, but a week or so ago, I did get a call. CBC Radio had seen an article about my juggling workshops in the paper and wanted to talk to me about them. Ten minutes later, they decided that, no, they actually wanted to talk to me about me, and the strange life I’ve lead. Fair enough, I thought.
The call was from CBC’s North by Northwest, a magazine programme that runs on the weekend. They interview a variety of people for a variety of reasons, and now it was my turn to talk about life, emigration and playwriting.
It was a Sunday morning recording session, and I made my way to the studio on the skytrain, enjoying the various landmarks that loomed out of the fog. I was met in the lobby of CBC by my hostess, Sheryl MacKay. She took me through to the studio where we’d be chatting and got me a drink while I tried to relax and stop worrying about saying something really stupid. At least this was going to be recorded and edited before broadcast!
Sheryl was very calming, and I found it easy to talk to her. I wanted to mention the brilliant work SMP Dramatic Society had done with the TLC pantomime “Knight Fever” , which I’d seen with my family just the day before, and I wanted to mention TLC in general, and the appraisal service I run. Oh, and there was my collection of e-books, and the one I haven’t finished yet but which SHOULD be out at the end of the month, and…oh, we’re out of time?
I think I kept my head and was interesting, rather than insane. Life has been, as you’ll know from previous entries, a serious of bizarre events and co-incidences and lucky breaks. Mrs Dim says we’re blessed, and looking around at the Weasels and my plays and the friends we have now, it’s hard to argue.
So, if you’re at a loose end this weekend, why not tune in to CBC and listen out for North By Northwest? I haven’t found out exactly when I’m being featured, but it’s quality programming, so you should enjoy it anyway.
Og, Dim, Og!
It’s another one of those days, where I’m trying to remain calm and cool, but also be prepared for an interview. This is for a job that came up quite suddenly, and would be a mite more convenient than my current employment (It doesn’t involve shift work, is only nine ’til one, has a desk and a chair….Plus it’s just around the corner from the weasels’ school.)
So, I’m sorry. I’d like to wax lyrical about the joys of living in BC, or the many challenges and excitements of being a playwright, but today I’m just sitting in the corner, re-reading my resume and the job spec, rehearsing my lines so I don’t sound trite or corny.
Wherever you are in the world, whatever time you’re reading this, please cross your fingers for me. Or, if you’re alone and you think no one can hear you, feel free to shout ‘Og, Dim, og!”.
I was trying to remember earlier today if I’ve ever been called for a second interview for anything. I don’t think I have. My first few jobs were pretty much cut and dried in the first interview. One job I got seems a tremendous fluke now – the interviewer asked me where I saw myself in five years time. I said I wanted to be a novelist. Probably not the answer they were hoping for from someone interviewing for a post in their photocopy and archives room. Still, I held the job for nearly two years. The trouble is, you’ll have to take my word for that, since I don’t actually have a very good work record.
My first job was at the TVS (Television South) studios in Southampton. I worked there as Receptionist for the Programmes Department, and also delivered mail to and from the Programmes Dept. and the studios. Just as my year’s contract came to an end (and I was hoping to transfer to become assistant to the Assistant Floor Manager in the Studio) TVS lost their ITV franchise. The company split up and I was looking for work again. I spent time working in an off-licence (liquor store for you North Americans) but that was seasonal work. I found a job in a Solicitor’s office (the above-mentioned photocopy and archive clerk job). I stayed there for two years before going back to college for a year. Sadly, the office went on to electronic staff records in the late ’90s and my record was not one of those transferred. So, no reference from TVS, no reference from the solicitors. I spent a happy year at Portsmouth College of Art and Design, came out with a useless bit of paper and had to get another job. I took a temporary position as bar manager/receptionist at The Bell Hotel in Alresford. It lasted for two more years, during which time I got married. When I found myself a “proper” job with the Civil Service, I resigned from The Bell. I went away for the weekend, with a week’s time still to work, and when I came home I found the place had burned down. No reference from The Bell, then. Working for the Civil Service (joke: How many people work in the Civil Service? About half of them!) was great, since it meant I could be close to Mrs Dim as she guarded the peace-loving nations of the world from aggressive types, but Civil Servants work with the military, who are posted in and out of jobs, and by the time I gave up work to look after Eldest Weasel (then just a tiny weasel herself) I had already lost track of my first couple of bosses. Within a year, there was no hope of a personal reference from the Civil Service.
But please don’t think I stopped working just because I was now a full-time Weasel Wrangler. Oh no, I became a writer, and then an Editor. I edited the magazine of the RAF Families organisation, Airwaves. At first the magazine was called Corridors, but we changed the name when everyone finally agreed it was stupid. We changed it to “Airwaves”. Inspired or what? I took on more on behalf of the organisation, becoming an Airwaves Representative and Regional Manager. I went to meetings and wrote reports. Once I even went to the House of Lords and interviewed a Baroness. Oh yes. Can you guess what happens next? Well, there was a thing. All of a sudden all Airwaves Reps were told to stop doing anything. STOP! Someone hadn’t done something, or had done something they shouldn’t, and now there were legal ramifications of some awful extent, and the upshot was that Airwaves – the whole organisation – ceased to be. Shazam! Just like that. There is now the RAF Families Federation, but it’s run by a whole new group of people, none of whom know me. No reference from Airwaves.
Which pretty much brings me up to date. I joined the marvellous TLC Creative, working with Steve and David to Write the wrongs of society…heh heh heh! And I began doing some work for Lazy Bee Scripts, reading and reporting on script submissions. Both those businesses, I’m happy to say, are still around. Two references for me at least, and they must carry some weight because this Friday I shall be returning to the World’s Largest Home Improvement Retailer for a record THIRD interview, this time (I am assured) merely a formality, meeting the Store Manager. I’m sure you’re agog now. What position have I applied for that needs such a rigorous screening, so many searching interviews? Well, I’m going to be a Greeter. I will be standing by the door as you gracious folks enter the hallowed halls, and I’ll be happy to direct you to the aisle of your choice. Or choose one for you, if you’re up for a magical mystery tour of home hardware.
Hope to see you there.
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Tagged Airwaves, Alresford, archives, Civil Service, Eldest Weasel, Greeter, interview, job, Lazy Bee Scripts, novelist, Portsmouth College, Solicitor, studio, The Bell hotel, TLC Creative, TVS, weasels, work