Sunday, 26 May 2013

Language Conference - Perm

From tomorrow until the start of June I shall be away at a Language Conference in Perm, Russia. This will mean two things; one, that I will probably not be able to post while I am there, and two, that when I return there will be a plethora of posts.
I will be attending the 'Russian Language between Europe and Asia' conference where I will be speaking on the topic of 'Teaching Russian language to Foreigners: Problems and Perspectives'. It is set to be a very interesting conference and I am honoured to have the chance to speak.
While I am away if you, dear reader, are looking for things to read then try the posts from my Year Abroad in Moscow.They give a fairly good idea of what life was like for me when I was living there. They also include some funny interactions with Russian old ladies or Babs.
Now to go and pack! I wonder where I put my passport......

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Funemployment 13

Last week I was treated to the joy of having not one but two visits to the Job Centre. I must say at this point that the advisers are now back to being helpful and running roughly to time.
The first visit was for my 'personal intervention'. Now I had been given the impression that I would sit with an adviser and go through everything that I was doing to look for work with a fine tooth comb and that it would be analysed and I would be told where I was going wrong.
For this appointment the adviser was running late and I did not have a book with me so instead I got to evesdrop on a nearby conversation;
JCP: So how is your job hunt going?
Claimant: Shit.
JCP: Oh?
C: Yeah, I had an interview and I didn't get the job.
JCP: Well this is not uncommon, tell me what happened?
C:Well, I went in and it started well and then they asked me a question I didn't like so I told them to f*** off.
JCP: *sighs* Well, that was probably why they didn't hire you.
C: *confused* why?
JCP: Well, people don't tend to like being told to f*** off, especially not in an interview.
C: But he was annoying me.
JCP: *sighs again* well, even if they are then you have to remain polite. Some interviewers will try and test you a bit.
C: Why?
JCP: To see how you react to certain situations.
C: Yeah, and when someone annoys me I tell them to f*** off.
JCP: *slightly exasperated* Yes, but in an interview you cannot.

Sadly at this point I was then called so I am not sure how the conversation ended but it is clear that interviewers do not like being sworn at. Who knew?!
During my 'personal intervention' my adviser asked why I was there, told me he had never in his life heard the term 'personal intervention' and that as far as he could see I was doing everything correctly and there were no complaints. He was then as confused as I was that I had been sent for this appointment to which I said that as far as the JCP were concerned I would just do as I was told.
After this session I was told that I needed to come back to sign on as today was X and I am a Y signer. I asked if it were not possible to just sign me on anyway rather than coming back twice in one week and was met with the reply 'you're a Y signer and today is X, you must come back on Y' and a look of confusion.
At this point I decided that it was best not to argue as it was eating into my job hunting and writing time. That and I wanted a coffee.
So what have I learnt from this trip? 1. Interviewers do not like to be sworn at. 2. If you are a Y signer you must come in on Y. 3. The 25+ advisers are still much more helpful than the 16-24 signers.
The job hunt continues.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Happy May Day!

Today is May 1st traditionally celebrated by those of a Communist persuasion as International Workers day. So to celebrate this I am sharing with you some of my favourite Communist themed videos while I go Morris dancing. Enjoy.

I read some Marx (and I liked it);


I am the man;



Rap Battles of History;