Wow…what a week. What. A. Week.
We had to buy a dayrider on the bus pretty much for every day this past week…mind you we didn’t know when the week began that we’d be going out on the bus pretty much every day, and I didn’t realise what was happening until the week was almost over and there wasn’t much point to buying megariders for the rest of the week, so we ended up spending around £50 – £60 on bus tickets.
Mostly it was because each evening, Lav would find a rental and book a veiwing for the very next day.
So the first rental we viewed was the one in Rusholme we were viewing on New Year’s Day I mentioned in my last blog post…we met with the two current tenants…a couple of black dudes.
Turns out they’re renting from an agency which wasn’t gonna be open until the 4th.
They seemed to like us, though…we made them laugh a bit.
They said if they want us to live with them they’ll ring us back and then we can arrange to pay the deposit and a month’s rent.
They didn’t ring us back.
We were then going to view a place in Moss Side but then we realised it may not be a good idea to go for non-DSS rentals before she starts work in this picker packer job she got lined up in Clayton thanks to that Temps agency. She’s starting that this coming Tuesday.
So then, on the 3rd, on the advice of Shelter, we went to Stockport Homes to officially declare ourselves homeless because our living situation was so bad.
They asked us if my parents had said we need to leave and I said yes and went on to say they’re gonna kick us out on August.
That immediately had the Stockport Homes agent tell us we’re not an emergency as we’re not gonna be kicked out in 28 days.
Furthermore, WHY DID I SAY AUGUST?!? That’s not 6 months away, it’s 8 months away!
I know why…because my mind still thinks August is the middle of the year because I had school summer holidays in August when I was younger. Goddammit.
A lot of private landlords and agencies are asking for a reference and a history of having rented from a landlord in the last 12 months…
See, if we had known all this stuff about how Housing Benefit works and how some rentals require a recent renting history when we left Dave’s place we most likely would have had our own place for a long time by now.
Our problem is we just assume we know what’s what and not ask any questions about anything and just give up and make incorrect assumptions that we have no chance for anything and get punished by karma for it. So we gotta stop doing that.
So on the 4th we went to view a property in Salford…turns out they just want the deposit and 1 month’s rent…after that we can just apply for housing benefit from Salford Council.
Then we went to Manchester Council about our situation but they forced us to reveal we had until May to find something, which meant to them that we didn’t have emergency need for a place, just like Stockport Homes.
Then, when we had arrived home, from out of nowhere I got a couple of phone calls.
Both of them from companies inviting me for a job interview.
One was a company called Prestige Promotions,
The other was a company called RSJ Global.
Both liked my CV.
Yeah, this is the result of me applying to a bunch of places like crazy, as suggested by Lav, via CV library the previous evening.
So on the 5th I went to my interviews…though both were not quite what I was expecting.
I was expecting a one-on-one thing where I’m asked all the usual questions…I had even prepared a script of some questions to expect and answers to give to those questions and practised it like crazy to make sure I remember what to say.
When I arrived at my first interview with Prestige Promotions, what ended up happening was first they had a group of us sitting in a reception filling in some form, then they invited us into a seperate room for the actual interview two at a time.
The interviewer asked us questions based off what we put on the form to get more details, and also asked about our work history and experiences and who we are as a person.
All was going quite well…the interviewer even said both I and the girl she invited into the room with me were “blank canvasses” who would be easy to train and wouldn’t likely fall back into the usual routines of retail and sales, as that’s not what they want in their line of work.
They promoted a fun workspace…the receptionist had music playing and was singing along to some of the songs. This lines up quite well with my belief that people of any age work well when the work is made fun.
But then the interviewer asked me when my last paid job was…I wasn’t ready for this and answered with the truth…that I’d wasted over 10 years of my life as far as paid employment is concerned.
She immediately told me that this was a huge concern…and at the end, because of this exact concern, she trold me I wouldn’t be invited back for the second round of interviews…
So I went home for lunch and relayed this information to Lav face-to-face and to Caroline from Work Solutions via e-mail.
Lav suggested I pretend I had some personal problems I’d rather not talk about if I have to specifically say I’d been out of paid work for 10 years, but I still worked to keep my skills as fresh as possible. I felt that sounded believeable.
Caroline suggested that when asked about my work history to talk about the voluntary work I’d done for over a year of my life as well as the skills courses I’d been on.
Armed with these suggestions, I headed to my second interview with RSJ Global.
Again, I had to sit in a room with a group of other people and fill in a form…then, pretty much once was done I was invited to speak with the interviewer.
One of the things he asked about was indeed my work history, but he didn’t specifically ask about when I last had a paid job, so I was able to use Caroline’s advice to talk about my voluntary work and courses to improve my skills. That seemed to impress him.
So much so that later in the afternoon I got a phone call inviting me back for the second round of interviews the next day!
The second round of interviews was quite fun and interesting. first they started out with an icebreaker where they asked our names, an interesting fact about ourselves and if we could be any animal in the world, what would we be?
Well, for an interesting fact I went with my birthday being on rememberence day…as for animal…well we all already know what I picked, don’t we?
They then explained about what the company does. Sales and Marketing. Helping other companies sell their product to new customers either via going to events, going company to company or by going door-to-door and speaking to people directly.
Afterwards, the interviewers saw people from the group two at a time like Prestige did.
This time I got paired with a rather timid and quiet female applicant, who, I’ll be honest, only served to make me seem even more confident than I already was.
Yeah, I pretty much knew I got the job even before I got the call later that afternoon.
Lav and I went to view a place in Bramhall.
The place itself was amazing. The room was quite big, there was an awesome glass desk just waiting for my computer to sit on it, the home owners were quite pleasent, and there were a couple of kitty-cats there! they also had a big ol’ fish tank and informed us they had three dogs in the back somewhere…we didn’t see the dogs but were told they can be quite…boisterous.
Unfortunately it was a bit further away from the main road to Manchester than I thought, and the buses there proved quite unreliable as the bus back to Stockport was 20 minutes late. Good thing my weirdness had kicked in and stopped us from saying yes right at the place and gave us time to think and see these issues, or we’d have been stuck with the inconvinient location and unrelaible buses and liable to arrive to work late.
My mom had gone to Primark to get me some smart shirts to try because I didn’t have any proper smart shirts for work…with her help, we discovered I was a collar 17…but just 1 smart shirt is not enough, obviously. Luckily Primark has them at only a fiver each, which is pretty cheap.
So yesterday Lav and I went to the Primark in Manchester to get more cheap smart shirts for my work.
We also got a couple of pairs of smart pants and some new belts to go with them.
We chose the Manchester Primark for two reasons…one, they were likely to have more of a choice of clothes than the one in Stockport…and two, we had yet another rental to view close to Manchester in an area called Moston.
But then the en suite room we were interested in was poached right from under our noses literally minutes before the lady showed up to show us the place. Like, she had JUST got the phone call from the landlord before she turned up on the street as we were waiting.
Bummer. That place would’ve been so perfect, not just because the room was quite spacious, had a table I can use for a computer desk and everything else we needed, but also because it was just an amazingly convinient location…just a short walk from Clayton where Lav is working, and frequent buses that could get me to Manchester quickly.
Oh well, there’s always more properties to view…and now that I have a sales and marketing job after some training starting Monday and Lavander could well have a packer job after an induction that’s starting on Tuesday, we can pretty much just go for any rental we like and not worry about Housing Benefit anymore!
Yep, we’re off to one heck of a start to 2017!
Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox.