Wednesday, 26 September 2012


My current job and my desired job collided unexpectedly the other day.

I'm sat at my till, serving an elderly man.  I turn away for a moment to look at my till screen.

I hear a clattering sound.

I immediately look round to see a set of false bottom teeth bouncing down my till!

I don't know if the poor man had opened his mouth to say something or what, but his teeth were making a break for it and his shirt was rather damp.

He apologised immediately, then grabbed his teeth and shoved straight back into his mouth.

Both rather gross and unfortunate. 

It was only after he left that it occurred to me that perhaps I should have recommended he visit his dentist.  Perhaps it's not my place to do so, bearing in mind I am employed as a cashier, not a dental nurse at this moment in time.  But to be frank, if your teeth can fall out of your mouth that easily, they obviously do not fit properly!

False teeth should fit reasonably snugly - just tight enough that they don't fall out when you open your mouth, but loose enough that you can remove them when necessary without difficulty.  It's a fine line and worth getting a set that fit perfectly.

Otherwise the teeth could land somewhere less pleasant.

Yes, I did have the till cleaned shortly after.   I hope he thought to clean his teeth when he got home!

Monday, 24 September 2012

So much for that!

I told myself I was going to have a short break from job hunting.

I was going to have a week or so where I didn't stress over looking for job adverts or tweaking my CV.  Everyone needs a break now and then, otherwise your brain just goes into meltdown and it's impossible to concentrate and so on and so forth.

So why do I find myself re-writing my CV again?

I haven't even had my weekend away and I'm back to revising it.

Urgh!  Why am I doing this AGAIN?

OK, that's not a bad thing, but clearly I am a glutton for punishment.  That said, I think this will be the best version of my CV yet.

Now that my Hepatitis B vaccinations are finished, that will come across as an excellent selling point!  "Fully vaccinated" sounds so much better than "Currently receiving vaccinations" doesn't it?

I'm also trying to highlight what I've learnt by studying the textbook - which in turn gives me a kick up the rear to keep at it, re-read things to keep the information fresh and to keep progressing.  Hold my hands up, I've not been as studious of the book as I should have been.  But I can't very well continue to slack if it's down in black and white and being sent to potential employers - that's the whole incentive: keep it current and relevant.

Will read - will learn!

I'm also trying to highlight more of my voluntary work and my efforts to learn a foreign language.  Potential employers really do like that sort of thing!  :)    I've been a volunteer for years but I can elaborate on what I've done, the awards I've won (why I didn't think to include those in the first place I'm not sure, but hey it happens) and the progression I've made through the ranks of the organisation.

As for the foreign language - I've biten the bullet and ordered the complete Rosetta Stone collection.  Not every language, just the one I'm learning!  The methods I'm currently using have been fine for building up vocabulary but without more conversational tutition, it's slow and stilted progress.   Rosetta Stone may be a little pricey when you first look at it, but as I say, I've ordered the complete collection - lucky for me that's only three sets, not four or five which they offer for some languages.  Plus it was on offer so I've saved a bit of money.  Would be an awful lot more if I'd opted to buy each one separately.

Can you guess what I'm learning? :)
Being fluent or at least partially fluent in a foreign language is undoubtably a boon to any employer, but especially for people in the medial profession when it's guaranteed that you will treat people who don't speak English as a first language.

Even in my current role as a cashier, my Sign Language is limited but the people who are deaf that come to shop with us do apprecaite the sign for 'thank you'.  I'd like to improve my Sign as well but I've got so much to learn at the moment that that one will have to wait.  Plus it's one you really need a tutor to work with you face-to-face.

So, yes, so much for taking a break from it all!  Thought I shalln't be applying for anything until after my weekend away - four more days, I can't wait!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Electric vs Conventional

I'm already packing a few things for my upcoming trip.

One thing we all take with us?  Our toothbrush!

Since my first (and sadly unsuccessful) interview for a trainee dental nurse position, I have owned an electric toothbrush - courtesy of my potential employers as a consolation prize.

Now I'm off for a long weekend, I've taken a look at it and thought 'Huh, that's not going to work out.'

The electric toothbrush can be charged ... but exactly how long does it last?

In my experience - not that long.

I have my doubts it'll last the whole trip.  I take my time brushing my teeth.  It's not a quick scrub and spit!   I like the health of my teeth and gums and would very much like to maintain that.  Not to mention it wouldn't look very good to proclaim my interest in a dentistry career when my own teeth are in an awful state!

Not that I'm a fanatic!  God no - I can assure you that my regime doesn't consist of endless brushing, tooth-picking, tongue-scrapping, mouthwash-rinsing, and flossing every frakking day!  I just take my time over the brushing, and floss when it's needed.  And I love a thorough tongue-scrape now and again.

Any hoo.  Back to the brush.  I take my time - that runs the battery down.  I don't want to get to the last day and find my toothbrush is dead!

What about the charger I hear you ask?  Sure.  I could take it.  But it's not small: it consists of a stand with a rack for the extra brush heads and accessories.

Not to mention that the lead is way too short!  That was my immediate problem when I got the darn thing home.  It would not reach the plug in the bathroom.  It now sits in my bedroom on a low table next to a plug with an adaptor plug.
Seriously - I don't need to cart all of this around!

I really don't want to faff around, packing the charger and the plug, when really all I need to do is spend a quid on a manual toothbrush.

I've managed all this time without an electric toothbrush and my dentist has complimented me on my well-looked-after teeth.

It's not going to kill me to have a manual toothbrush for the weekend!

The humble manual tooth scrubber - it does the job just fine!

How about you?  Can you not live without your electric?  Would you take it, accessories and all?  Can you be bothered with one?  Do you have both??  Any preference?

Sunday, 16 September 2012


In 12 days time I shall be off on a weekend break.

I can not wait!

I haven't had a holiday of any description for over a year.  When I started as a Christmas temp in my current job, I didn't dare take any time off - primarily due to having no idea whether I'd still have a job after Christmas.

Then throughout January in spite of asking several times whether I was being kept on, I never got a straight answer.

So in spite of earning a few days off, the holiday entitlement has to be taken before February.  Hence, I lost what few days I might have had.  Then I had to start afresh but with the same unanswered question of 'Am I still going to be employed next week?'

Considering I'm still there nearly a year on, I'd say I'm unlikely to be told anytime soon that they're cancelling my contract.

Since February I've earned 13 days of my allotted 20.  So I'm going to be taking 3 at the end of this month.  Then take some time off in November (hopefully a week!), then perhaps some time in December and January to use up the remaining days.

It's about time I had a break!

I shall be sightseeing, visiting museums and a special trip to a charity that my grandmother supported.  Until now I haven't had a change to visit since it's well outside the range of 'local'.

I'm also taking my boyfriend along ... although he has no idea where we're off to!!  Mwhaha - I'm keeping the details under wraps!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Course Complete

Well, it's taken six months and a total of £66 - but today I received my final vaccination against Hepatitis B.

I certainly noticed an increase of interest in my CV when I could say that I'd started the course.  Hopefully now I can update my CV with 'fully vacainated' this may further aid my job search.

I did mean to do a post on Hepatitis B a little while ago but got distracted by the recent interview.  I shall endeavour to address this soon - once my busy weekend of work is out of the way!

Monday, 3 September 2012


How fortuitous.

Working part time, I don't often get more than 18 hours worth of shifts.  This week consists of nearly 30 hours, plus I will be paid for an extra three due to working Sunday.

My payslip for that week is going to look extremely healthy!

That can go towards my long awaited mini-break at the end of the month. Yay!

Something to smile about :)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Time for a Break

Well ... it's been two weeks since my interview.  No phone call.  I'm calling time on that one - there's only so long you can reasonably assume that 'they're busy' and not got around to calling.

Needless to say that's a huge disappointment.

I felt the interview went very well; I asked plenty of good questions, I ticked all the boxes ... really the only hitches that I could see were being rather nervous (it's a frakking interview, what do they expect?) and the question of 'you've had a number of different jobs' ... yes, I have a ten year working history, five years of which I spent in one place and then the recession hit, leading to a few short-lived employments and now coming up for a year in my current role.

Seriously, if that was such a major issue then anyone affected by the recession is going to be penalised!  Ridiculous.

I can show my commitment to the career path of being a dental nurse; I've been studying the handbook, I'm paying for the Hepatitis vaccine out of my own pocket, I've paid for a CRB check, I have the administration and receptionist background and I'm very keen to learn.

So why was I not given a chance with a second interview to see me in action on reception and spend a little time in the surgery with the dental team?

It's such a kick in the teeth when I did so well with my last interview and it got down to me and one other woman, out of forty who originally applied.

But what really gets me is the total lack of contact.  If I'm not through to the next round then is 30 seconds out of your day asking too much?  Pick up the damn phone - 'Hi, this is Dental Practice, I'm sorry to inform you that you've not be selected for the second round of interviews, good luck in your job search.'   Is that genuinely asking too much these days??

Just call will you!?

Sorry, but this is the worst thing you can do to any job hunter - leave them sitting, anxiously waiting on a phone call you don't intend to make.   Especially when you say that you will call!

Either keep your promise or give a time frame: "If you haven't heard by x date then you've been unsuccessful.'  Thank you, that's so much more beneficial to my mental state than trying to make excuses for your rudeness of not calling me back.

Well - sucks to them.  I know I'll be a great dental nurse and my administration skills are brilliant.  They have missed out.  And I'm not the sort of person who feels comfortable with bigging myself up.  I don't boast.  But I am good at what I do and I will be a good dental nurse.

With that in mind and having got over the disappointment and the anxious state of mind they put me through this past two weeks - I'm taking a short break from job hunting.

This is partly due to my final Hep B vaccination taking place later this week - not much point in applying until I'm fully vaccinated now.  Looks so much better on my CV to be frank.

The other aspect is that I have been working my rear end off for a year without a break.  I did have a holiday last year for three weeks but since then, I've been working two jobs over six days a week.  I've not had any time off beyond my allotted rest day from work.

I've got three days off coming up at the end of this month which I fully intend to do something with.  I can not abide the idea of sitting at home doing sod all.  So I'm plotting a trip to the Lincoln area and its historic sites.

I also have to plan for my stint as a Dungeon Master for my RPG group.  Yes, I run with the nerd crowd and proud of it!  I shall be conducting an adventure for the classic Dungeons and Dragons game and I can not wait to get absorbed in the planning!

They shall decide your fate!

My brain needs a rest from the worry and repeated job applications.  Time for a break and to relax for a little while.  We all need some time to ourselves and to devote to hobbies and relaxation.  Yes, job hunting is very important but without a little downtime now and then, I'm going to do ever so slightly insane ... if I'm not already.