About Me

My photo
Graduate trying out life on the other side of the world.. stay tuned.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

three questions..

Today, whilst stuck on the M56, aka my second home these days (expect the new home cards through the post any day now notifying you of my new residence) with a colleague, he started spouting something or other about Psychology and how he'd be able to tell a lot about me by asking just three questions.

I sighed, rolled my eyes, and decided that this traffic jam might just warrant indulging him in this conversation. (don't worry, he knows he most probably was talking like a crazy man. I blame the M56.)

He asked three questions, I can't remember what they were, but they were nothing special, like 'where did you go on your last holiday?' (Dubai, for those bored enough to want to know. And, it was great.)

Anyway, I answered and he in return analysed what I said to him in a fairly accurate way in that he mentioned a couple of things that made me think that how we act with others in everyday life and with other lovely people is quite revealing.

I think I generally hold my cards quite close to my chest, but with close people in my life I let them in probably a bit too far.But in the past 6 months, in the job I've held, I am amazed at how much someone will reveal to a relative stranger without, for the most part, realising it.

With a background in sales, now fundraising- which is the softer, more cuddly cousin of sales, I've been trained into submission to pick up the language people use, and the body language they give to you in order to alter your pitch, and I've learnt how to effectively steer the conversation away from Great Aunt Betty's recent trip on a cruise back to something a little more profitable. And sometimes,you just can't help but employ the same tactics whilst talking to your nearest and dearest. If you suddenly find yourself agreeing to take me on a shopping spree round Selfridges for no apparent reason, I give you permission to point the finger of blame at me.. (Of course I'd never do that. That's just too obvious.)

It made me think, first impressions of a person are more often than not pretty accurate. I am way too willing to judge a book by its cover, but for good reason, I'm [usually] right.

For example: Harry Potter books- GREAT covers, GREAT books. An introduction to the Complete History of the Single Market: MUNDANE cover, MUNDANE content. It's a scientifically tested (by yours truly). Fact.

An old boss of mine once said that they make a decision about whether they'd hire the interviewee within 5 minutes of the person walking into their office. I like to think that it was a good decision made when they hired me.

But it makes me wonder how many graduates have missed out on their dream job simply on the wrong first impression of a candidate by a potential employer? One button not done up, the wrong tie with a shirt, or one flimsy handshake and you could be waving goodbye to that golden opportunity. That is kinda depressing   when you think of the weeks of prep you put into that interview so that you try to make the 'right' impression isn't it? Just really emphasises the notion that every little helps. (Man, I hate Tesco for coining that cliche.)

Note to friends: watch out for those subliminal messages in forthcoming conversations. cough *selfridgesshoppingspree* cough..

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Wish me luck?

Okay, so this morning, on one of my (many) days off I watched a great program by the clever and slightly creepy Derren Brown about the concept of luck, and whether it is something we can bring on ourselves through the taking of opportunities.

I have recently made the choice to hop on a plane in February to New Zealand and live there for a year or so. It's all happened fairly suddenly.. quite like the time I agreed to go to Ecuador for a few months in a vain attempt to try and do something good and worthwhile. I didn't actually achieve all that much when there though, except an unusually good knowledge of Amazonian plants and their properties, and how to handle a machette. I didn't even take the time to learn how to spell machette, hence the crap spelling.

This could actually turn out to be quite like that, but I hope I'll be able to spell better this time round.

I got the visa approved and the flights booked within a week. Nothing like jumping at an opportunity.

The thing is with opportunities, I really am starting to think that if we never took the opportunities presented to us, we could go round thinking we were the unluckiest person that were to ever walk this earth. Take this bloke on this Derren Brown show, he believed he was incredibly unlucky. As a result he didn't play a scratchcard where he would have won a television, but another time he took an opportunity, he won six grand. Some would say that's lucky, but I think he took a risk and the risk paid off thanks to grasping the opportunity rather than luck. It could have gone the other way and he'd have lost a grand (ouch). I suspect some jiggery-pokery went on behind the scenes.

I'm not even sure I believe in luck. For example, the fact that I mistakenly squirted Cif into my cup of tea earlier today could be said to be unlucky, when really, it was me just being an idiot and trying to move a cup of tea and a bottle of Cif one handed whilst cleaning the kitchen with the other hand. Pretty idiotic.On the other hand, it could be seen to be quite lucky that I noticed the thing abusing my cup of Yorkshire Tea before actually drinking it. So looking at it like that, the whole concept of luck is a pretty stupid one.

Mind you, the whole concept of me going to New Zealand could be a pretty stupid one, considering I thought my friend was having me on when she told me the Kiwi was a bird in NZ hence the name, Kiwi. I'm notoriously gullible and would believe you if you told me it was illegal to eat cheese. (Thanks for that, Abi.) It's not something I'm proud of and would like to say I'm working on this issue but that would be a blatent lie..

Anyway, seriously sidetracked there- the flights are paid for, the visa is approved and my parents will be pushing me onto the plane whether I like it or not. If anything so they have a good holiday lined up for next year. But if I can't do anything like this now, then when on earth will I do it? And what the chuff was holding me back?(As soon as my Mum asked this, I knew I should be booking my plane tickets) It'll end up being one of those things, like washing your car (unless you're my Dad with a serious car washing related OCD issue) that you  never seem to get round to (unless it's just me that never washes her car) but know you really should do, because it'll be great once you have. (I know washing your car doesn't even compare with an extended trip to NZ- but since the Cif incident I've had little caffeine today, so give me a break).

Fear not, my NZ ramble is over.. I best get round to washing my car now.