Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Aye, so today, around 1700 years ago, the first Council of Nicea began. That's pretty interesting, the first ecumenical council that established a lot of foundations of Christianity as we know it. The first synods of Christianity are the most interesting to me, and the most agreed within all of Christianity. Later on, with more and more denominations, well... you know how history went.
Anyhoo, I was reading Cracked the other day and saw an article. Here's a small excerpt:
"Humans tend to see the world through something called the actor/observer bias: The more we know a person, the less we blame their actions on their personality and the more we blame outside circumstances."
I find it really interesting that the more we know someone, we will tend to gloss over their faults. Especially when it comes to defending them from accusations and lies. And more so if they're especially close to you. After all, isn't that what good friends will do? Defend their friends all the way? The worst thing is finding out that you defended them for nothing, and that all accusations were true. There's a short list of facts on more about this, and other human interactions. This is the link.
So when it comes to faults, personality and stuff, our friends will defend us. Others will say its ourselves. And this holds pretty major importance when it comes to job interviews. You need to make a good impression, show off your capabilities, your attitude, and in a very cliched line "sell yourself". Anything you say and do reflect you. Not your circumstances, which they won't know. It all reflects on you. So the last two months, I went for three job interviews. And I realized I didn't blog about any of them. Lmao. Here's the details.
The first was in Batu Caves. This was back in early April. I frequently join Issey's cellgroup for fellowship on Saturday's because my cellgroup seems to like going for Sunday services. So one time there was a guy Vinson, who was having dinner with Issey's cellgroup too. I was talking with Denise Wong, who's also from TOA, and Vinson, noticed that we were art students. He said he needed a graphics designer, and I said I was studying advertising and graphics design. He asked me to send some works to him and he'd take a look and send it to his boss; if accepted, I would help with some freelance designs. It was accepted, and I did some packaging designs. His boss also asked me to come for an interview.
That interview day, it was a disaster. First, partly my fault, I didn't clarify the address. Vinson and I had corresponded through email many times to confirm certain things. In his email, he had an address listed as his company's address. He did say his boss wanted to see me. And I assumed that he would be in the same office as his boss. So I went on Google Maps, located the place and took it to Kepong KTM Station. I took a cab to the address and found that it wasn't occupied by a design firm, or an office firm. It was some restaurant. I called to confirm the place, and it turns out that the office had moved. Ages ago. The place was in Batu Caves. The cab driver was nice enough to drive me over, saying public transport would be insane. Well, he said "very troublesome". I translated it as "insane".
I finally reached the place after much trouble, and met the boss. His name is Daniel. Nice fellow, probably 50s or 60s. He was very kind in his words, and spoke very gently, but firmly. He'd already seen my artwork already, so I didn't bring my portfolio. My interview ended up being a chat on how my life was like. Ended up talking about how I moved here, how my family was like, and even my divorce. He applauded me for my honesty to talk about such a sensitive subject. Also, we talked about the terms of the company, how I needed to dress formally, not spike my hair and would need to meet clients. In addition to doing designing work, I would also need to take care of some admin things. I agreed to all these things and he was pretty pleased with my flexibility (his own words). The only issue I brought up to him was distance. Batu Caves is BLOODY far from my place, and I'd only been here once in my life, for the rock climbing the previous year. He said that I was more or less hired, but that he was still open to other designers, just in case. So we spoke on which days I would come down to start taking over and learning from his previous designer. I left, and took a bus that lasted a freaking hour, to Puduraya area.
In the end, I didn't get the job, because he gave it to someone else. Heh, I called him up and asked how was the status of the job. He said that because I had mentioned a few times that transport was an issue, he didn't want me to travel so far, and had found someone that lived in Batu Caves to work. I was fine with that, because although the pay was RM1900, the transport was a big issue. However, he did tell me that all the employees there tended to work for a few years, as they were happy with the environment. So I might have missed out on that. Plus he told me that the timings were officially 9am-6pm, and would almost never go past that unless he really needed to.
Secondly was at World Wide Web Domination. After the graduation campaign I received 2 emails from prospective employers asking for an interview. For some reason I ignored the first. The 2nd came from World Wide Web Domination. It was located at Cyberjaya. Another bloody far location. Geez. I checked the address they gave (didn't wanna repeat the first mistake) and realized it was on the same row as Lim Kok Wing. Yeah. The rival art school. Seriously? My mom was free so she drove me there, and I was seriously impressed with the campus. I mean, sure, the education quality is bad, and no graduate from Lim Kok Wing I know has ever mentioned anything good about it, apart from its fashion design course and architecture. But the campus itself looked really nice. The centre atrium was also really nice. It was a campus. A proper one, not the shoplot of TOA. Chock full of students walking all around, and with a lot of foreigners, made up of mostly African and Middle Easterners. It really looked lively.
So I went inside and was interviewed. The interviewer was called Kevin. Nice dude. Possibly 30 or younger? He was pretty nice as well. He told me that WWWD was actually not part of Lim Kok Wing (oh goodie), but that Lim Kok Wing was their biggest and most frequent client, so they housed the WWWD office inside to do things for them, for convenience. However, they had a heavy focus on web design. Only rarely did they need things print or graphics related. Things like logos, brochures and all were not major things in the company. I told them honestly, that I had some experience in the past in web design as I took IT specializing in multimedia back in Singapore. However, I was severely outdated, but I wouldn't mind learning again to catch up. It was not as personal as my previous interview, although the topics here were more on the lifestyle of the workers. Official timing was 9:30am-6pm, but unofficially it was 10am-7pm. He also said that there was a lack of females, and apart from that, the colleagues were mainly fun people. In addition, I would have to dress semi-formal, and I would have to have a black top everyday. I was perfectly fine with that. I wear black everyday anyway. My hairstyle and earrings would be allowed. Bonus!
Pay was RM1800, but with an extra 200 allowance for travel. Thats actually a pretty good deal. It's bloody far also, but I technically got RM2000 as my pay. Batu Caves was bloody far (further than Cyberjaya), and the pay was lesser. Cyberjaya at least was a bit nearer, and WWWD gave a travel allowance. However, I didn't know the public transport routes to Cyberjaya, so most likely a car would be better. The road to Cyberjaya is a very straight and long road thats clear of any jams at all, so that was also a bonus.
In the end, I also didn't get the job. Haha. For this I was a little disappointed, because it was still in the campus environment, and I would have my friends who study in Lim Kok Wing to be in the university to meet up and all. Not to mention the general environment was really nice, and having students all around just made it nicer. Plus it allowed me a lot of freedom with my dressing anyway, which I've been told by a lot of people will be a lot harder to have in certain workplaces. Anyway, their receptionist didn't call me in the time frame given, so when I called and asked Kevin about it, he said they decided that they didn't want to give me the job because I had studied advertising and graphics, and what they wanted was more in line with web design. I may have had prior experience, but it was almost 4 years outdated, and my current skills were more suited to graphics, not web. So yeah. That was true.
At this point in time I was seriously considering the first email I had received after my graduation exhibition; the one I ignored. I was also starting to take a more proactive part in searching for contacts. I had been quite slack in job-hunting after graduation, only taking interviews I'd been selected for, not hunted for. After graduation I wanted to take a break of around 3 months, to rest, and visit Singapore, my dad and stuff. However, my mom said she was tight on finances so I wouldn't be able to visit Singapore. So this break involved me mainly resting at home a lot, blogging more than my last few months, and going out here and there to hang out and stuff. Sure, I finally got proper regular rest, after a lack of it for 3 years. I had total freedom in what to do. But I also started thinking that I needed a job since I wanted to spend more myself, and if my mom was tight, getting a job would help a bit. Not to mention with income, I would actually have enough to regularly go and club, instead of having it only once in a while because of money. Yeah. Shaun from church said that he goes clubbing every week to de-stress from his everyday work, and that since we have similar mindsets, I'd do something along the lines. Hmmm... true. I'm not complaining. Anyway, a lot of the AD people have been really friendly and considerate, and have been posting job opportunities in the Facebook group, and I took a bunch of their contacts. Wai Kwan also told me to call Yellow Thumbprint because their boss Terrance, needed people. So I went back to the student lounge of TOA, thinking of making calls the entire morning to all the companies, preparing to arrange a date for an interview with each. After I called Yellow Thumbprint first, and Terrance set up an interview on the 16th May at 4pm. I proceeded to call Butter and Bread Advertising, who told me to send my portfolio and my resume, before they'd call me up for an interview. The person who picked up my call was a total bitch though, seriously. She spoke with a very arrogant voice and interrupted me a lot of times. Her tone was just pissing off. That got me annoyed, so I decided to start the string of calls later. Then I received a phone call and met up with some of Symposium, and I totally forgot to send my resume/portfolio and call up the remaining contacts I took. Geez.
So I got lazy to call once I reached home, and also got lazy the next day. The day after that though, it was already the interview with Yellow Thumbprint. I woke up at 2pm, and just ate, read a bit and got showered, changed and drove off to the place. Everyone told me it was near the Carrefour building beside Kesas highway, so I knew it was really near. I looked at the map they had and saw it was a pretty easy route. I left my house at 3:45pm and reached Carrefour at 3:50pm. I followed the map's directions, and... got lost. Gee whiz. I actually couldn't find the place. According to the map, it was on my left, but everything on my left was houses, and on the right side were all shoplots, with offices, restaurants and all the places I'd expect an office to be. I drove along the whole road, not finding anything close to it. It was 4pm and it began to rain. Great. I called Yellow Thumbprint up and they gave me the same directions I followed on the map. I U-turned, and realized that the "office" was actually along the row of houses. They had converted the house into an office for the business. Ah... no wonder. I never expected it to be on the houses lane, and I easily drove passed it while focusing on the shoplots on the right.
I went inside, filled out a form, and waited for around 15 minutes. I was already late (great first impression) so it was around 4:30pm when Terrance came to meet me. Terrance reminded me a bit of Daniel. Around his 50s, and nice and friendly. This interview was perhaps the most formal of my interviews, even though it wasn't that formal itself. But it was easily the longest interview I had as well. It ended at around 6:15pm. Yeah. Almost 2 hours. Anyway, it started off pretty informally. We just spoke about casual things for a few minutes, and I proceeded to show him my portfolio. Some of the AD guys were pretty insane and printed very impressive portfolios. They staple-binded them, made it extremely presentable, and organized. I actually wanted to do something similar, but since I had a lack of time in going for the Lim Kok Wing inerview, I merely printed each work on a pieces of paper and put them all in a manila envelope. I printed out two copies of everything under my mom's suggestion, in case I'd need one urgently again. I had confirmed the interview on a Friday, and I hadn't bothered to make an impressive looking portfolio on Saturday. Printing shop's closed on Sunday and Monday was the interview. So I stuck with the second copy of my portfolio. Well, once I took them out of the envelope and showed it to him he immediately said "You haven't designed your portfolio that nicely eh? A lot of your friends made them extremely nice." Great, shot down before I even start. I proceeded to show him all my artwork. He looked through each, and asked me to explain the rationale of every design I had shown. So I did, one by one, and slowly explained how each concept went, how I started the ideas and designs and all. He seemed fine with this, and asked more on some of the artworks.
Then he blasted me again. Lol. On my publication design, where I had a designed a book about my journey to the graveyard, he said he loved my cover, and certain pages inside which reflected the same look, but not the majority of the pages as they were plain and didn't show that kind of design in the minority of the pages and the cover. Lol, geez. Then we spoke on the application of the pictures onto the real world, and said which of my artworks would be allowed in the newspapers as a printed ad. I pointed to a few, and he said I was wrong, because of various reasons. Oh man. Then he said if I had a project, what would be my first few steps in establishing what to do for the design? I answered through my process of work, and he told me that 9 out of 10 people he previously interviewed said the same things. And that also it works, its not a very good process. Great. More mistakes from me. This was getting from bad to worse. He proceeded to use a tissue box on the table to explain certain things on why things were done in this way, and for what purpose, and the steps that he would take. He took some of my artworks and showed me how my rationales related to the design and stuff and how it worked well. Oh goodie. We then spoke on my language skills. Obviously, I said I was superb in English, but only able to converse very basically in Mandarin and Cantonese. Malay was a few simple words here and there. This led to the topic of my journey from Canada, to Singapore, to Kuala Lumpur and yeah. After a bit more on this he suddenly he said "I'm very tempted to hire you on the spot right now" which meant I must've done something right in my interview, despite all the occasions he blasted me.
We spoke a bit more, and then came a funny part. He asked me I were a person trying to sell my attitude, what would be my best trait? I told him that one thing I'm very proud of is my ability to balance. I spoke on how in TOA, there are the zombies, the people who do all the work but have no life, and the slackers, who party all the time but fail to do their work. I said that I maintained a balance, that I did my assignments, but I also managed to do have a very active social life as well. Then I continued on and said I also have a very varied musical taste, in that I listen to music ranging from Mozart to metal. The following is our conversation: "So if I give you the choice to listen between Mozart and metal right now, which would you pick?" "Uh, metal." "I see. You're a Christian right?" "Yup" "And you listen to metal?" "Yeaps. I'm a Christian and I listen to metal. Funny thing is I also listen to Christian songs alongside metal songs in my playlists." "Christian songs and metal songs together?" "Yeah. There's even Christian metal songs too" "Huh? How does that work..."
LMAO. Later on when I mentioned I played keyboards in a band, he's like what kind of band is it? And I said... "Uh, metal". LOL. I didn't specify metalcore as i didn't think it was necessary, but still, it was pretty funny anyway. As we talked a bit more, he decided that he would hire me. Whew! So I was basically hired on the spot! After confirming some questions and terms (my pay is 1700, less than the rest but considering travel expenses, which is basically none, I was fine), he told me that I was actually the very last in a series of people he planned to interview. He mentioned that for all the previous people, he hadn't confirmed them yet, but he was impressed enough with me. Woots!
I shook his hand, thanked him and proceeded to go out after a bit more of small talk. Not too bad. I was pretty pleased with myself. That day was also International Heavy Metal Day, which was ironic considering the topic of metal in the interview. I met up with Symposium and had a symposium with them. Considering the length of this post, I think I'll post the details on the next post.
So yeah. Hell yeah! I am hired. I start 1 June.
Oh, one last thing, this picture just made me LOL.