Some tears

Some tears

Hey everybody! Welcome to my blog. I wanted to express my thoughts and feelings reflecting on this week.

Obviously, if you may have noticed on my title, there are tears that are raining over on me. It’s kind of hard to put that in terminology. It’s difficult to know when I be able to get a real job. I may have to wait two years or so I don’t know, if there were more jobs out there and less competition then I may stand a chance.

I want to thank Historic Royal Palaces for inviting me for an interview. I have no hard feelings about not getting a position. I knew beforehand that it was always going to be tough because of competition that is out there. I haven’t lost any of my passion or enthusiasm for working for that charity because I’m passionate that nothing will come in the way of that, it is what it is so I’m not worried.

Someday I know I will work there.

Image of Never Lose Hope in text
Never Lose Hope

I I just wish that I would get a trial of some sort where I want to prove myself to people who I can graft or any employer reading this I AM ON THE LOOK OUT FOR JOBS.

But what made Historic Royal Palaces special to me is that I have a burst of enthusiasm working there. The bit I’m worried about now is someone may steal my lines from this blog, unless you message me personally.

What did hurt me was when I was volunteering on Friday, that people were going through interviews while I was working. The sad thing was that I wasn’t at the interview so that was disappointing.

Ok, I later found it was a manager job which doesn’t fit in my skills/experience. I realised that despite the organisation you work for, the skills or experience that you have, employers these days want to find the so-called ‘best candidate’.

I don’t think that is a fair assumption. So like, if i give you an example. Let’s say I was volunteering as a Warehouse Packer for more than 16 months for a company that specialises in books and there was a job advertised called Membership Administrator which was paid and full-time. Let’s say I would be interested in the job where it would say on the description that experience in doing more than two years of administrative work was desirable but I would only have knowledge of Admin. So the advantages I have would be that I know the mission of the company and the staff inside out but I don’t have enough experience in Admin to qualify meeting all the selection criteria. I may get invited for a job interview but the fact remains they would look at candidates who are better qualified so there are doubts there. It would be devastating because it would only be one time opportunity that I would never get again. So it’s probably better if I make the most of life.

Despite those negative thoughts, thought I would highlight the good points. On Thursday when I had that job interview, I had a fantastic time at Hampton Court, there are very few similarities with this trip and the trip to Cheltenham. The first one being that the train stations were the last stations on different lines. It was obvious that they were business trips but I would love to go there again but just a trip for pleasure where I can look at everything in my own pace. I still miss Cheltenham tho 😦

When I arrived at Hampton Court, I had about an hour and half to spare, I didn’t have an original plan where I was going beforehand but I thought of a plan while I was there to go to the furthest away from the main entrance and work backwards if that makes sense. So the first place I went was inside the East Front which had a fountain in the middle of it.

picture of william and mary's  courtyard

When I went in the entrance in William III’s apartments, it felt like I was going through a magical arty journey where it had the painted ceiling. It so made me dizzy when I was looking up. It’s quite uncomfortable because I remember being at the back of the lecture halls at university and sometimes if I looked up above my head level that would be the shivers. It did feel like entering through the first point of the Palace though, all I remember was that it featured Greek myth art, it’s like the Sistine Chapel almost.

apartments of william and mary
William and Mary’s apartments

There was a genuine stairs made of rock, looked like it’s survived and there was a massive painting on the right hand side but the entrance was breath-taking. I did feel like a ghostly presence when I went upstairs and opened a door because it felt silent like nobody’s here. I later remember this was in William and Mary’s part of the palace. I remember walking through a stone surface floor where it had statues of roman and greek myth, the whole experience was incredible and I just got to admire the work that got into it because it was very unique. All I remember is that there were paintings on the wall as I came in, one of them was of Charles I and one of Princess Sophia. It was like stepping into Lucy Worsley’s documentary called Harlots, Housewives episode 1 because I was passing through random rooms such as a study, king’s  bedchamber, two rooms where it had one of those king and queen’s chair on it, it is hard to describe it unless you see the documentaries yourself. But I remember that each room showed how much access people would have when the King and Queen reigned, as I was passing through the end of the hallway, this was what Lucy Worsley was talking about, the King’s secret passages where he could take his mistresses and his royal delegates into rooms where very little people had access to. That wasn’t on my mind at that time but I had a glimpse of what that was about.

Then the next part of my tour around the Palace was going through the Tudor bits, iI did stuff in the wrong order, I did Henry VIII’s apartments which I vaguely remember, there was a painting of Henry VIII with his father, mother and wife Jane Seymour in the “Dynasty Portrait”, that was my highlight of the trip because I remember seeing that in a documentary on Channel 4 by David Starkey about monarchy, that picture depicts the legacy of the Tudors. I visited the Great Hall, the ceiling was beautiful and the tapestries were really good as well. I didn’t understand why people would go to the trouble to put tapestries in the room, it must be like lifting a carpet. I did have a view of upstairs in the Chapel Royal, it was very brief tho. I had a quick look at the Georgian part, would like to have had more time, it’s the same with TV coverage, when doing stuff live, talking can only be brief when it is limited and go to schedule. It is about showing up on time for an interview.

Clock Tower at Hampton Court
Clock Tower

When I finished my tour on the palace, I got my business brain in gear, I was there 10 to 12 minutes early so I gave myself enough time. When I got to the interviewer, I wouldn’t have changed how I planned it. I impressed them with my understanding of what Historic Royal Palaces and my enthusiasm about my love of British history in the context of Monarchs from the Late Medieval period to the Georgians. I wouldn’t see myself at any establishment that can match that to be honest because that is the type of history I am interesting in. What I mean is there are types of museums/historical establishments that suits different people’s of interests. For example, Dr Johnson’s House in London suits people who are interested in dictionaries and influenced by Samuel Johnson’s works, RAF museum for people who are interested in aircraft and aviation history, the Royal Museums Greenwich suit people who are interested in maritime history, London Transport Museum are for people who are influenced by buses and trains, Museum of London which concentrates efforts on the people, working class of London.

For me personally, since I enjoy going on railways, my heart would be in the right place to be interested in learning about railways. I recently found a book from a local Oxfam branch which I volunteer at, it was called ‘Cricket A Way Of Life’  by Christopher Martin Jenkins. It wasn’t a well-known book but I skimmed through the book and it was about the history of the game and I heard of the author which prompted me to buy the book.

cricket a way of life front cover

When I look at books, I look at the subject, the title of the book then the author and look at how credible the author is and the accuracy of the source, particularly in biographies and historical ones. I learnt this from a module I done at university about research techniques. I may do an individual blog about what to look for in books.

I think I learnt more about myself in that interview, sometimes I was issy washy if you know what I mean. I remember it was two people interviewing me, they walked me though the hierarchy of the organisation, (I only knew that Lucy was the chief curator), Asked me questions on the performance framework and the position itself. It would be like so much easier if I imagined a tv on top of the interviewer’s head so it would display the question on so I would actually remember the context and the question itself. I would forgot the question in the middle of the conversation which did put me off sometimes. For next time, I may take a notepad in with me in the interview so I can write down the question and not forget it. I don’t know why but I usually haven’t got a good short-term memory on things. What do you think I should do to remember the question at the interview? Some of the questions I remember from the interview were questions like talk about yourself, since it was a job in the Retail department,  who are Historic Royal Palace’s customers, whats your understanding on what a Retail system should do, when was a time when you given a solution to a problem, demonstrate how you prioritize work. Some of the notes of the interview came out but probably not as it was written in my notes.  I’m just grateful to myself that I am recalling this information now, certainly it will be useful information for you guys and to me.

After the interview, I did a computerised test, wasn’t difficult to be honest, it was just doing calculations on a spreadsheet, checking invoices, making sure information was correct and responding to mistakes on the sheet. I probably spend about 5 minutes more than expected, that why I am probably not equipped with working in a fast pace environment lol. Slow pace would be ideal because I do things slow for some reason. Like in my exams for instance, I would be given extra time, if it was like a 3 hour exam, I would be given 45 minutes because of 15 minutes every hour. I would probably struggle to complete an exam before three hours. I would welcome it if I was staying there for four hours, yes it is crazy.

image of an electronic display displaying extra minutes

After the test, I left the interview, the person who interviewed me greeted me on my way out. Reflecting on the day, The whole day was a positive experience and I wouldn’t change my approach to the interview or how I toured around Hampton Court. I got emailed the next day saying I was unsuccessful on that occasion but this hasn’t affected my passion for working for Historic Royal Palaces. The only possible downside to taking that job is that it would take about two hours each way but I’m ok with that. It would mean the world to me, especially working at Hampton Court, I have the fire, passion and motivation for working there. It’s a shame that there recruitment day had been passed before I had that passion because I would be on fire and blazing mode full of excitement to wanting to work for them. The disappointment I received hasn’t pushed me back, it is just going to serve as motivation and shield for me.

My passion for working at Historic Royal Palaces only kicked off when I went past Tower of London, seeing the poppies outside when I was going the Imperial War Museum open day, then as a treat for myself, I brought ‘Royal Palaces of London’ by David Souden. To be honest, it has remained sealed. It is only because I haven’t found time to look at the book entirely. I brought it as a reference. I mean Sunday gone past, I sat at home watching the Davis Cup, watched a bit of darts then I watched the FA Cup between Liverpool and Blackburn then on the computer I searched for jobs, I found at least 30 to apply for so that is going to keep me busy. See what I mean?

I am continually reading a book called ‘A Very British Murder’ by Lucy Worsley. The thing about that is I’m half way through the book. I don’t read that many books myself but I take a short space of time on a Saturday night after Mass, I sit at home and read a chapter of the book per week, it probably sounds sad but that’s my routine.

front cover to very british murder book

The thing I have with books is that once you read chapters of it is as tho you can’t walk away from it. So I was reading the book continuously up until Chapter 6, then I hadn’t read the book for nearly a month, the chances are is that I would have to read the book again which for me would be a challenge in itself. When I was reading a book about Jack Hobbs, I only have read the first two chapters, the reason for that is that I didn’t feel any urgency of reading the next few chapters yet, the good thing is that I can start again which could be difficult if I was reading halfway and then didn’t sad it for a while, so it probably takes a bit of time revisiting stuff again to jog my memory. Hope you guys enjoyed my blog.

My next blog will be discussing Eurovision and my love of American rock n roll!!!

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