Arriving Home

The few last months have been relatively busy as I was preparing to leave my base and return home.

What home means, though? For many it is the place they were born and grew up in. Their old neighbourhood, the school they graduated from, their local dry cleaners. Others would call home the place where they met their partner and fell in love.

For me, home is where the weather is gloomy, the chips are topped with vinegar and the sentences start with ‘sorry’ and end with ‘please’. At least this is what I though home was.

In 2017 things in my life took a different toll. Circumstances brought me to the airport, ready to leave behind the place I grew up and called home for almost 28 years now. I wanted to leave Greece behind and move back to the UK.

In my opinion, I would live the ‘British dream’ as I though it’d be: no judgemental prosperous living, where I could make money and save up to accomplish personal goals. I even got a great job offer from a top car manufacturer. Seemed perfect, right?

And then, Brexit came on the table. What would I do if needed to get a Visa or work permit? What if I get denied the right to remain? What if I have to pack all things up again and run away for one more time?

Home for me means the place where a smile stays on your face for long enough to reach your soul. With too many things to juggle at a time I felt I couldn’t stay in London as the city that I once fell in love with had changed dramatically.

On a Monday night, I denied the job offer and bought a ticket back to Greece.

Today, I pack my suitcase for the last time as I’m moving into my new flat in Athens. I am finally home.

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The Startup Show Off

On the top of the list of my failed job interviews the ‘promising startup’ stands tall. An arrogant recruiter asking silly questions, while having unnecessary attitude towards a quite stressed jobseeker trying to impress the person holding their future on the other end of the line.

If the paragraph above didn’t make sense, you’re not alone. I was quite astonished by the questions of this interview, which included my all-time-favourite ‘how to make a peanut butter and jam sandwich’. Never thought that sharing my midnight snack shenanigans would land me a job in tech and in fact, it didn’t.

For archive purposes, though, here’s my answer:

Explain how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Best bread is yesterday’s baguette that absorbs the perfect amount of jelly, while leaving room for the crunchy peanut butter to strategically land its crunchy bits among the seasonal relish. But, why make it a sandwich when you can make PBJ muffins and have the glorious breakfast in a tasty mouthful?

I seriously don’t have a clue what a recruiter wants to find out asking this question. It was quite surprising, though, that they called me for a phone interview, so there should be something that caught their attention there. But, then, why the interviewer was rude?

I guess I’ll never find out as there was no feedback after my phone interview except an email of rejection. All I gathered from this interaction was that I am no Shoreditch startup material, unless I get a beard I suppose and be cool without opening my mouth to instruct interns on how to spread jam on toast. I’m more than fine with this and certainly ready for the next interview!

No Ring No Deal

Why on earth recruiters schedule phone calls with jobseekers and never deliver?

I am in the process of looking for my next career move and currently applying for various roles. The first stage is always the phone chat.

The recruiter is supposed to quickly talk to you for a few minutes and see if they would like to meet you in person. Sounds fair and you make the necessary arrangements to accommodate their schedule as you are adjustable and committed to the opportunity. You have your fully charged phone in hand, you are in a quiet environment and you wait. In an ideal situation, they should call you on time. In case they are stuck in a meeting, they will attempt to get you on the phone 10 minutes later. Etiquette and professionalism require a quick heads up by text or even an automated email notifying you that they are stuck in another call, meeting, task. If they can’t get you on the phone 15 minutes after the initial appointment, the should send an email to apologise and reschedule.

However, none of the above happens. Paraphrasing what Becca said on ‘The Ring’, you start to play it schedule the call and it’s like somebody’s the jobseeker’s nightmare. Seriously, why on earth any recruiter bothers to schedule a call and then being seriously late or not make it at all?

After almost ten failed phone interviews, I started to question the professionalism and integrity of the companies that hire those recruiters to handle employment. What kind of recruiter would ask me with a straight face to give an example of a time that I dealt with a demanding situation in a professional manner, when they cannot even properly handle a phone call, scheduled to their convenience? I am in full employment, as I need to support myself, and it is ridiculous to be expected to have all the time in the world to cater to their lateness and cancellations.

So, is it appropriate to send an email and nudge them about the call or brush it off and wait? In our challenging times when everyone is disposable and recruiting is done via video interviews and assessment centres, nobody will bother to call a candidate twice. If I was a recruiter, I wouldn’t bother either, but I would definitely not waste their time and show my respect to their dedication and cooperation by sending a simple email.

In all honesty, I prefer to work for Starbucks, who’s coffee I really like, and get the job by dropping my CV at my local branch, than go through all this procedure with high-profile recruiters that only want to have the job done.

For now, even though I despise the process, I keep applying for roles that require a phone chat as the first point of contact with the employer and I pop a bottle every time the phone does ring!

What the heck is that?

It really is what the blog name suggests. Someone named Theo has a blog sharing thoughts and moments, either too good to pass or too bad not to discuss.

There wasn’t any more creative title for the blog and in fact, ‘Theo Has A Blog’ serves it right, as the goal here is to post with no filter and discuss anything that triggers mind, body and soul. No Tumblr mantras, no Disney movies and checkered blankets.

Why to start a blog now, then?

‘Because it’s 2017’, as Trudeau would say. I am sick and tired of the acceleration of the sharing speed though various social platforms and I am looking for a ‘vintage’ approach to sharing via online publishing. I don’t want to discuss any subject or share a moment in a Snapchat way and I thoroughly enjoy going through other people’s blogs on a Sunday morning.

So, here, to having a blog, then!