Tuesday, 1 May 2012

New Blog: Getting Serious

Another month, another job gone!

I do feel a bit stupid, but as most have realised by now, I lasted just a couple of weeks at Genting. Firstly, thanks to everyone who wished me well when I announced I'd gotten the job,  I was really overwhelmed by it. So why did I quit?

The job title was 'Sales Manager'. Sales is a tricky one with me as I can do it well, but the idea of a pure sales job has never really interested me. However, things had gotten slow on the job front and the thought of working close to home was appealing, so when a recruitment agent called about the role I thought an application couldn't hurt.

Straight away they wanted to see me, great I thought, so I dusted off the suit and made my way to Richfield Avenue. It's funny as the Genting Casino in Reading (formally Maxims, Stanley, Tower etc...) was my first experience of proper gambling venue and I instantly fell in love. The place will always hold a soft spot for me.

I first met with the Casino Manager Jimmy Howard and their national recruitment manager. This preliminary interview was just to find out about me and see what I was like as a person. Talk about myself enthusiastically for 30 mins? No problem. I got a call back later the day for a second interview.

The second interview was trickier. Not only did I have Jimmy again scrutinising me but the regional marketing manager asking some very tricky questions. However, remember I said earlier I can do sales well? I smashed this interview into pieces, couldn't of done any better. It did leave me with some doubts thought if I was suitable for the role as I wasn't sure just how much sales was needed, as they hammed up my marketing experience and how useful it would be.

My mind was soon put to rest as I got the call that they wanted me for the role! I was overjoyed as this was my first traditionally secured job - what I mean by that is recruitment agent, interview, second interview, offer etc...

I went in for the first week and Jimmy told me he still wasn't quite convinced about me, but it was by far the best applicant they had and after next week I just had to prove myself.

So for the first week it was excellent. Swaggering around the Casino being introduced to all the staff and high rollers as a new manager, chatting to people with a sense of authority I've never had before, free meals and promises of other luxury, and all round fun experience.

Then the second week came, and the pressure started. Why wasn't I on the phone every day calling businesses to get them in? Why hasn't I made loads of sales already? Such and such who was in the office noticed you weren't on the phone etc... etc...

This was pressure like I'd never felt it. I mean I've been under a serious work load before, but this was corporate pressure, and I hated it.

Just before starting the job I'd received a call from another company (that will remain anonymous for now) offering me a project manager style role in poker, something I'd be much more suited too. They said if the job at Genting went wrong, to give them a call.

So with the pressure mounting, plus knowing a job I'd be much better at was out there but wouldn't be around for ever, I quit.

It was a surreal experience all around, but believe it or not, I did take several things away from the two weeks I was there.

1. A smart appearance goes a long way. So whatever job I land from now on, always expect a shirt and tie.
2. Straight talking gets the job done. I've always been one for babbling, but spending time with Jimmy the manager taught me just how a proper businessman works.
3. Good things can come from working with recruitment agencies.

So yes, expect another 'I got the job!' tweet coming soon, but expect this one to stick. Exciting times ahead!

Although this is the news most of you will find interesting, it certainly isn't the biggest news in my life recently. Last Saturday me and Anna got engaged! It seems like only yesterday we first met, but it was over 2 years ago now, and the time is definitely right for us to get married. I'm starting to feel 'wise' (old) and the need to build a home is really setting in.

So how did I propose?

Me and Anna have gotten into a bit of birdwatching recently due to seeing lots of different species in my families large garden. We took my Nan to a local bird sanctuary which was fun, so I announced I wanted to go to one in Canterbury, where Anna's family are. She said OK and we went stayed a night with her Aunt before setting off the next day for the bird sanctuary, but this just a ruse.

I'd actually booked the biggest suite of the first hotel we ever stayed in almost 2 years ago and she was so shocked as to why we were even there! I left her in the car while I picked up the keys and we drove the room. We walked in and she was gobsmacked by the size of the place, and when she turned around there I was on one knee.

We had a lovely night there and now have a wedding to plan. Gosh!

Anna looking beautiful with the ring and the roses from the room.

Speaking of weddings, my first close friend is getting married this weekend, by best mate Marc whose name you would of read in this blog over the years. It was a scary concept when he talked about the idea a couple of years ago, but now it's all starting to feel right. The wedding is at the Forest Of Arden hotel and golf course in Birmingham which is awesome. We checked it out last week and it was SO NICE being back on a golf course, I miss it so much.

The stag party was a couple of weeks ago in Cardiff, my first one ever! Really enjoyed it. First night was at a comedy club which was a big surprise, day 2 was paintballing which is always fun and go karting which I sucked at but enjoyed. 

Have continued kickboxing at The Martial Arts School SW and am still loving it, now having gained my Yellow Belt after my first grading!

It was hard work but the grading system is excellent as it pushes you to work hard for the next belt. Am already well on my way to the next grade which is Yellow Belt Black Stripe. 

My fitness level has also gone right up and I'm now ready to start grappling! I've been keen on learning Wrestling and BJJ for a couple of years now (ever since watching UFC) and TMAS's grappling system combines the two which is exciting. Bought a pair of MMA gloves and being the geek I am I had to find out who made gloves for the big organisations:

My newly purchased gloves.

Ouano have made gloves for UFC, WEC, Elite XC and many others fo the years, and also looking a bit like Pride gloves, I just had to have them. I've also bought all my protective gear so I can start sparring which is a little scary but something I have to do for my next belt. 

Since my last blog there was a TV void left waiting for new seasons of Homeland, Breaking Bad and Walking Dead, so I finally took the plunge and started watching Lost. I'm half way through Season 5 and fans of the show will know how much my head is hurting right now. Fun though.

Me and Anna area also really into Storage Wars and American Pickers, so much so that we're going to try doing some gold digging ourselves, although I doubt it will pay off!

That's it for now. Thanks to everyone for your support, it does mean a lot. and I promise I'll soon be in an interesting position again!