Friday, 11 April 2014

Introducing The Marikar Scale

As humans we are storytellers. From going home and telling your partner/parents about your day; to thrilling your friends in the pub with the tale of that time you fought off fifteen ninjas while handcuffed to a pipe, we love to tell stories. Unfortunately we're not all good at it. We've all been there when a friend or acquaintance has been carefully explaining the finer details of a story we're just not interested in. Or a story that starts well but goes nowhere.

A few years ago my friend Preston and I were told one these terrible anecdotes by a pale faced, lanky friend of ours named Matthew Fear. Inspired by this exercise in insipidness, we developed the Marikar scale - a way to rate the banality of your friends stories and anecdotes.

We named the scale after our old Biology teacher Mr Marikar: the subject of Fear's story who, at the time, was due to leave for a school in Manchester - the same city Fear would be moving to the following year. As I write this I'm suddenly struck by the unfairness of attributing the scale to Mr Marikar - who, as merely the subject of the tale, probably doesn't deserve to have his name immortalised as a measurement of dull anecdotes.

The Marikar scale goes from 1 to 10. 1 would be an engaging, enjoyable anecdote that you would happily hear again. Fear's story, still the most pointless story I've ever heard, is a full 10. The complete, unabridged tale goes like this:

"I saw Mr Marikar the other day. He said to me 'I'll see you in Manchester.' 
And I said 'OK.'"

Anything that is more interesting, entertaining or informative than that story gets a lower mark. Anything less interesting, entertaining or informative than that story doesn't actually exist.

Use the Marikar scale next time someone tells you a story. And consider it the next time you start one. Remember, anything above a 5 isn't worth telling. Your friends will thank you.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Riddle of my Employment

In September 2013 I had two interviews for a 3 month job with a textile wholesale company in Manchester. For purposes of this story let's call the company "Manchester Textiles*". I was interviewed by a lady called Valerie, who was to be my manager if I got the role. The interview went well and I had a positive feeling about my chances of getting the job. I then went three months without hearing anything.

In December I was told that the company had gone in to administration and been significantly downsized to a staff of just 7 people. They'd also moved to smaller offices in the town of Haslingden. Nevertheless they still wanted me and asked me to start in January, on a permanent basis.

When I started I learned that the company had been bought back from the administrators by the original directors, but had been renamed "Haslingden Bedding". After rebranding, the company sold off the last of its old product ranges and I was to focus solely on the new 2014 collection of duvet covers and pillowcases.

Two days after I started Valerie moved to Australia. She told me she'd still be involved in the company and would still work closely with me through emails and skype. I received two emails from her in the couple of weeks following this, and then nothing.

In April I was called in to the boardroom and told that Haslingden Bedding had been sold to another company that operated out of the same building. Though the Haslingden Bedding brand was to continue, it would now be a subsidiary of Mill Textiles. The existing directors would become silent partners with no input in to the day-to-day running of the company.

So that's (A) a permanent role in (B) a different town, for (C) a different brand with (D) a smaller staff, owned by (E) a different company, where I work with (F) a different product range, and have nothing to do with (G) the original directors or (H) the person who conducted the interview and hired me.

So my question is:

At which point did I start a job that I didn't interview for?

*All names of people and companies have been changed in the interest of not pissing off my employers (whoever the hell they are).