Ah…..job agents, you gotta love ’em!
I received a phone call last night at 6:30 pm. At that time, usually, I don’t answer the phone, but the truth is I didn’t realise what time it was.
An agent. A job. He tells me a little about it, it ticks all the high-level boxes. Before we get too far, I ask where it is. I haven’t driven since the stroke, so would be reliant on a taxi. He asks for my postcode. Thirty minutes. A bit far, but I can do that at a push.
I later look for myself. Fifty. That’d probably make it too far. I’d have to do the journey once and judge for myself.
He tells me the rough location. It is out on Salisbury Plain, which usually means just one thing – army. I’m not interested in Defence work, I tell him. Especially now, there is a clear distinction for me between helping people and killing them. The apps I write from home are largely to do with health, diabetes-related – if my software helps people manage their condition, all well and good. I take care to make them free to use because I don’t particularly want to make money from people’s misfortune.
He assures me that it’s not Defence.
Okay, send me a spec. A spec [specification] is important. Just its existence tells me that a client (or in this case, an employer) has put some thought into what they need. With bigger organisations, it also tends to mean that the role has been budgeted – there’s no point getting involved if the client isn’t going to be able to go through with it. I know this because I once hired, for big organisations. The job spec starts the whole process, without one you don’t get anywhere. The spec arrives – this skill, that skill. Nothing overly demanding. They tend not to be – location is the key nowadays and the work itself is a few levels dumber than I was used to. A mention of the skills they want, but not of the kind of projects they get involved in.
Fortunately, the agent has sent me a link to the client’s web site – normally, agents don’t give the client’s identity away so early in the game.
I follow the link. Not Defence directly, but Defence Logistics. Ever since Thatcher’s sell-offs, a plethora of private companies have sprung up, all of which engage 100% in defence-related activities, none of which are formally Army, or MoD [Ministry of Defence]. It’s one and the same to me. Black and white.
I’m relieved that my initial suspicion was right. I’m relieved that I was able to rumble this job before getting too far down the line. It does mean that the search goes on, but in the meantime, I have an app to finish.