Goodbye face to face interviewer job

My face to face interviewer job ended last year. Rounding off the saga, I’d like to summarise what it was about, and speculate about why, overall, it worked well.

I was quite good at the job, and feel I’ve learned a lot, even though the work was quite repetitive. My boss was happy about my work and communication, and I had plenty of positive feedback from respondents both directly and through the quality control procedures. My response rates were also pretty good – not remarkable compared to the average, but good factoring in that my home range was supposedly hard to get decent results in. I was praised for the quality of my submitted work – data forms and weekly reports – for high accuracy, good order, and entertaining weekly reports.

Australian road from front window of car

The job ended because my employer had lost their tender for the project, so they had to close the whole project department down and sack everyone involved in the project… That’s all the interviewers, the office staff, and even my lovely boss.

If was a much bigger collapse for some of the other people, than it was for me. The staff turnover was notoriously low among both the office staff and the interviewer crew, and some had been working on the project for  well over a decade – almost since the beginning.

The organisation is the best employer I’ve had, and they handled the close-down well too. There was a proper explanation of what had happened (as much as they knew), scenario-thinking and instructions for what was and wasn’t allowed if moving to the competitor, and there was the usual supportive attitude underpinning the process. My boss also gave everybody her personal email and phone number, so future employers could still contact her for recommendations when she would no longer be working there.
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This is not a new post

It is a kind of pause-screen, which will be sitting here on the front of my blog when the most recent posts are sort of too old to sit here anymore, but I’m not ready to write a new post yet, or complete the last unfinished one. The picture symbolises that the blog is sort of parked at the moment.

cockatoo holds toy car down with foot

Picture info: the bird lived in the back of a cafe where we used to come, before we moved to the outer west. Here helping us safety-test a new car. Time flies.

The Dragons of Eden: a Book Review

The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human IntelligenceThe Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence by Carl Sagan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars ★★★★★

“Dragons of Eden” is of course way outdated (1977) and often more speculative than scientific, but it is a very charming, amusing and thought-inspiring book which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading. Framed within the Big History of the Universe converted to 1 year to illustrate the relative time scales, it presents a bunch of fascinating subjects very well:

  • brain anatomy, the mind’s conflicting operative systems, and the evolution of intelligence
  • prehistory with mammals and “dragons” (dinosaurs)
  • dreams and why we sleep
  • prehistoric suppression and (probably) eradication of other humanoids by humans, and the ethics of modern human society’s continued imprisonment and exploitation of apes for scientific research
  • potential bases of mental illnesses
  • anthropocentrism (which Sagan is very much guilty of himself btw)
  • speculations about the future of humanity linked to space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (of course… as usual).
  • there is also a comically outdated chapter about computers

I don’t necessarily agree with Sagan’s opinions or conclusions, and I don’t expect the science to be entirely (or even mostly) correct/up to date, but Sagan has a knack for explaining complex subjects so that they are both easily comprehensible and fascinating, and help shed light on the complex evolutionary plot of Life and humanity. A lovely read.

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