March 11th, 2003


I rock

Yesterday I had a 1:1 meeting with an HR representative. These are de-rigeur for all new starts, just making sure we're settling in ok, dealing with our complaints, etc.

So I filled her in with all the glitches at the very start (mentor was on leave for the first 2 weeks, my manager was replaced 3 days in, I was given work that I wasn't trained in until a month later) but reassured her that everything was now flowing smoothly.

And then she fed back my results from the application/induction process. Most of the results were out of 5.

I scored reasonably on the application forms (3s all the way through except for leadership where I scored a 4).

The group assessment I scored 4s all the way through (which apprently is as good as it gets, it being very hard to do perfectly when you're dependent on your team members) and was noted as being very good for gathering other people's opinions and forming them into a coherent whole.

The interview process was also solid 4s (except for teamwork, where I scored a 3), but the interviewers handwriting was so awful we couldn't actually make out what they thought of me.

Apparently all 4s marks me out as a 'definite hire', which is cheering thought.

The place where I really shone, however, were the aptitude tests. These aren't graded in the same way, but by profiling your results against everyone who has ever taken the test before and placing you in a percentile band. So if you're in the 57th percentile then you've done better than 56% of the people who ever took the test (who all have degrees and have got past the initial stages of the application)

There were 3 tests, diagrammatic reasoning, mathematical reasoning and verbal reasoning. They look for at least 60th percentile in each of them. My diagrammatical reasoning (looking through information flows, working out what each part was doing and then using that to build new ones) ranked me in the 69th percentile. My mathematical reasoning is in the 92nd percentile and my verbal reasoning is in the 99th. Which means that 99% of all people who have taken the verbal reasoning test have done worse than me.

I believe I blushed.

(no subject)

I turned on my computer this morning to check email before headning to work. The startup screen told me "S.M.A.R.T. warning - your disk is developing a problem. It has all of your MP3s on it and large swathes of video. Please go and spend money you don't have on replacing it."

I sighed, logged on and downloaded IBMs disk analyser, which told me "Disk problem, backup and replace immediately"

So I'll be going to Silicon Group this afternoon and spending £80 I don't have.


(no subject)

Further to the entry on mobiles a few dayss ago, here's an article on how the japanese use mobiles:

When I was a teenager growing up in Tokyo in the '80s, telephone cards, pay phones, and urban landmarks were the technologies that coordinated our action on the street. We would begin with a set time and place, usually a major landmark like Hachiko Square in Shibuya crossing, or the Almond Café at Roppongi crossing. I remember hours spent at these teeming street corners, sweating in the heat, shivering in the cold, making forays to a pay phone to check on latecomers or for messages at home.


Teens and twentysomethings usually do not bother to set a time and place for their meetings. They exchange as many as 5 to 15 messages throughout the day that progressively narrows in on a time and place, two points eventually converging in a coordinated dance through the urban jungle. To not have a keitai is to be walking blind, disconnected from just-in-time information on where and when you are in the social networks of time and place.

(no subject)

The compiler's being dead slow today, so here's another thing I've bumped into.

A civil servant who complained about being made to wear a collar and tie to work has won a sex discrimination case.

He had told the Manchester tribunal that women were allowed to wear T-shirts - and even football shirts - without facing disciplinary action from managers.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which backed the case, said it planned a further 39 cases if a "sensible solution" was not now agreed with managers.

Two cases, a few days apart - both industrial tribunals. Drifting casualwards?

Speed kills!

Well, actually, it leaves your reactions messed up for over a year. More here.

The twins who were former drug users performed significantly worse than their nonuser twins in the areas of motor skills and attention. However, the former drug users did much better on one test of attention that measured visual vigilance.

"Despite being abstinent for at least a year, abusers demonstrated neuropsychological impairments and selected advantages. These findings provide evidence of long-term residual effects of stimulant abuse," the study authors write.