How Not To Go To An Interview..

Coventry Ring Road

1. Choose a day when your printer doesn’t work. Set off without the job spec, your CV or printed details of where to go.

2. Drive in the pouring rain. Spray, huge puddles and poor visibility add to the excitement.

3. Realise half way there that you’re ‘on red’ and the ‘no-petrol’ light is likely to ping on at any moment. Sail past the only garage en route because you do not have time to stop.

4. Forget to go to the loo before leaving house (aaagh).

5. Remember, only when it’s too late, that Coventry’s Ring Road is a disaster area. Take the wrong exit 3 times (even with sat-nav)

6. Fail to find somewhere to park for a good ten minutes – which feels like half an hour

7. Scrape your tyre/front wheel against the kerb in your utter JOY at finally finding space

8. Arrive for interview FIVE minutes late, having had no time for umbrella or loo. Resemble a drowned rat when you arrive (with strangely-crossed legs).

9. Be so relieved to arrive at the interview and find nice people who are not annoyed that you are late, that you momentarily forget no. 4 and ACCEPT CUP OF COFFEEE! (and drink it!)

STRESS! Yes that was my morning! And I have never been late before for an interview in my life. Ever, ever. Honest.

P.S: I got the job…. ! *smug face*

Free Short Story Critique

And on a slightly different and much calmer note, my writing Buddy Sally, is starting a critiquing service for short stories! Great idea – she’s good at it (and I should know – she’s been giving me feedback on mine for a few years now!).

And to start things off, she’s offering a FREE critique of a 2000 word (max) short story. All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog and she’ll pick a winner at random. Good luck!

What’s In A Name?

I was reading an article in the paper yesterday, ‘When Crime Pays’ – about ’10 authors for whom crime has paid most handsomely’. It had the usual suspects (hah!): Patricia Cornwell and Steig Larsson and the like but I was most interested in a snippet about best-selling author Lee Child.

Lee’s real name is Jim Grant and he was born in Coventry, where I was today, having fun on the Ring Road. The reason, apparently, that he chose ‘Lee Child’ as his pen name, was so that he would sit between Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie in the bookshops.

Clever, eh? So, who would you like to sit between….?

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23 Responses to How Not To Go To An Interview..

  1. Catherine Robinson says:

    Ooh you must tell us what the job is!! Congrats 🙂

  2. Will do, once it’s all sorted and confirmed in writing!

  3. Wendy Clarke says:

    That’s brilliant, Helen. Well done on getting the job.

  4. Jackie Sayle says:

    Well done on getting the job and well done on overcoming the odds of doing so, given what happened along the way.

    I’ve seen the thingabout author names back in the 80s… still haven’t decided if I should stick with my maiden name which begins with ‘Sa’, my married name which begins with ‘Br’ or marry my present man, whose surname begins with an ‘Ay’.

  5. Julia says:

    Congratulations! I once got in such a tizzy driving to an interview that I gave up and came home! (It was a VERY long time ago.)

    • Julia, I’ll be honest – I got to the point yesterday that I thought I might have to do exactly that!! It was horrible. Glad I didn’t though, obviously!


  6. banksywrites says:

    Well done, Helen. I really must get a new job soon. Can’t afford to be a lady of leisure (ha, ha) much longer. I am very familiar with the dratted Coventry ring road. My dad used to live there and I nearly came a cropper on several occasions, coming off at the wrong exit, suddenly being forced to join fast traffic. Craziest design ever. Looking forward to hearing what the new job is when all confirmed etc.

  7. susan jones says:

    Oh well done on getting your job Helen. If you’d put all that in a Woman’s Weekly story, you’d have got a ‘Maureen’ saying not at all realistic I bet. Placed in your situation, a lot of people would have had different outcomes…

  8. Edith says:

    Congratulations on the job! And thanks for the link to Sally’s blog and competition.

  9. jotiddy says:

    Congrats on the job! And I know and loathe the Coventry ring road well, used to circle it endlessly in my 2cv when my husband was at uni there…..

  10. Linda says:

    Congrats on getting the job – at least it was worth all that hassle. Hold onto the anguish you felt, it’s all grist to the writing mill.

  11. sp56h says:

    Well done! Worth it in the end.

  12. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    That sounds like the journey from hell and I congratulate you on persevering and on getting the job. I hope for your sake that you’re not based in Coventry and have to go through that on a regular basis! I’ve been thinking who I’d like to be sandwiched between (if it wasn’t writing related I can think of several I’d be happy to be a filling for!) I’m reading Lionel Shriver’s latest at the moment and have read lots of Anita Shreve. So, I’d be happy to sit between them but would have to change my name to Shrike or Shreke possibly. Not sure either of those work!

  13. Congratulations! 🙂


  14. Linda says:

    Congratulations on getting the job, and I’m sure you could also tease several stories from your epic journey.
    I’ve just started reading a novel by Sandi Toksvig and I think I’d feel quite comfortable sitting on a shelf next to her. One of my other favourite authors is Fay Weldon, so now I need to adopt a new name – something beginning with U or V!

  15. Coventry is an all around nightmare in any case for any thing, I particularly hate it because they’re closing down a lot of units in Rugby St Cross hospital and I have to travel to Coventry for most things these days. I hate it.

  16. Congratulations on the job – brilliant!

  17. cathos says:

    Congratulations on the job! Like others I’m intrigued to know what it is?! I’m also looking at the moment and they seem to be in short supply.

    • Cathy
      Sorry if I seem all ‘cloak and dagger’ about the job. It’s really not that exciting BUT I don’t want to jinx it by saying anything until I’ve got the offer in writing!

  18. charliebritten says:

    Well done indeed at getting the job! Hope your wheel wasn’t too badly damaged.

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