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Wednesday 20 December 2023

A New Job

A year out of university, Brilliant Daughter was struggling in the gig economy, teaching kids and adults who had seen The Great Pottery Throw Down and fancied a go themselves, with an outfit that pays barely more than the minimum wage. Despite having the full skill set, from running workshops to throwing clay on the wheel and glazing and firing, she received no more than the Paint-a-Pot supervisors. It left little time and energy for her own stuff. She began to look for a salaried job.

A vacancy came up for an art, textiles and ceramics technician in a posh, girls’ school behind high walls in leafy green gardens. As well as art, ceramics and textiles departments, the school has music and dance studios, a gym, computing and science labs: everything any girl (or her mum) could dream of. Lots of smart, happy, smiley, high-achieving girls on the web site. They have a sixth form that sends loads to top universities, and I don’t need to add that the OFSTED rating is Outstanding.

A lot of thought and effort went into her application and she got an interview. She had all the skills they needed, particularly in ceramics and textiles.

The interview went well. She can talk the lid off a tea pot and the pattern off the tea towel too. Then there were some practical tasks to do.

One involved threading and using a sewing machine. Some of the other candidates didn’t have a clue. She even ended up helping one. Then they had to wedge some clay (i.e. knead it to uniform consistency without air bubbles), weigh out quantities for hand-building and wheel throwing, and centre some on a wheel. Well, that’s what she does all the time. Finally, they were asked to identify hazards in a room where there were open drawers and a glass of water next to electrical equipment. Walks and parks for any member of our obsessive-compulsive family.

Apparenty, there are now AI web sites that automatically create CVs and cover letters for you. You wonder whether some of the candidates had any idea what they had applied for.

Afterwards, they phoned her. “What? Me? Really?” she said in disbelief.

She has her own desk, control of a materials budget (the kids are provided with all they need), and training in things like driving the school minibus. The teaching and other support staff are friendly and intelligent. The kids are fun. A civilised, professional place to work.

And, with the time and energy to make her own things in the evening, weekends and holidays, she has been busy with clay, wheel and kiln in her studio. Nearly everything she made sold in the Christmas markets.

44 comments:

  1. Good for her! She earned all this.

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    1. There can be a lot of competition for these posts.

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  2. Good for her and they are lucky to have her!

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  3. A step on the ladder, the first and I have a feeling there will be many more doors opening. Great news.

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    1. Thank you. I hope so too. Great news indeed because art jobs are difficult to get.

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  4. It is a wonderful thing to have occupation and and your talents and passion 'click'. To combine that happy scenario with a living wage? Well, certainly a cause for much celebration. Party on!

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    1. But not too much partying when you have to be there at 8 in the morning.

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  5. Congrats to your daughter! Wishing her much happiness in her new job.

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  6. I love hearing good news. This is lovely! All the best!

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  7. That's great. This secure job will do for a while but it sounds as though your daughter is capable of much better things in the future.

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    1. It's a good way to learn what it's like working in schools and similar organisations without the stress of a teaching job (or the pay, unfortunately).

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  8. This is wonderful! Skill set meets job market! Wonderful outcome.

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    1. Playing with clay, sewing machines and looms!

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  9. That is so terrific! I'm happy for your daughter. May she have much success in her new career path!

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    1. Bottom rung of the ladder in one sense, but invaluable to be doing a job you enjoy.

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  10. The gig economy represents so much of what I dislike about current society. It is so exploitative. We are seeing a bit of a crackdown here on its excesses, not before time. Well done to you daughter, now in decent and stable employment.

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    1. I agree about the gig economy. Basically, it is a form of casual labour, even when it involves complex skills. We had much better conditions 20-30 years ago, but capitalists didn't like it.

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  11. Congratulations to your daughter! It is wonderful to have a job where we can use our skills and talents AND are paid enough to make a decent living.

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    1. Not sure about the pay. It's not great, but the conditions make up for it to some extent.

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  12. Congratulations to your talented daughter, in all respects.

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  13. Congratulations to your daughter and hope she'll be happy in what sounds like an amazing job.

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    1. Thank you. We hope so too. All organisations pose their trials.

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  14. Congratulations to Brilliant Daughter! That sounds like a great gig. I can't wait til she starts regaling you with stories about her students!

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  15. Proud father, clever, clever daughter. Lovely news just before the holiday fest.

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  16. Well done to your very smart daughter! Teaching in a private school is a highly desirable job and your daughter has fallen on her feet (and well deserved to).

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    1. She has done well, although she is a technician providing support to teachers rather than an actual teacher. She gets to play with textiles machines, glaze, kilns and art materials all day. The only downside is that is is not paid as well as a teacher, and teachers are not well paid anyway.

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  17. Replies
    1. Has enjoyed first few weeks and now into the well-earned Christmas break.

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  18. Well done BD. She has certainly landed on her feet!

    Re your comment...yes, names help. DTR in law started it with hers

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    1. She certainly has. Thanks for looking.
      Re my comment on your blog: may write more about why I named them WK&B soon.

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  19. Lovely to read of your daughter’s success. I think just the process of being able to get up and go into work in a positive environment that uses her skills must be so encouraging. Definitely a good news story! Jean in Winnipeg

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    1. Thank you, Jean. Yes, routine is a framework for us all, even though it can be a pain sometimes. The pottery teaching business she was with before had little routine at all.

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  20. Sorry this comment came so late. Your daughter deserves to enjoy her job and thrive in it. Practical skills, a willingness to share (even with a competing candidate), creativity... just the sort of person i would want teaching my children/grandchildren. You can be justly proud of her.

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    1. I enjoy comments whenever they arrive. Even when sometimes it can be years after the post. The pupils seem generally to like her because she is the youngest of the technical and teaching staff i the school. She says also how talented some of them are and from the pictures she has shown us of their work she is right.

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  21. Sounds good. Brings back memories for me of times long ago, when struggling myself to find "the right job". (Never quite did so can imagine the compromises.) I watched The Great Pottery Throw Down on one of my Swedish TV channels; enjoyed it!

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    1. Thanks for looking in. Pottery Throwdown in interesting, but I can't stand to watch it because of the way it times against the clock, and the way it focuses on the people as much as the post. I find it rather irritating. My problem, not theirs.

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