It was only then that she started to ask what we’d been discussing, but at that point, Jayne, her Mum arrived with Paul. Once Helen and her Mum had a natter about their respective days, and I’d persuaded Paul to have a bath and let me have his clothes for the washer, Helen suggested that we invite the group round to our house soon and at a time when she could be there to be hostess. I had a feeling that this was less than altruism and more a ploy to have a close look at the women in the group.
Invitation to an interview
Later that night, once Paul was in bed, homework completed, we sat down in front of the television. Helen had asked me how the meeting had gone. She was pleased that I’d asked such pointed questions. She wasn’t keen on us risking the redundancy money on any flimsily thought-through ideas. Afterwards she started watching a home improvement programme while I had a look at the interview invitation.
It was from a medium sized printing company – 300+ employees – that was looking for a marketing specialist. From what I could see it was a private limited company – I decided that I’d do some checking before I committed myself. The letter said that I’d been short-listed, so there’d obviously be some competition, but the interview wouldn’t be for a fortnight.
The following morning, I started by thinking about what I should do first – and I decided that I’d write the Christmas cards. That would please Helen since I normally left that job to her. We hadn’t bought any cards yet, so I made a trip to the shops – first to the local charity shops to get some sets of ten cards with nice designs and a reasonable seasonal message, then to the supermarket to get cards for Helen, the family and some special relatives. While I was in town, I went into the library to see what I could find out about the printing company. I had some information copied by the library staff then I left for home.
By the time I got back, most of the morning had gone, so before I made a start on the cards, I checked on some food ingredients. We had enough pasta, there was a packet of the necessary sauce mix – and I’d taken some steak mince out of the freezer earlier – as I intended to do my interpretation of Spaghetti Bolognese ready for when Helen got home that night. I made myself a sandwich and a hot drink, then settled myself at the dining table with the cards I’d bought and our spreadsheet printout of addresses.
I suppose that I should have realised from previous Christmases how many people we usually sent cards to. It’s a good job that I’d bought plenty cards and had the addresses list to work with. It was getting on for teatime before I’d finished. So much for good intentions. I’d really need to discipline myself tomorrow if I were to make progress with checking on this printing company in addition to sending more applications off.
I sat with the interview invitation letter in front of me, together with my notes from yesterday. For completeness, I had a look online at the company website and at the little information I could find about the accounts. It appears that I was right about it being a private limited company. There only seemed to be a couple of shareholders but, more interestingly to me at least, was that what I was looking at was the details of a holding company with three subsidiaries. It wouldn’t be possible from the public information to gather any details about the profitability of the subsidiary companies. It looked to me as if the holding company were using management charges to hide the worth of these outliers. A bit more digging indicated that each of the units had a different product line: they all printed boxes or cartons, but for different purposes and markets. That was useful. It provided me with some key areas to ask questions about.
The accounts weren’t really detailed enough in themselves to give a clue as to the firm’s solvency or other key data, but I decided that I’d attend the interview and decide whether I was interested.
I fired off a few more applications then realised that I’d have time to collect Paul from school. I phoned Jayne and asked whether she’d mind if I did that in case she’d started doing something special for his tea. I don’t know how we’d have managed without her and it seemed unfair to give her a break while I was able to do the school run for the time being. She was fine about it and it meant that Paul would have to play with his toys, have his tea at home, and be there to greet his Mum as soon as she got home from working at the shop.
Today I continue my series of Christmassy shots in black and white. My Featured Photo today is an image of the Piccadilly Arcade in London. I took this photo in early January 2020. I photographed five arcades on my weekend in London, and four were dressed for Christmas to some extent or other. This is the first of these.
The EXIF Data for the featured photo are as follows: Pentax K-1 36MP cropped sensor camera with a 15-30 mm f/2.8 lens at 30 mm and f/3.5. The shutter speed was 1/100 secs and the ISO was 800. The camera was tripod-mounted and the post-processing was in Lightroom.