Bedecked in the Cheap Suit, yesterday I went back into the depths of wildest Lincolnshire for my second interview. I had a look around the factory which was really interesting – the process looks fairly simple and easy to manage as it is very automated and the systems they have in place look fine.
Once again I dealt with their questions well and came across as interested (but not too desperate) and things were going swimmingly. Until, that is, they came to the issue of how flexible I can be with a toddler at home and no family (other than The Yorkshireman of course!) support if she’s ill or I need to finish late. They seemed quite concerned that they would be left in the lurch if I suddenly had to go home because of an ill child – quite justifiably so to some extent as the department is very small and there would be no-one there to cover my job if I was called away in the middle of a customer audit or factory trial. One advantage of the job I’m in now is that I am part of a team and someone is always available to pick up my work if I’m not there.
They explained that I would not be expected to work overtime as such, but if there is an important customer visit or some urgent development work that needed to be done then I would be expected to be there. Sometimes these visits and trials can go on past 5 o’clock, fairly standard for the food industry really.
I fielded it as best I could, explaining that The Yorkshireman and I share the responsibility if she’s unwell, according to who can get away from work more easily on a particular day. I also said that I would be willing to take paperwork home and that I would make up any hours lost. Hopefully this will be enough for me to still be in the running.
I came away with a really bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I just know that they will interview some bright young thing who can work more flexibly than I can and that I will lose out.