Thursday, 27 March 2008


Yes this is a long post but I've wanted to blog about this for weeks but fear of jinxing myself meant that I wouldn't do it just incase. Now Ive done this stage I feel that it is time to blog it.

Well it happened so I can finally talk about my Jinx. Its abit plain and boring once you actually find out what it is but hey every little bit helps. Basically awhile back I applied to be a Tube Train Driver or Train Op as they call it. I got the phone interview on the 3rd March. I did stressed abit as I was told that the interview should last for 20-25mins. The total length was less than 12mins. Thinking Id blown it I waited and waited to hear back. In the end I had to ring them up for the details. They sent the email out within a few hours and it was good news, I passed. Now I had to choose an "assestment" date. This is basically a 2.5hrs in Ashfield House in West London sitting down doing tests. So I arranged my assestment and started looking at the guidance and practice materials. Even when I was away on my residental I took the practice stuff and read through them a few times at night to help me get the hang of it. Not that I really needed to as I got the general idea straight away when I got them. Having a mate print them off for me and then handing em over to me on the Tube, then watching me do them without alot of stress showed that. The saturday before my assestment I got a call which I missed from an unknown number. Turns out (I found out the sunday) that they had rung me up to comfirm I was attending and that I had all the paperwork as I was told I couldn't sit it without the paperwork. As I was in the process of moving I couldn't find my birth cerificate so I had to cancel the day before my assetment. Cue a mad rush to try and get a new birth certificate before I can re-book my assestment. Turns out I had it all along so book a new date and keep reading my materials.

The day finally arrived for my assestment. Didn't get much sleep before hand combined with a late night and early get up meant I had about 3hrs restless sleep. I also had to wear a shirt and tie for the first time since jan 2005 and I hate ties, especially when I have to do the top button up! Cue me at Stratford station at 7am, 90mins before Im due there. Luckly one of my housemates works in Hammersmith so I dont make the journey on my own. The whole time we're chatting about stuff and how I feeling. Then we arrive at West Kensington and I get off and feel very panicky. Got some water and walked down to the start of the road leading up, its only 8.05am. Damm. So after killing 10mins and likely looking very dodgy, I set off to the building. Now for those of you that have seen "The Tube", Ashfield House is where they did the track walking stuff (and actually people were going for one as I left!). I went in the building and waiting for security to give me a pass. The werid thing is that they take a picture and print your guest pass out with your nice pretty picture on it. I have got a picture but Im not going to show it as I don't wanta annoy TfL, especially at this point. So I get my pass and am told to go to the 7th floor. Now this is where I made a boo boo. I got in the lift with one of the guys who was doing the assestments and actually asked how you put the passes on. yes I know now how stupid that was but I was trying to move the wrong part. Maybe I was nervous but boy did I look and feel stupid when he barely touched it and open it. (That point I really felt stressed and out of my depth.) So once on the 7th floor I get to the room and get about 12 people looking at me as I enter and sit down. I also realise that I must be at least 10yrs younger than everyone else. In the end we are called for to produce our evidence by a really nice lady, sorry I didnt catch your name (too nervous) but thank you as you made me relax abit and got me smiling. As we were doing this a large group of people entered and filled the place up. I realised then that there must have been 40 of us doing this assestment in one go. Now seeing as they run 3 time slots thats maybe 120 people a day for 3-4 weeks. Thats maybe 800 people in a month, maybe more or less. Thats a hell of alot of people! Then the ones who had done there paperwork were called into a room for our test to start, 21 of us. Me still being the youngest. We were talking to a room that can only remind me of my G.C.S.E.'s. A small desk, chair, two pencils, one brio (red) and a rubber. This was now going to be home for the next two hours. Shit. I hate exams.

The exams are spilt up into three groups. The first is reading and understanding infomation from passages. Second is problem solving/fault finding. Then its a repeat of the first again but long and more complex. The last part of the exam is what they call SCAAT testing and is bloody hard! For anyone whose never do SCAAT, its basically a page of smallest shapes and you have to look for shapes in it. It does get more complex but its all about time as you aren't giving long before you have to change. Now I haven't gone into detail on this part as people are still being testing and Im only talking about the same stuff as my pack that I was sent as meantion above.

After the exam we are let out and I breath a sigh of relief as it wasn't easy and Ive had to push myself during the whole thing. I also got put off by one of the practice questions in the 3rd part and struggled to work through the rest of the test. I finally got through and completed the round shortly before time was up. On the whole it was a stressful experience but I feel I did well with it, now Ive jinxed myself! We were told at the end that normally we'd heard back in 5 days due due to numbers we likely have to wait two weeks before hearing anything but afther this point we should ring up to check whats going on. That means that by the 9th of April I should have heard something. The clocks started ticking again! But Im living in hope!

1 comment:

THC said...

Good luck! I look forward to hearing news of your progress.