songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
Well. That was interesting.

First of all, there were other people from the company I work for. One works for an associated company, but he described himself as an employee of my company. The longer I talked to him, the more I realized that the fact that he's in QA means he's ... not really very chemist-y. he said a few things about stuff that happens at other labs which I found appalling, but hey, not my business. And he didn't name the lab, so there's little I can do about it anyway.

I had to go to the bathroom halfway through the test and saw one of the best and most relied upon analysts from my own lab taking the test in the back of the room. I don't know if he saw me. Yikes! Geordie says I should ask him on Monday how his weekend was. Heh.

The test itself was a mixture of basic questions about what kinds of instruments do what sort of analysis to difficult, detailed mathy questions about concentration with conversions from one measurement type to another (say, from mg/L through molarity and then to ppb). Also, one question asked us to do standard deviation by hand, on the fly, without the equation being given.

Geordie described them as 'student questions'. Ugh. Some of the questions I could answer, but others I poked at, then just picked a number. I don't need to get a perfect score, I just need to pass the test well enough to get to the interview stage, which is next. The score which matters is the post-interview score, which is the official hiring order. Obviously, a lower number is better than a higher one. I'll hear in two weeks if I passed.

The hiring list will be used to fill this, and any subsequent, openings; currently there's only one opening. The list might be used to fill other job openings as well, and it lasts for at least a year, so it's a good thing to be on.

There were also at least two other kids from my graduating class, which I found funny.
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
I'm scheduled to take the job test on Saturday, for Chemist I for the big, super good local water company. I'm really excited - the job is much more what I want for the long term and the pay STARTS at $6700/month. (Let's not do the math comparing that to my current rate of pay, shall we?)

If I get the job (which is unlikely, really, at my level of lack-of-experience), I'll be abandoning my current job so fast their poor heads will spin. I'll feel bad for them, but if they want to keep good people, they should pay them well.

Anyway, I don't have a lot of information about what'll be on the test. There are sample tests online for other jobs at the company - there's one with basic maths and meter reading, but the only information I have is from an email from the guy setting up the testing. There'll be:

General Chemistry
Lab Procedures
Lab Instrumentation
Sample Collection and Processing
Quality Assurance
Data Analysis
Chemistry Calculations
Water & Wastewater Science

Um. UM?

Okay, it's been a long time since general chemistry. Will I have to balance equations? I have NO idea what they're going to ask. Lab procedures will probably be about whether or not to lick things. Maybe? Lab instrumentation is what the instruments do - that question I can answer easily.

Sample collection and processing is a bit harder again. I assume they don't mean the type of samples I'm getting at my current job, but they might. The processing is most likely what I'm doing now. Quality assurance is using blanks and such, that I can deal with.

Data analysis I haven't done at my current job, but I think I can answer questions about it. Chemistry calculations is ... sketchier. Without information, I'm at sea. Water and wastewater science... what are they looking for? How to produce biosolids and what they're used for?

Augh!

I think having a test for this position is new. They'd originally posted the job and said they'd accept the first 125 people with the minimum qualifications. I applied in a hot hurry, then got an email saying that they *had* to open the job up to 350 people, but those who'd made it into the first 125 would be automatically included, and did I want to schedule my test on the Friday or Saturday?

In other news, Merrie is working at my company now, in Sample Control. They'd hired some dude just after me, but he didn't work out. The job was too hard for him, both physically and mentall. Merrie, on the other hand, finished the 'week's worth' of reading in two days (it took the other guy the full week), and is now two days into Actual Work and has already re-organized and cleaned up both of the big walk-in freezers and learned more than half of the regular tasks.

I'm not at all surprised at this. There was a reason I kept insisting they interview her for the job and it's that she's sort of perfect for it. We haven't told them that she's fucking off to Sweden the second her resident's visa goes through.

I'm doing decently in my training as well, I think. I've passed my compentency tests (all of them, and Officially, so I'm good to go for a year without any worries), and I've had the chance to load a couple of instruments and make several actual working sample batches.

I'm going to go see if I can find out more about how the water company collects and processes samples. Good night!

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songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
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