Wednesday, 24 October 2012

More Job Applications

I blogged a few days ago about how I decided not to apply for a job recently because the experience required in the job description was quite specific. I saw the same company advertising again today. This time I decided to email my CV. I noticed that a company in Dublin were also advertising. The company in Dublin already have my CV from an agency and have already turned me down. But the fact that the Dublin company are advertising means they will take away potential applicants from the company I applied to today, increasing the chances of them not getting the ideal candidate. If luck was on my side, they would end up having to train someone who is not quite there in terms of experience because of not getting the ideal candidate. It's a long shot, I know, but at least I took the 2nd chance I was given.
When I asked for advice recently on applying for a job that I may not be experienced for I was told to have an excellent cover letter. But as I was writing the email I decided on a different strategy. I didn't give much away so that they would at least have to look at my CV. I once was hired for a job that wasn't advertised because the work came up after I was interviewed and they needed someone straight away. I had the necessary experience for the job they hired me for, not the job I was interviewed for. So if the company that I sent the CV to today see my CV they might keep it on record for future reference. Or a suitable job might come up that they need someone for in a hurry. Hopefully something will come up soon. I'll keep looking and keep applying.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Latest Jobseeking Developments

I phoned a guy about a CNC job in Tralee this morning. A job I know I'm qualified to do 66-75% of. "Training will be provided" was in the job description, so I know I would pick up what I didn't know quite quickly. He turned me down because he wants to give it to someone local. I told him I'm from Kerry originally and there is nothing for me in Waterford. But he was already convinced in his own mind that it wasn't worth bringing me all the way from Waterford for a job that's part-time to start with and will probably be temporary anyway. I could have tried to be even more convincing but he could find someone local by the time I make the move from Waterford and I got the impression that he didn't want to commit to anything yet because he doesn't know the full extent of the workload from the new customer yet. So I have to keep looking. I might phone him in a couple of months just in case he has more work coming in. I might be in Kerry then anyway. I'm looking for a way out of Waterford. I'm seriously considering getting out of here in the next few weeks anyway, even without a job. It's not nice living here anymore.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Life is not fair

Let me start with yesterday. I saw a CNC Milling programmer  job advertised. I gave a good look at the job description and, even though I would love to do that as a job, I decided not to apply. The job description was very specific about the type of experience they were looking for in applicants and said only apply if you have this experience because those that don't won't be considered. I don't have any experience in 3D CAD. That was one of the specific requirements. If I had, I would have applied.
I missed the chance to get into a decent 3D CAD course run by a 3rd level institution because I discovered it too late. It was free to people on jobseekers allowance. It started at the end of September and I didn't know about it until the 2nd week of October. It would have given a major boost to my chances of employment. I applied for another 3D CAD course today, that is not starting until March. It's not ideal but it'll improve on what I already know. At least if I don't find any job in the mean time I should have that to fall back on. But I need something now. I'm caught in a trap now.
My savings will have run out by the end of the month. My last chance to look for work beyond Ireland is slipping away because I can't afford to relocate anymore. I can't get work here because employers keep IGNORING what is a professionally prepared, up to date CV with references. I have got calls from Canada, The Netherlands and the UK, so I know my CV is up to scratch. I had to let the Canada idea go months ago because of money issues to allow myself to keep the UK and Europe open as options. Europe is out now and the UK is slipping away fast. I can't afford to get out now. So I'm caught in an unemployment trap. Can't get a job anywhere and where there has been interest, I can't afford to go there anymore.
Today was a particularly depressing day. The Mercedes formula 1 team tweeted that they were giving graduates the chance to get work experience in formula 1. It's not fair because I'm not an academic. I didn't go to college. The conventional education system does not suit everyone. I'm at least at the same level as the best of those graduates in specific roles. I want to learn on the job and not sitting in a classroom doing theory. Some of the anti social behaviour that students get up to can be a nightmare for families and professionals living near student accomodation yet they can always look forward to the best jobs if they have the right piece of paper in their possession after college. All my learning is just as relevant as theirs but I don't have their piece of paper so I can't get a job without the right kind of experience. But it's a catch 22. How can I get the experience if companies won't give me a chance? I have sent CVs to Formula 1 teams and tried to fill out applications and kept an eye on the motorsports jobs market. So It's not like I haven't tried. Life is so unfair. I am very jealous of those young people who are going to be handed my dream job and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Evolution of the Formula 1 Team (II)

A follow on from my previous post.
Previously I spoke of how the current AMG Mercedes F1 team evolved from the Tyrrell team and the modern Lotus team evolved from the Toleman team. I would just like to say again that I'm writing from memory rather than reference, so forgive me if I'm not 100% accurate. This time I would like to outline how the Scuderia Torro Rosso and Force India evolved from 2 former teams.
Some time around the 1980s, if memory serves me correctly, an Italian Formula 1 team called Minardi was formed. They were always minnows. But always managed to turn up year after year when bigger teams such as Brabham and Lotus eventullay folded. They never won races and always seemed to be bringing up the rear. Even a Ferrari engine deal in the 1990s didn't push them as far up the grid as one would expect. So points to Minardi were like podiums to mid-grid teams. But it was a good proving ground for the likes of Giancarlo Fisichella and Fernando Alonso who made their respective debuts with the team. In the early 2000s Australian Paul Stoddart took over the team and it became European Minardi, named after Stoddart's European Airlines I suspect. A noticeable result for European Minardi was Mark Webber's impressive 5th place debut in his and Stoddart's home Grand Prix. But it was to prove a one-off and Minardi were soon back in their usual positions at the back end of the grid. Stoddart seemed to be constantly at odds with the FIA and eventually sold the team to Red Bull when rules governing the running of junior teams were relaxed. Red Bull had it's own works team and European Minardi became Scuderia Torro Rosso. It made better progress up the grid under Red bull ownership and with Gerhard Berger as team principal, took it's first pole and first win at a rainy Monza in September 2008. Sebastian Vettel was the driver in the winning car that weekend. Eventually Vettel was promoted to the works team and the conveyor of Red Bull young driver talent was blooded in the team. But just as they seemed to be making more and more progress and coming closer to further podiums with Sebastien Buemi and Jaimie Algersuari, Red Bull decided to continue with it's development driver program and dropped Buemi and Algersuari for debutant Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo moving from HRT. So their push for the front has been halted by driver development programs, but it is now, effectively, being run as an independent team under current regulations. That is how Minardi evolved into Scuderia Torro Rosso.
In 1990, after success in the lower formulas, Irishman Eddie Jordan set up a Formula 1 team. They made their race debut at Phoenix Arizona in the opening Grand Prix of 1991 with green 7up livery. Bertrand Gachot and Andrea de Cesaris were the drivers. They scored their first points with a double points finish in Canada that year. Gachot got himself arrested for assaulting a taxi driver and Jordan needed a replacement for the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa. Michael Schumacher made his debut in F1. He qualified well but did not last a single lap of the race with a burned out clutch. In the same race de Cesaris could have finished 2nd but for (correct me if I'm wrong) a gearbox failure near the end. Schumacher impressed enough to be whisked away to Benetton for the very next race with Roberto Moreno swapping to Jordan to soften the blow. They finished an impressive 5th in the constructors in their debut year. The following year was not so good under yamaha power. The yamahas were ditched in favour of Hart engines and in 1994 Rubens Barrichello took the team's first podium in Japan and first pole in Spa. They had a works Peugeot engine deal from 1995 and took a double podium in Canada. In 1997 they finally had a package together that could potentially win races. But rookies Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella's tempestuous relationship after a collision in Argentina overshadowed things a bit that year. The team scored podiums in Argentina and Canada and Fisichella came close to victory in Germany but a puncture ruined his race. Fisichella went to Benetton the following year and Damon Hill replaced him. Alain prost got Peugeots for his team and  Jordan switched to Mugen-Honda. Jordan had their best year to date with Hill taking their first victory at Spa and Schumacher following him home in 2nd. Then Schumacher left to join Williams and was replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen for 1999. Frentzen took victories at France (with a fractured leg) in the rain and a bone dry Monza after Hakkinen made a mistake and spun off. Jordan was always known as a talent spotter and in the opening race of the '99 season RTE pit lane reporter Declan Quigley saw it as "a victory for the Jordan school of excellence" because all points scorers in that race had either raced or tested for Jordan at some stage in their career. Frentzen led the Jordan team to third in both the Drivers and Constructors championships that year. A joint works Honda engine deal with BAR was worked out for 2000 and the team went for a revolutionary rather than evolutionary car with the EJ10. Jarno Trulli often qualified well in the car but sometimes complained that reliability issues meant he had to nurse the car to the finish line which cost them points. The Honda deal was under threat from 2001 and Eddie Jordan took on Japanese driver Takumo Sato Mid season in 2002 (I think) to please Honda.. The fans at the German Grand Prix expressed their anger at Jordan for axing Frentzen. The Honda deal was lost anyway and Cosworth and Toyota engines had to be bought, putting financial pressure on the team. They had one more fortuitous victory at Brazil in 2003 when a crash brought out the red flag. The race was initially awarded to Raikkonen, but Fisichella (returning to Jordan that year) was found to be leading at the end of the lap before the red flag. He was awarded the trophy in a ceremony before the following San Marino Grand prix. It was to be Jordan's final victory. Eddie Jordan sold the team to the Midland Group at the end of the following year. They had one final year as Jordan in 2005 and Tiago Montiero took their final podium at Indianapolis when all the Michelin teams pulled out before the start due to safety concerns. Only the 6 Bridgestone-shod cars started the race. Midland changed the name of the Team to MF1 the following year. A lack of investment meant little success. Spyker then took over the team and were also a back of the grid team. Eventually Indian Vijay Mallya took over the team and changed the name to Force India. Fisichella returned for a third term at the team that was once Jordan. They have managed some of the success of the old Jordan team and are strong in mid grid with current drivers Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenburg. They share some technology with McLaren and have Mercedes Engines which makes them a strong prospect in future. So that is how the old Jordan team evolved into Force India.
Whether you believe in evolution and reincarnation or not in nature and everyday life, it certainly can happen with the right business deals and personnel in place in Formula1.
I hope you enjoyed reading my 2-part synopsis of the evolution of some of Formula 1's well known teams as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Evolution of the Formula 1 Team

Use(ful/less) Formula 1 information.
I'm writing this information from memory so forgive me if it is not 100% correct. I was writing a bit of  this on my facebook page and decided to do a blog about the evolution of Formula 1 teams.
Towards the end of the 1960s Ken Tyrell ran privately entered Matra and March Formula 1 cars with Jackie Stewart in the cockpit. Jackie Stewart won the drivers world championship in 1969 in a Matra entered by Ken Tyrell. It was powered by a Cosworth DFV engine. Matra wanted to run their own engine program and so Ken Tyrrell, having a lot more faith in Ford Cosworth, decided to run his own team. Tyrrell won the double, Drivers and Constructors, in 1971. It turned out to be Tyrell's one and only Constructors championship win with Jackie Stewart taking his 2nd Drivers title. Stewart's final title came in 1973 for Tyrrell and he retired at the end of the season. Tyrrell stayed in Formula 1 and sold his team to British American Tobacco around 1997. It had one more season as Tyrrell in 1998 before changing it's name to British American Racing. From 1999 it had former world champion Jacques Villeneuve at the wheel. They never won a Championship with him. Eventually Honda and Jenson Button came on stream. As car manufacturers started to invest more in the sport of Formula 1 racing, Honda invested enough that they were able to take over and eventually rename the team. So BAR became BAR Honda and eventually just Honda. In 2008 economic conditions were in decline and Honda had "My Earth Dream" logo on it's cars, without any major sponsors. It decided to pull out of the sport altogether before the 2009 season as a result. The cars were essentially already built, such was the lateness of Honda's withdrawal. Former Ferrari man Ross Brawn took over the team and they bacame the Brawn Formula 1 team. They decided to modify the back of the cars so that Mercedes engines could be put in them. This wasn't the only thing about the back. They exploited a loophole in new diffuser regulations to give their car better downforce, and so better cornering speeds. This was already done while Honda were still involved. So with experienced campaigners Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, they took their 1 and only Drivers (Button) and Constructors Championship. Brawn subsequently sold the team to Mercedes who dropped the Brawn name. With Button gone to McLaren, Michael Schumacher was coaxed out of retirement and Nico Rosberg replaced Barrichello. Mercedes eventually added its AMG brand to the team and that is how the current Mercedes evolved from Tyrrell.
In 1984 a certain Ayrton Senna made his Formula1 debut with the Toleman team. He almost won the rain-soaked Monaco Grand Prix that year but it was Red Flagged early due to the conditions and Alain Prost was awarded it. Senna went to Lotus the following year and eventually Benetton took over Toleman. They won races with the likes of Gerhard Berger and Nelson Piquet. But they did not taste World Championship success until Michael Schumacher took the drivers titles in 1994 and '95. They had Ford power in '94 and won the Constructors in '95 with Renault power. Renault pulled out of Formula 1 in 1998 but continued selling engines to Formula 1 teams. Eventually  they returned as an official engine supplier and invested back in the Benetton team. They invested enough to change the name to Renault after that and won titles in 2005 and 2006 with Fernando Alonso. Alonso left for Mclaren and returned after a year and left again to join Ferrari but apart from the odd race win, no more titles came and Renault again pulled out. The Renault name stayed with the team for a couple of more years. In the meantime a  team owned by Malaysian Tony Fernandes started a new Lotus team. The rights to the name and the road car company were under different ownership and Fernandes bought the Lotus name. The owners of the Lotus car manufacturers had invested in the current Renault formula 1 team and wanted to have Lotus as their team name as well. After lots of legal wrangling Lotus changed it's name to Caterham and the former Renault team now took over the Lotus name. Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean are the current drivers, both returning to Formula 1 after absence. That is how the modern Lotus team evolved from the original Toleman team, which Senna left to join the original Lotus team ironically...!.
I'll do something similar with Minardi and Jordan in the future.

Friday, 5 October 2012

My New Glasses

These are my new glasses. I got them in optical express. To be honest, they were a lot more expensive than I would have liked. I went for an eye test just under 2 weeks ago as much to check the health of the eyes as to replace my old glasses which had flaws in the lenses. My perscription had changed a bit as well. They confused my eyes a bit because of the right needing to be a bit more adjusted than the left. I'm wearing them now as I write this and there is that slight strain of a new perscription lens, but I need to get used to them. I'll keep the old ones as spares for an emergency. The old ones didn't have the focal point of the lens centred correctly to my eyes. But I got used to them and have them 2 years. The other thing when I first started wearing the old ones was the frames dug into the side of my head behind my ears and had to go back to specsavers to have them stretched out to relieve that. The new frames felt comfortable instantly when I tried them on today in optical express. The only issue will be getting used to the new lens strength and differently (hopefully better) centred focal points.
I like the new spectacles so far. But I don't expect to go to that much expense again. I won't say how much they were but they were too expensive. So I'll shop around and price lenses before committing to an optician when my next eye test is due.