Friday, May 19
French Embassy, 17:43
I woke up at 7:30 for the first time since Tuesday, and had breakfast, before cycling to the metro in the morning sun.
Jutta and I spent the morning interviewing applicants, including one who failed to turn up yesterday due to a mix-up at his end.
At 12:30 we went to S-Market to buy stuff for lunch. Since we planned to go through our interview reports while eating I opted for an indoor picnic. I bought nachos and dip, and some half-price vegan cheese, along with chilled orange and mango soup.
I had devised a complex scoring system in which twenty separate scores added up to a possible maximum of 100 points. I designed this to counter arguments that scores from the interviews amounted to nothing more than subjective bias. We had scored the interviews as they progressed with seven questions each have three different elements they measured. In this way we could have no idea what our total score for each applicant added up to, let alone how each applicant compared to the others.
We sat eating and added up all our individual scores, then combined the two scores for each applicant, and then divided the total by four to give a score between 0 and 50. Only then did we look at whether these final scores reflected our subjective opinions about who we wanted and who we didn’t. To our surprise our scores differed but the overall ranking didn’t. Out of twenty one interviews only one required further discussion after we had counted the scores.
At 15:00 we posted the results to Fred and Jutta left to build a terrace at the back of her house. I went for a short walk and came back to deal with outstanding business, concerning assignments, grades, and theses.
At 16:40 I hurried to the British Embassy to meet Irma for another Well in the Park. I wait in the road outside the French Embassy next door. I notice this sculpture on the grass and photograph it. I spot a notice and walk over to read it. I learn that I can purchase the sculpture, by Jean-Louis Seurat and called Versailles, for 65,000€. I do not have enough money on me, so I pass.
Irma and I will exchange WhatsApp messages as she finds herself stuck in traffic in the centre of Helsinki, due to a combination of protesters and a religious festival. She will point out that my phone has stopped working, even though it happily sends and receives data. I will restart it and nobody will call me.
Irma will arrive at about 18:00. We will stay for a drink and then drive home. Naa will arrive and stay overnight.