What Jobs Have We Done?

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Dunno if this has been done before....

I seem to have been spectacularly bad at choosing for a long time. Then when I finally got it right, Govt. decided I as wrong.

When I left school with 6 'O' levels, I wanted to be an 'analytical chemist', preferably working in the 'Forensic Service', which back in 1965, was a section of the Home Office.

I asked the 'so called' 'Careers Master' at school about Forensics.

" Well I have a 'First' in Chem from Oxford and they wouldn't have me.. so what chance do you think you've got?".

You can't beat a bit of encouragement.

I had Chem, Phys and Biol at O level, plus 2x English and French, but failed Maths.

So, Forensics was out.

After several failed applications for assorted 'scientific' jobs, I was pretty much ordered by my Dad to get down to the Coal Board recruiting place . ( Was it called Forest Dene?) on the road to Mansfield.

So, I went down there and had the usual 'cough', 'fill this' ( 'What?... from here? :) ) etc., then entered a room with five blokes facing me.

" What do you want to be lad?"

" Student Apprentice"

" 'Ave yer got Maths?"

" No but...."

" Next room lad"

In the next room.

"What do you want to be lad?"

" Student Apprentice"

" You tryin' to be funny lad?"


"What do you want to be lad?"

" What can I be?"

" Craft Apprentice"


"Well lad........?"


I could write a book about my experiences as a 'Craft Apprentice' with the Coal Board, but it only lasted less than a year. I learned a fair bit about lots of things but it really was very badly taught and organised. And it finally dawned on me that I didn't want to spend the rest of my working life on shifts, like my already physically shattered Dad.

To be fair to the bloke in charge of us all, he realised I wasn't happy and arranged for me to go for interview at the Coal Board Labs at Cinderhill. I went along there and was offered a job.

So I was soon wearing a white coat and spending my days analysing coal, mine air samples, water samples, etc. etc. It was enjoyable work.

But... in order to progress, you had to pass ONC/HNC and eventually degree level Chemistry. I could easily do the job and I walked the Chem, but the separate Maths exams continued to defeat me. The annoying thing was that most of the Maths for Chem was simple Arithmetic and not beyond me. But to get on I needed to grasp Trig/Geom/Calculus etc...

So.. I got out and went selling crap door to door briefly before I became a 'Fab DJ' with the Magic Roundabout Disc Show and we conquered the 360 Club, the Carlton Hotel etc..

Whilst doing that.. I had assorted jobs in construction, and carpets and hosiery. I dug a tunnel down Cantrell Rd for a sewer. I built some flats in Basford ( both with a bit of help) and I knitted surgical hose in Nottingham.. down Fletchergate.... now that WAS weird..!!

Eventually, I tired of being an incredibly famous and much loved DJ. Stardom was too much for me, so I buggered off to Doncaster in pursuit of the lovely Jenny, who I'd met a couple of years earlier in Wales.

After most of a summer of hippyish dissipation, that didn't work either.. ( Are you detecting a pattern here?)

Soon, I took off with a friend in a Dormobile and we drank and fished our way around Lincolnshire and Wales for a bit, meeting some young ladies along the way.

I pursued one of those to High Wycombe in Bucks and went down there. Another construction job was followed by work in a factory making plastic bags.. It's more interesting than you'd think, but the lovely Holly and I didn't quite make it work .

Thing is. For all of the above I had a fab time. I was wandering about doing largely what I pleased. I don't regret any of it.

But I wasn't quite living up to my supposed intellectual potential as a Grammar School lad. To be honest I got so wrapped up in being a Scientist, I was blinded to other possibilities and nobody else raised them.. Which is a big part of the point of this thread.

Tired. Part 2 to follow.... :)


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Dunno if this has been done before.... I seem to have been spectacularly bad at choosing for a long time. Then when I finally got it right, Govt. decided I as wrong. When I left school with 6 'O' l

I feel as though I have been here before with this topic - excuses if I have. As I was about to leave school, dad asked me what I wanted to do. 'Don't go in the paint trade' (like him), he told me, g

Left FFGS after six fruitless years with no qualifications other than my 11 plus, my cycling proficiency certificate, and a card saying I swam a length at Noel St Baths. Waiter, caravan site operativ

Well,the careers bloke who visited our school seemed to think girls were thick or not capable of doing the 'better' jobs.He tried to send girls to the soap factory or sugar factory.i remember my sister wanting to be a window dresser,he told her that was a mans job...I ended up at a local factory sewing corsets,soon left though.

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Same at my school 'cranky'...........it being 'secondary Modern'..i think we were wrote off,and just wanted to know which 'pit' we wanted to work down,no formal exams offered or the chance of further Education.

Did not want to work down Pit i realised at the tender age of 15,if i was going to get anywhere i was going to have to take a job work hard and show them i was capable of better things...and because i was determined to get on this is what i did,i can honestly say i enjoyed all my working life,not always on lots of money,but always happy,with lots of travel and meeting new people,it was my zest for life that kept me going.,made some mistakes along the way,but hey' we only live once.

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Same here,went to secondary modern.Had loads of different jobs,met loads of friends,and enjoyed all of them really,some of the trades died out in notts so moved on to other jobs,never got turned down for a job so I must have done summat right.

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Had a pretty tame job history. I wanted to be an electrician, my dad was one. Careers guy at school was no help. Math was not my greatest subject. All he could tell me was that I didn't have much chance as an electrician without better math skills. Left secondary modern as soon as I turned 15 and got a job in the factory at Ericssons in Beeston with a view to trying to get an apprenticeship there when I turned 16. Didn't pass their entrance exam although it did not seem too hard. So I hit the road and got an apprenticeship with an electrical contractor just a mile or so from where I lived. Got a good all round training on houses, schools, supermarkets etc. I was one of those guys who always thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. So after completing my apprenticeship and now married as well I bounced around a bit. My wife was longsuffering. Figured I'd like TV servicing so got on at Rediffusion. Found it to be low paid circuit board changing with not much prospects. Got into appliance sevicing for a while. Not bad paywise but removing socks from washing machine pumps gets a bit boring after a while. Soooooo! We emigrated!

Had to go back to tech school and re-qualify in Canada, but it was worth it. Tried several jobs before settling down as an electrician at Air Canada. Worked on the terminal and hangar electrics, not aircraft. It was a good job with free passes. Got back to Nottingham in 74 on a free trip. The wife said, "Don't you dare quit this job!" But I did!!!

Moved to Alberta, because housing was cheaper out there. Bounced around a bit, got a master's ticket and started my own electrical business. Never looked back. Made decent money and a lot of friends.

After 15 years or so of that, I got converted studied for a theology degree and went into the Baptist ministry. I won't go into that as I have no desire to start a religious debate. Suffice it to say it was a great experience.

Retired from the ministry, although I still fill in once in a while.

If I had any advice to a youngster today it would probably be, don't bounce around too much. The grass is usually not greener.

No regrets, I'd probably do it all over again if I could.

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Lovely that Loppy,I suppose all that moving about gave you a wealth of experience though, I envy folk who know what they want at 16!! (Or admire). I'll post my menu later.. It don't make for good reading!! Take care,Ian.

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After retiring I worked week ends at a friend's outdoor pig farm. I enjoyed it despite being knocked over a fence by an inmate but I finally packed it in when when 6 inches of mud on the boots made things a bit unpleasant.

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Catfan. #8. Can't say the name rings any bells. I only stayed a month or two. There were a couple of well qualified techs in the shop. They probably made a fair hourly rate. It would have been a long haul to get to their positions, but the company did not make that clear when they interviewed a person. Seemed to imply that after a month or two in the shop, you'd be on the road making a good income. Probably depends on the interviewers idea of a good income. Guess I should have known better.

Edited to add. When you've been used to being on the road doing service calls it seemed really hard to trek to the same old shop and workbench everyday.

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I started off as an apprentice elec with GT Ranby at 15, money was very poor, stayed there until I was 16 and a bit and saw an ad for the NCB, they wanted apprentices at 8 quid a week starting pay... Great training and pay, but as I approached 21, pay stunk for craftsmen, so once I'd completed my apprenticeship, I left to work as an electrical fitter, overhauling electric motors for J.Jones. I earned the same pay as I was getting at Cotgrave Colliery, but was on regular days, didn't have to crawl all shift to do my job and a far safer workshop.

I started chasing money, so worked for two other rewind shops as an elec fitter, Arco, then Wilson Ford.

I ended up with Beeston Boiler Co down Beeston as a regular nightshift elec on their automatic foundry plant, but the missus didn't like me working nights.

Ended up at British Gypsum at their East Leake mine as a mine electrician, good pay but loads of overtime that was hard to get out of.

Next was shift electrician underground at Cleveland Potash's Boulby Mine in North Yorks, loved it there, very very hot mine, but got acclimatised, I called it my second apprenticship, honed my skills and made me a far better electrician.

Problem with Boulby was we were always understaffed, so overtime was endless, covering absenteism, holidays and sickness, the Missus soon got fed up with me living at work and we parted company.

I now was single again and decided to make a new start, Australia here I come!! Took me well over a year to obtain a visa, but was well worth the wait.

I started at a tin mine as an electrician in Tasmania, made loads of friends, but the climate resembled the UK's, wet, damp and cold, so moved north to NSW where I worked as a colliery electrician at Wongawilli Colliery just south of Wollongong. Beautiful area, great beaches, great white sharks, and other nasties in the ocean...LOL

Greener pastures were calling me, so moved to the western coalfield of NSW, Angus Place colliery, I was employed as an electrician on shifts, landed up being appointed Leading Hand Electrician, (Chargehand). Good money, good working conditions and a great set of lads I worked with.

Left Oz in 89, not been employed by anyone since moving stateside. Was too busy at the beginning refurbishing the wife's house in Sacramento, did odd jobs for her employer.

Then we moved to a house on a few acres in the Sierra Foothills, I ended up being a goat farmer.

Moved to Missouri some 16 years back now where I'm retired...Yeah right, work harder than I ever did down the pits..

Been a good life on the whole, not regretted very much and would do it all the same given the chance.

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There seems to be a common theme of career advisors not being up to scratch! I went to grammar school and we were expected to get A levels, go to Uni and become teachers/librarians/scientists. No mention of what if you didn't pass A levels. No guidance about the real world outside of academia.

I walked out halfway through A levels after being told by one teacher that I would get 'nowhere in life' with the 8 O levels I achieved, so got a job at the Post Office and this was purely because it was part of the Civil Service and to apply you had to have at least 5 O levels (and produce the certificates to prove it). After that I drifted through life and have had a variety of jobs including a season at Butlins, a bingo caller, payroll manager, and a political party agent. At one time I was a single parent and had four different part time jobs on the go at the same tme, lurching from one to another, changing uniforms in the ladies and glamming up with the face paint for behind the bar. I'm shattered now just thinking about it, but it was just a way of life and there must have been hundreds like me!

I've also gone from one end of salary scale to the other, just kept adapting my life style accordingly. While I have on occasions wondered 'what if' but I have not regretted my hotheadedness!!

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Was told by the career bloke that I was useless.

So I applied for a job at NCR and passed the entrance exam with flying colours and when could I start, We need to see your drivers licence I'm only 15. Guess I'm not getting the job.

So applied at Attenborough dental passed all the tests & got a apprentice position passed the City & guilds with distinction

Funny thing the same Career bloke presented me with an award at the college.

As soon as I had my papers I was fired as being overqualified

So quit the dental & started my own bodyshop in Cinderhill along with a guy that worked for Rolls Royce (loved it)

After about 2 years the building owner (My dad) wouldn't renew our lease

So it was back into the dental lab working 82 hours a week, Slave labour.

Got fired from that job when the apprentice I was teaching told the dentist he could do my job for half of what I was getting.

Within three weeks they were calling to get me back but I decided that if I am going to work such long hours I might as well do it for myself.

Picked up all the Dentists i used to do the work for at the lab that fired me along with a lot more.

Got burned out after 5 years & decided to come to the states and started a lab here

my interest was always racing so I was pit crewing for a couple of guys in formula ford until one day one of them said have a go,

Within11 laps I was almost 2 seconds faster than the owner He said it was good enough for pole position at the last race.

Not 2 bad to say I had not raced in 12 years. Did a few races but found out quickly that it takes $$.

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I went to Gedling Sec Modern after failing my 11 plus by a smidgeon (so I was told) but my excuse was I was only just 10 st the time as my birthday falls in julythe start or end of the school year which ever way you look at it.

My school years were pretty dismal, I could never understand maths, my maths teacher told me I was useless and would never make anything of myself (yes thanks mr Greenwood) anyway, by 14 3/4 I hated school apart from metalwork,woodwork and handycrafts ! my english was passable but so what, dad was a builder and he intended me and my brother were going to be the new family firm !

By this time my brother was an apprentice plumber, I was told I was going to be an electrician and apprenticeship was arranged for me.

Foor my first year I did the usual stuff at work, but they paid for me to go to night school 3 nights a week, and suddenly at Peoples college I learnt maths ! It was a wonderful thing to see applied maths and the penny dropped what all these silly numbers and x's and y's and geometry and calculus were really used for.

I did my 3 years at college but by 18 got fed up with the job so on a whim packed it in, and went walk about for what we thought would be a year or more around Europe, Scandinavia etc.

Well after 3-4 weeks I was missing my beloved so much back in Nottm, that I bailed out and came home ! another failure I thought but no, I got a job at Gedling pit as an electrician (one of me dads mates pulled a few strings) and after a few weeks of basic trianing I joined the underground team.

I also got married to my beloved sweetheart !

They paid for me to go back to college, which I did for a year, but by then I was getting wary of coal dust and my asthma played up too.

Looked about and saw an add for electricians on the GPO, for "mechanised engineering duties" went for the interview and got the job. which it turned out was not the gpo but the now separate entity of Post Office engineers !

Me and several others had been recruited for the new mechanised mail handling facilities that were being hastily built around the country. Nottm Derby Leicester etc.

When I got over my initial dissapoinment the job actually became very good, and I rose quite quickly though the promotion ranks and became the youngest chargehand at 21.

Another thing was we could do as much training or college as we wanted so I completed my 5th year City & Guilds Tech certificate in electrical engineering on day release, also got a heap of other minor diplomas for related stuff, like elevators/lifts, hydraulics some plumbing skills, yes we did the lot because we were engineers not just sparkies, the first multiskilled force had started.

I became a Techy in the office for a while in planning, did clerk of works duties for several months at Derby mech sorting office (overseeing contractors etc on the new building.)

Anyway one day my boss and I had a disagreement on how my staff should be treated to get the best from them, he thought the big whip was the way, I knew a better way, treat your guys well, and they in return will work with you rather than against you was my motto. And never expect anyone to do any job I wouldn't do myself.

It came to a head and I told the old prat where he could stuff his job ! he thought I would cool off and come round to his ways and ideas.

Next day I handed my notice in and walked away two weeks later ! did I do the right thing, maybe not, did I regret it no !

part 2 to follow.

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Left school Christmas 1961 all set to be a mechanical engineer with the NCB. It was in the new year I found out it was a no go due to my eyesight.

Dad whipped me down the careers place on Standard hill. The conversation went something like..........

Dad "Have you got any apprenticeships left?"

Careers man "Yes gas fitter with EMGB."

Dad "Is it a proper apprenticeship with day release etc?"

Careers man "Yes, 5 years, if he is suitable he will sign his indentures at 16."

Dad "He will take it."

Do the paperwork and my career path was chosen. As we walked down Standard hill I asked "Dad what's a gas fitter?" Dad replied "No idea but its an apprenticeship."

I left at 21 after I finished my time and went to live in Buxton Derby's first for the caving and climbing and then I met my wife to be. Did a rake of jobs up there, long distance lorry driving, plant fitter on a quarry and grinding aircraft brake linings would you believe.

Married 1971 and returned to Nottm, working for a plumbing company and driving taxi's part time for extra cash. My break came when I joined a national central heating company, who believed in promoting from within and giving training to allow this to happen. Ended up as area supervisor running large contracts all over the country.

Left there in 1987 to start my own business in the firearms industry a real bad move considering what happened with the nutcases and the recession of the late 80s. It cost me dear but I had a great time and have some good tales to tell.

1991 I cleaned off my jimmy's and started back in the gas, central heating industry as my own man. Then came CORGI, first compulsory registration, then compulsory assessments every five years. This got rid of about 60% of the operatives in the gas industry, originally trained as plumbers they found it hard to cope with the pure gas side of things. But and it was a BIG but due to the shortage of operatives prices sky rocketed.

Now aged 69 I do the office work and have an occasional run out while others do the heavy work for me.

I would never have believed you if back in 1961 you had told me that gas engineers would be on 50 grand a year plus but that's the rate these days.

Would I change anything, not a single minute, I have had a great run, met some wonderful people, married the lady I still love to this day and HEY most of all..................... I am still alive.

Nearly forgot in amongst that lot I did 11 years in the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, more great people and more good fun.

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Interesting stuff. I love the way people used enterprise, adaptability, guile, etc., etc to get on and carve out their own niche. That said, it's much harder for kids today as the range of opportunities gets wider and more complex but the number of opportunities shrinks. More on that later.

Part 2.

I missed out a couple of jobs from Part 1, such as radial arm drill operator (Self taught) and Grinder- Fettler at Whiteley Read in Park Lane. Sure there were others..

There's a rather nice denouement coming up soon, but I'll stick to my plan for a bit... :biggrin:

So anyway, I met this scouse girl in High Wycombe and we came up to Liverpool around 1971. Finding work here was next to impossible. Basically you needed to know people. We got married in '72 and wen't off working in hotels for a bit but it was just an exploitative racket so we came back. After initially resisting it I finally took the plunge and applied for a job at Courtauld's in Skelmersdale, about 12 miles out of Liverpool. Got a brand new rented house too. In a few weeks I was a cotton weaver minding a set of looms.

Very enjoyable, if noisy. Soon I got a promotion to a mechanic on the wonderfully named Schlafhorst Autoconer machines and stayed until the factory closed in 1976.

Naturally, it being me, I was made redundant precisely two weeks after completing on my first house, but we hung in there and finally after six months I got a job at a Lead Refining plant in St Helens. Nasty, dirty, dangerous and unhealthy work. Had a brief break from it due to a cartilage op and took a lighter job in another plastic film factory, but soon went back. Hours were long.. 12 hour shifts averaging about 60 hours per week, but OTE reasonable dosh.... until the spectre of redundancy loomed again.

A bit too involved to explain but believe me we were right to occupy the plant and make the B £$%^$£s work to get rid of us. This was the height of Thatcherism and the 'People's March for Jobs' etc. I experienced things then that set my politics forever.

We were never going to win that dispute, but we made them think and got better redundancy terms than we would have without pushing them.

So.. redundant again at 32, I went home and Mrs Col said: " I suppose you'll be going down the job centre for a job in the morning?" I replied that I would sign on and then take a month to think about my next move.

As it was, when I went to the Job Centre, I asked if there was anywhere I could get professional advice on my options.

Good enough, they arranged for me to have a chat with the Deputy Principle Careers Officer at St Helens Careers Service. I explained that I'd had, but so far wasted, a Grammar School education. I also said that I felt if I didn't get something sorted soon I'd be condemned to crap jobs and a cycle of 'last in.. first out' for the rest of my life. I'd already looked into the Open University, but thought it too lengthy a process for my purposes.

After further discussion, the Careers chap and I had got to the point where me doing a degree as a Mature Student was looking interesting. Also, I was learning that a degree in, for example Politics, would open doors to me for eventual training at Post Grad level for a whole range of possible jobs. Liverpool Uni offered me a place on a degree in politics, but I'd have had to wait a year, because I had no A levels and would have to do a couple of essays etc., for 'Mature Matriculation' So I literally started phoning around Polytechnics and in days had talked my way onto a Degree in Social Sciences (Politics options) at Manchester Poly. (Now Manchester Metropolitan University)

Apart from having to take my life in my hands on a 125CC Honda day in day out on the A580 to and from Manchester, it went well enough. I got a Student Grant, and a mature student's allowance which amounted to about £3k a year in 1981. Times were bloody hard, but Mrs Col understood.

Second year was the quietest, so I set about thinking what to do with my degree when I got it. I looked into Teaching, Social Work, HR, and lots of other things.

Next, I went back to St Helens Careers Service for further advice.. this time speaking to the top man, Mr Derek Brown, Principal Careers Officer. (Sadly, he died a year or so back) I asked him how I could get his job and he told me about the post grad Diploma in Careers Guidance, also at Manchester Poly, on a different site.

So, having got my degree, I was accepted onto the Diploma in Careers Guidance Part 1. Whilst doing the second work experience element of that course, I took a phone call from Derek Brown.... "Colin.. I tried to catch you in college but they told me you were out on work experience.. I've got vacancies and I'd welcome an application from you".

I was gobsmacked, but a week later became the first on the course to get a job.. plus early release from the course to get started..

After a further 'Probationary Year', I gained Diploma in Careers Guidance Part 2. and was off and running...

No need to edit any negative posts about 'Careers Blokes'. I've heard it all and experienced some of it myself... :rotfl:

But I'll be back to tell you all how it really was... And why I'm not over fond of Messrs Blunkett, Milburn and Gove. :)


BA Hons. Dip CG. MICG

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Not exactly a model way of 'careering' but,here goes: started at 10, Ron's paper shop on Trinity Sq- paper round,5 days a week at £1.50,on Saturdays pulled a foreigner at Dennis & Roberts, answering the blower whist Sam supped in the snug!! Moved to Bulwell in '73 and settled onto a council estate.a new one for me..I was bred on streets!! This place was twinned with Chernobyl, I thought. Met a girl at school who was minted,they 'lived' in Rivermead flats in the week and Chilled in Kirkby Bellars on the weekend,helped her dad make bottle tops in a gaff behind Andy Bones..£15.00 for two full shifts!!- drank Clan Dew as if it were water!! After 2 years, that went west- she dumped me for a 2 litre Capri,worked at Moorebridge garage,pumping fuel til' midnight. Had a row at the Becket and walked out in '77- never to return..picked myself up and went painting friends houses and self taught myself at home.Found Kafka,Steinbeck, Kerouac and fell in love with music halls and Dirk Bogarde's books and films.Built up a large portfolio and went to Mansfield College of Art..my self taught fauvism pissed in easy. On Chesterfield rd.South, next door was the bus sheds..I was always in there..kopping buses,still at the pumps at night time.'79 took a job in the Summer at Island st.loading lorries..did loads of overtime.. Haulage strike was on/off.I was like the factory cat,came to Ireland backpacking, got 5 o'levels and 3 a's at college..went back to Boots until Xmas and in the new year found myself suspended on power winch and cradle/bench rolling paint on tankers..subbying for BP in Rotterdam,DJ's in a bar and lived in Schiedam. Came back to Bulwell with asthma and a serious wedge..and never yet signed on!! However things went on the slide!!..more another night.

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Part 2

After leaving my "cushy" PO job I looked at my options so far, I had always hankered to be self employed and in charge of my own destiny, so started doing my own work, I already had lots of work as me and another po engineer used to do heaps of "foreigners" anyway, so it was fairly easy to move into, Phil my mate, also packed it up at the PO and he too came in with me.

All good for a while, but then Phil had a chance of buying a building company, his dads mate, a single, no family bloke was retiring and Phil decided to do that, he did well, and good on him, and is now a very wealthy bloke, but has left a couple of wives in his wake, but single now and loving life, we still meet on my trips home and recall the good times and bad. He has his yacht on the coast, his Roller, and several other nice toys in a little country cottage in the trent valley.

Back to me, I was always searching for that something over the other paddock where the grass is greener, if you know what I mean ?

I worked in the Middle East for a short time, which soon gave me a perspective of where the "anus of the world" was ! not a nice or healthy place but the money was good, but I missed my wife and family.

While there, one of my previous mates who had joined us, a motor mechanic, said "why don't we get out of this sh*thole, and set up on our own in a garage business ?" my hobby had always been cars and restoration of old bangers, so the decision was easy.

Nothing gained nothing lost we headed home, bought a lease of a service station on Hucknall road and worked our bums off for two years.

Business was excellent, money good - but, I hated being a "grease monkey" 6 days a week ! and could never get me hands clean of oil and crap ! and even though money was good, I never seemed to have time to enjoy it, apart from the odd week in Benidorm.

While out contemplating my future one day I happened to look in a jobs centre place and low and behold, BT (British Telecom) were advertising for trainee phone installers, I applied and being ex PO anyway, walked into my perfect "clean" job !

I had to break it to my business partner I was getting out, he was a bit took out over it, but saw my point of view in the end and bought me out, he too has done very well for himself, eventually selling out and moving on.


I started at the bottom of the pile yet again, but the work was great, light, compared to a sparky, easy to understand and do, and best of all I loved it, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Free tools, a new van, great canteens, cheap quality food.

We were given 4 jobs to do a day, some were super easy and done in half an hour, others maybe a little longer, the guys were great and the comaraderie brilliant.

I had my own van and basically did my own thing so long as we got our allocated jobs done per day. There was no pressures from management as all were ex GPO installers and knew the ropes inside out.

After several years I was asked to go onto business sytems as my first line boss thought I was wasted on single line installations due to my age and qualifications.

So move on I did and became a business systems fitter.

Just about now, the early 80's, my "itchy feet" started to scratch yet again and after lots of talk around tea room tables, decided that the writing was indeed on the wall as privatisation loomed on the horizon for the telecom industry as we then knew it !

I applied to emigrate but kept it to myself, and carried on regardless during the initial privatisation of BT. Overnight things changed, drastically, we got a heap of headless chooks, came into higher management all realising that if, they, or in real terms "we" at the sharp end did not perform they would be chopped !

Work quotas shot up, hourly job tallys were checked and reduced, job satisfaction ceased to exist and new ways to make more profit for the shareholders at the employees expence were quickly brought in.

This was early 89, we went through some strikes and other union ordered rubbish but the end was in sight for BT as we knew it.

I then received the magic envelope from Australia house in Manchester advising me we had been accepted to go to Australia.

3 months after I went to Oz the BT redundancies started. I miissed out on a redundancy package but so what thats life.

I worked in oz as a sparky for while, did some security installation work, but decided to go it alone and earn for me and my family, not a boss or shareholder.

And there my friends is my story !

At 55 I took early retirement, as I had a few health issues, so pulled the plug to enjoy what I had left with my beloved and family.

Five years ago my wife retired and we have been full time traveling this brown land and a few other places overseas since, do I regret anything ? never, I have a great life, great family, five fantastic kids all have done well in both education and life, eleven grandkids, and one great grandson.

Will we settle down somewhere again soon, who knows, maybe one day when I can no longer drive or walk, but my wife and I live every day as if it is our last and enjoy every minute of it.

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Left FFGS after six fruitless years with no qualifications other than my 11 plus, my cycling proficiency certificate, and a card saying I swam a length at Noel St Baths.

Waiter, caravan site operative, clerk, trainee accountant, trainee electrical engineer, accounts clerk. Mr Softee driver, brickyard labourer, clerk, electronic equipment inspector, fork lift truck driver, machine operator, van driver, lorry driver, transport team leader, stores operative, asst transport manager, stores / warehouse operator.

Many well paid, some not so. However, I always strived for job satisfaction as well as cash and the transport jobs gave me that as well as lots of stress. No regrets though.

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I'm an absolute expert at everything, I thought everyone on here knew that. LOL

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My only job during the 10 years I worked after leaving school, was a Punch Card Operator, but for 3 different firms. Pretty boring eh? But once I had my 3 kids then my C.V really took flight. Bum wiper, runny nose wiper, bumps and scrapes nurse, puke mopper-up, hugger and kisser, etc etc. To get 1 school age, 1 playgroup age and a baby, out of the door on time each morning, took some doing. But, it was a job I loved, and I miss it terribly.

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