I never looked at my work life as a story worthy of telling. Nobody does really unless you are that self-centred or somebody like Jack Nicholson who’s life basically starts every morning with the 20th century fox theme playing. But never the less my story has seen very few successful moments but the ones classed as that could perhaps be called triumphs.
There are many people whose careers can be defined by the very rare successful moment. One day in a thousand to prove that you are human and achievement can feel damn good. Plans gone well or badly, corners turned and the thought of never looking back.
I met the working world by way of an ultimatum. Here we have this acne prone fifteen year old sort of goofy kid who stayed in the shadows at school. Very rarely did I talk louder than a library voice and that was my process. School for many people was a hard time, for me I didn’t like it. If it wasn’t the teachers thinking they’ve actually lived a life worthy of their wisdom or the fact you were thrown together with several hundred other hormonal people all at different stages of development. I found a way to survive like many others and got through. So the ultimatum came and that was as basic as get out, or stay on and continue studies. Having bombed out in my exams, writing fiction seemed more important at the time (things don’t change I guess) the whole continuation to bomb out again didn’t seem enticing. I mean I could have taken my D grade results to university and spend the government’s money, but I didn’t.
Being a practical kind of guy my decision to seek an electrical apprenticeship had been decided and never again did I look back at school. As naïve as I was at the time, like all of us, we print off a resume or CV and think the offers for jobs will fly in. Wrong and probably my first lesson.
Any job that isn’t hard to get isn’t worth having. I took me a year from leaving school and an abundance of interviews and selection tests to finally get myself a job as an electrical apprentice. To me my first ever career triumph, a moment that I will never forget because that ultimatum in the past I could finally put my fingers up at and that would be a trend for things to come.
A small electrical company took me on and once a day I went to college. To begin with things were good and I was treated well. Every day I commuted to a job in London at a hotel and learned a lot of my trade there. But after a while the true colours of people came through. No names will be included but the only person with in this organisation that I had any respect for was my then boss’s old man. He indeed was an old man at 70 and even then he wasn’t to be crossed. A tough old electrician who taught me so much I know now. But we got on well and he could see that I wanted to work and be a success and overall I was a nice person.
Time continued to roll around and much of the time I was ridiculed or blamed for stuff that didn’t involve me. The other people working around me didn’t help or even support me as a trainee. Then came another triumph. After being told that ‘I probably wouldn’t make it’ by someone who was supposed to be my boss, I did just that and in 2009 became a fully qualified electrician. Even then my pay wasn’t anything near my standard of skill. But again I took the bullshit and carried on with a view one day something will come along. Much of the time we were on the road and away from home working. During this time I proved everybody that I was probably the most valuable employee but again the treatment wasn’t good enough or the money.
I won’t quote what was said to me on a late summer’s afternoon in 2011 from my then boss, but I was enough to never look at this job or him the same again. Looking back maybe I could of swung at him and ended things there, but I had the long game in mind and so I began to search for a better job. Maybe I could have burnt the bridge but I was the better person.
With the experience I had then I was able to secure an interview with a great organisation for a post as electrical support technician for at least three times the money I was then on. After a rather comfortable interview then came my next triumph. My experience and skill set along with hard working had propelled me above the bullshit of an asshole boss surrounded by assholes and I happily gave in my notice with my middle finger.
My new career began and never have I had a job that has meant so much to me. During this time I went back to college, something I always wanted and continued further into electronics. Things were going really well. But there was never a reward for my studies in mind. That’s fine for now I thought looking back at the previous conditions and people who were nothing like now.
A couple of Christmases’ ago I got a call from an old colleague. The old man whom I used to work with a lot. He called me just to see how I was doing. I didn’t even get a thank you from his son after I left. Then he told me he had become ill with cancer. It suddenly hit me that I had meant something to this person and this was a few good years since my departure. After a lengthy phone call I told him to let me know how he got on.
I never got another phone call from that man, someone who I will always respect. I still own some of the first tools I have brought by him. Not once did his son who I worked for (over five years) contact me about a funeral. Guess that’s the type of person he was. I had to look online to confirm my fears.
Back at my work situation I completed a 2 year ONC in electronics with a view to then carry my studies on further. My work skills grew stronger and I became more valuable.
More recently I wanted to change the situation at my work place. I won’t give details but things led to me coming back from holiday in search of that.
That change happened today. I applied for a new role with in the organisation I work in for a lot more money and maybe a better route for progression. With this life changing salary I can save for a deposit on a house or apartment and move out. My life can move on. Hell I could even fund production of books to be self-published.
I went to an interview very underprepared in all honesty. I said earlier on twitter it was Hindenburg. I thought I did badly. Many times I said ‘I don’t know’. Being honest I guess can work.
Then the phone rang and my final and finest triumph came.
My story shows that work hard will be rewarded and more importantly in whatever organisation you are in, you are the most important. Yourself, look after number one.
Although my story wasn’t detailed there is enough there to tell you my journey wasn’t easy at all. It involved a lot of graft and hard work. Bullshit from people and many many stressful days. I never thought about my salary at one point, it was too shameful. I partied a lot back in the day to drown out my shitty work life before 2011. But all that has changed now, because I grafted my way out of the crap and bullshit.
I won. For a nice guy that’s rare and it mustn’t be taken for granted. We are only here for a short time and success and triumph must be celebrated.
Today is my day.