Friday, 28 December 2018

The flying of time - my career(s) in X words

In reviewing my years blogging i found this draft that should be shared for my kids - excuse the indulgence and the fact it was written in the last few weeks of my employment ...

As some will know this blog is a small diary of interesting (to me) things I would want to reflect on when I am in my nursing home. I have kept a blog for many years and have one year put into a book and intend to have all years put into print to pass to my Grandkids so when they do their genealogy down the line my story will be easier to tell. 

So this is a wordy post really to my grandchildren, but you can have a peek if it interests you .....

I started work on the 4th September 1978, Monday. I was a print apprentice at RB Macmillan, an old family firm of label printers. I was on a 4 year lithographic print apprenticeship. I had turned down three electricians apprenticeships in favour of this job as my mums friends'  next door neighbour worked in print and was well paid !! Jobs were plentiful and those jobs were skill and craft based.

I was introduced to my mentors for the day Malky Stevenson (master printer) and Herbert Bramley (machine assistant and chief clown) my god those days were full of trepidation but fun and learning by decent blokes. It was a good time to get work, good trades were on offer, skilled crafts. When I was banged out see here for info on that ceremony I was a journeyman printer after a four year apprenticeship.

I stayed for nine years printing and then in the technical services section. It was a good place, lots of history and good people. We had fishing clubs, football clubs and the odd after work drink and curry club!

I saw a job to set up an Inplant print operation at the then Derbyshire College of Higher Education. I was interviewed at the Green Lane College of Art and got the job.  

Once again I set to work with some decent people, lots of happy memories of the other technicians, the cleaners and porters. It was a family, all working for each other looking out for each other. It is experience like that that form people and I have tried to do the same, looking out for colleagues, working with people rather than against then all my working (and private life) since. I know a good few are no longer with us, some taken far too early, some took their own lives and some still taking the pension.

I did leave to help set up what is now a multi million pound printing business Plan4 Print  - now Excel Print  It was a good but hard time as I was stretched. Just had Tom my oldest and I was leaving in the morning when he was asleep and getting back in the evening when he was still asleep. I decided family comes first so left and was lucky to get back to the college with the help of Dave Bush, a top bloke and someone I owe a lot to. Both Dave and Kelvin the owner of Plan 4 Print  (now retired and spends half his time in Portugal !) came to my retirement do which I really appreciated 

Coming back could be seen as failure, I saw it as an opportunity to rise as far as I could and I did. I put three hard year in to get my MSc  - success does not come and should not come easily. I wanted to prove my experiential learning was as good as theoretical so I got both. I was very proud of myself and my qualification, one of the highest you can get - not bad for someone who left school aged 15 with three 'O' levels and three cse's (Certificate of Secondary Education)

Sadly the university did not practice what it preached when it comes to the need and use of high level degrees and my career hit the buffers, not for anything else ironically other than one person did not like the fact I'd not adopt their style of confrontational leadership. A terribly  hubristic egotistical person, the antithesis of who and what I am and I am very proud to not be like that person and proud I held my principals and ethics despite the damage it did to my career.

Not that I did not still enjoy my work and the good people I worked with, they will know who they are as I shared the fact I blogged prior to my retirement.

So a 'work' without waiting for the phone to ring with a problem. Or sitting penned in to emails and judgment calls. Keeps plates spinning or balls in the air -choose your metaphor. But I am ready. I need to let go of that nut... see here for that blog post, but I like the story so much I am pasting it below

In order to catch spider monkeys, hunters in South America simply walk through the jungle and drop heavy containers on the ground. These containers have very a narrow top and a wider bottom. Inside the containers the hunters drop a special kind of nut which is particularly attractive to the monkeys. Sometime later, the spider monkeys come down from the tops of the trees, smell the nut, but the tops of the containers are so narrow they have a tight squeeze to get their hands inside. Once they grab the nut at the bottom, their fist is too large to remove if through the opening. And the container is too heavy for them to carry.
So instead of letting go of the nut, the monkeys just sit there until the hunters come back, pick them up, and throw them in a bag.
The spider monkeys are not prepared to let go of a small nut in order to gain their freedom.
See where this is going.... it does not take too much of a leap of imagination to transpose the nut for much of modern life.... we grab hold and are afraid to let go, but when we do we get freedom.
Anyhow that's why I retired - just letting go of the nut !!!

So the clocking off clock will be changed  to be a counting up clock. I have made pension decisions that mean I have to live long to beat the system and I hope to do so.  I hope the next stage of my journey is fun, it should be full, you can share it with me here in this blog.

One final thought  - our universe will live for 19 billion years. It has been around for 14 Billion and has about 5 billion to go. If I get to my predicted expiry (currently 83 years !) I would have been part of this Universe for 19 billion divided by 83 so by my maths that makes my life...... forget the maths... a minuscule portion of time in the great scheme of things.... as the title says in a slightly rearranged way, time flies - please please make the most of your time

Happy New Year !

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