It wasn’t until my teens, when we are supposed to have an idea what career we might like to do, in a class at school, that we all had to take turns and say what we’d like to do. I remember thinking at the time, I don’t really know, but also the thought of speaking up and telling the whole class I hated the idea. My friend hated the idea of speaking out in class too. But then, we both had been bullied at school, so hardly surprising.
When it got to me, I said I want to be an artist, clarifying on that as in drawing and painting kind. Not a singer. It wasn’t surprising that the whole class laughed and sniggered. The teacher though, did put a stop to this, reminding the class that this was a career. It silenced them. The teacher then asked me questions. But I can’t remember what this might have been now, for blocking a lot of memories from those school days.
When I left school, although I persued it, it never came about. No support was encouraged to go into this. I went in to Youth Training, then later a job as a care assistant. My career then went into factory work. I was a packer for a bathroom manufacturer, packing from different bath panels, to toilet seats and vanity units that went round sinks, as well as cabinets that went on the wall. I loved my job, regardless the pay was crap. (It was before NMW came in.) I was there for just over 2 years.
Being young, I wanted to try other things and that’s when I went into cleaning for a short time. Then I worked at another factory, this time being fabrics. There I made up fabric swatches, but I left because I did not like the atmosphere there. I went back to the former factory, packing bathroom products as before. A lot had changed when I went back to the bathroom manufacturer place. First thing I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of work. Eventually I was made redundant and ended up being on the dole. But I did not regret going back to a factory I loved. About 3 months later from me being made redundant, the factory finished. What a shame I thought, but it was certainly managed wrong at that point, from what I learnt going back.
I then went into temporary packing work, which I hated, because the hours were not stable and there were some nasty people in there. From leaving there, that’s when I went into cleaning at the hospital all those years. Originally, the plan was temporary, but I loved working for the NHS that much, I stayed and had extra hours in a morning elsewhere, as well as overtime in the hospital. Once it went private in the department I was in, was when things started changing for the worst and then worser, that I couldn’t wait to get out.
Now cleaning for the council, a job I have loved from day one and been there over a year now. Who would have known, including myself, what career path I would have gone down.
What did you want to be as a kid, when you grew up? Did it turn out that way, or did you choose a different career?
© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.
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