Friday, 5 August 2011

Rambling Rumbles - The Conception

A new departure, a going public as I open up mind and my innards for exposure. So for post number one I present a potted and much edited history of me to today

I am a 68 part-time civil servant working in the vain effort that I will be able  to make, one of those fantastic pensions that are so much in the minds of our masters, the press and private sector worker, enough to live on.  That's enough about work (a four letter word) and that particular gripe; too much and it will cause premature rumbling.

I left school in 1958, aged 15 fresh faced and bewildered, and whilst I've retained the bewilderment the freshness seems to have evaporated in the sunlight. I started work in a small engineering factory, that lacked everything, especially a future.  After a year the Merchant Navy beckoned, a year or so later it was back to dry land.  Another stint in a bucket shop, glazing, painting, labouring, Postman (where I learnt to drive) Milkman (where I earned enough for a mortgage) followed one by one as I sought to find what I wanted. Being a Milkman in winter was fine, you got used to the cold.  Frozen fingers didn't stay frozen, the warmed up.  The summer was something else.  No matter how often the Float was washed, it stank and so too your hands, your overalls and trousers - even footwear took on the charnal house stench of sour milk.

By this time I was developing an interest in politics and at the behest of other activists took employment with one of the larger employers, and became a Dental Instrument Maker.  I found it just to my liking, it was largely handwork and appealed to a sense of craft instead of manufacture.  Here the interest in politics, trade unionism, working class history, English folk music and in education flourished and by the time the company announced it was going to close and move to the West Country I was ready to go back into full time education and study economics.

Four year as a mature student, a wonderful life, education as a consumption good great. As a mature student I qualified for maximum allowances, my grant covered the wife and kids, the mortgage in addition to the normal grant.  After that I was, for 10 years, a full time employee of my own Union and worked in Research before becoming a personal assistant to one of the EC members.  It was with utter disbelief that on the first day I found just how Dickensian their concept of industrial relation were compared to what they insisted upon and enjoyed in the world outside.  At five O' Clock a bell rang to finish work.  I was half way through a speech for some Official or other, the concept was nearly fully formed, the rhythms of delivery were taking shape and suddenly I had to stop for the day.  The following morning was a different day, the concept was now a misconception and the rhythms flat,  he got an overview and some bullet points.

The only time I was on strike was whilst I was working for the Union.  After 10 year I was ready for something new.  I responded to an advert with a cutter on the high seas for Custom and Excise. I was selected and completed the CS Entrance Exam and was eventually offered a Job by C & E to work in VAT.  I never did find out how the Cutter related to the job.  However, after 25 years I'm still there albeit only part time.  It has one advantage for someone like me - I'm nosey and I get paid to be nosy.  It was still a home for the different, unlike today when there is drive to create the clone.

Tomorrow, my likes and dislikes and my hopes and expectations - or something like that.  It is difficult when the future is all (but) behind you.

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