My First Job after School

It could be from an Alan Sillitoe book

By Terry Trainor

When I first left school in 1971 I had a job in Bushey down at Cox’s Corner. It was a terrible contrast from School but the money was good it was eight pounds a week a fortune. Although the money was good it was piece work and a nine hour day was a long day.

Scores of bicycles bounce their way down a cobbled firm entrance. Each person on these bikes are full of venom, but today it is Friday. “Thank you God” Through the iron gates of the metal work factory to start my day I hated the job with a passion. The steam whistle blows a one ear piercing note telling us to hurry up and clock in. Just the noise makes me angry.

Finding my clock in card,and clocking in depresses me so much I wake up early. Walking to my lathe nobody speaks, depression all over is hard and rife. Deep down in every person there is a dream they must hang onto. To lose that dream life would be hard and drab.

At my lathe waiting three minutes for the eight o’clock whistle, it is bang on time. A screech like a haggard old bag calling people to get out of bed. Each job takes on minute to produce, four hundred and eighty times per day. Do not count the bits or look at the clock as that makes the day seem longer. Years on if I smell a workshop cutting the same metal I am transformed back to that place.

The weekend turns into a drinking binge and Monday morning hits you like a lorry. There are tears of frustration in my eyes because Monday has come round so quick again. I don my overalls smell the odour of hot metal, oil and water coolent. Metal swarf scratches my body. Another week in this miserable hole, how can I get out of this terrible mess?

This page was added on 16/03/2012.

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