5-4-Friday… 5 decent jobs

What a week at work this has been! To trot out some well-worn Wigan phrases, I am tireder than a galley slave, tireder than a rikshaw driver and tireder than a Blackpool donkey when Vanessa Feltz is in town.

There hasn’t been time to do anything other than work, work, work this week and so my usually thorough (?) 5-4-Friday prep and research has very much taken a back seat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the job. I love it. It’s just that I recall jobs I have had in the past that were equally enjoyable though much less serious or pressured. Here are a few:-

Sunday papers – Well, I got paid for it, so it must be a job, right? I only did Sunday mornings and I, quite literally, had two paper rounds. I was rubbish. I started at around 7:30, rarely finished before noon and invariably ended up with three or four unexplained and undelivered papers in the bag. It was good exercise though; I used to pull the bags of newspapers round on a golf trolley.

Cancer and Polio pools delivery – I used to deliver these around the Hindley/Hindley Green area. I was like a charity version of the Avon bird but flogging a football coupon rather than lippy and mazzy. For a 14-year old boy, the highlight of this monthly round was the woman in Wenlock Road who always answered the door in a very loosely-tied pink, silk dressing down. Looking back, this was very strange behaviour for 5pm on a Thursday night. Maybe I missed a trick there, thinking about it.

NORWEB – My first real job was working in the electricity showrooms on Standishgate in Wigan. At 16, I had wages paid directly into a bank account – an account I still use as my current account to this day – and I got to spend all day Saturday selling batteries, 3-pin plugs and hoover bags to the good people of Wigan. Sometimes I was allowed to fill out a credit agreement for somebody’s new washing machine, but mostly it was plugs and batteries.

PPG Glass Fibre – When I was 17, my dad organised some summer work for me at the fibre-glass factory where he worked. Just to be clear, the factory wasn’t made of fibre-glass, it made fibre-glass. Ostensibly, it was a casual labour position with an emphasis on sweeping, cleaning and painting. In practice, it mainly involved marble-throwing competitions and talking about football and cricket. The following year, he got me a job at the same place working 12-hour night shifts actually making the fibre-glass. That wasn’t nearly so much fun, though much better paid.

Uncle Frank’ s steam cleaning – Long before everybody in the world had a Karcher steam cleaner of their own in the garage, my Uncle Frank had his own mobile cleaning business. In the summer break before I went off to Preston Poly, I worked with him jet-washing the caked-on shit from huge items of plant and machinery from Leverton’s in Bryn. It was back-breaking work, but he paid me £30 a day which we promptly spent over the bar in either Gems or The Park Hotel before I even got home. Happy days.

See you in the job centre – Griff

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