Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Shop assistant

It was time to get a proper job. I'd left the illustration course early, many months before, as I knew I'd never be able to do it for a living (I was wrong, but it took a long time...) and now I needed to earn some real money.  I'd managed to bring in a few quid here and there in other ways* but they weren't going to keep me in pickled onion Monster Munch and Star Bars.  My sister had left home and my parents had divorced a few years previously; now the time had come to sell the family home so the proceeds could be split between them, meaning my mum could only afford somewhere big enough for one.  I needed to find somewhere to live.  Having failed to get the job I didn't want but went for anyway at the supermarket, I was getting seriously worried about my future. Then I saw the ad for a sales assistant at a new record shop opening in a nearby town and it sounded perfect.

Some weeks later and I'd been invited for an interview, which turned out to be a very pleasant, enthusiastic chat - mostly about music, naturally - with the friendly, easy-to-talk-to young man who'd be managing the branch. I don't think I could have been happier or more excited when he rang the following month to offer me the position. Yes. YES! YESSS! I doubt that my delighted acceptance was at all unexpected.

Anyway, just before that Christmas I started my first official, full-time, permanent job in an independent record shop, staffed – quite unusually for the time – by three young women (each with different musical tastes) under the guidance of our lovely and very knowledgeable manager.

Soon after I was able to move into a dodgy flat above a parade of shops in a truly crappy area of town - but at least we could pay the rent!

Thirty-two years just go by in a flash, don't they?

£1.90 per hour...

* Such as....
- Being taped reciting pages from a legal textbook for a man who was studying for a law degree
 Modelling at my old art school, seated on a table, fully clothed, having to keep dead still while the students portrayed it in clay
-  Photocopying my macabre ink drawings and selling them as 'gothic stationery' through an advert in the  NME

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