Thread: Petrol prices?
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:28 PM
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Sir Ewok Sir Ewok is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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I started with a gas fitting apprenticeship when I was 15 with the South Eastern Gas Board. I failed the apprenticeship due to the 3 B's... Bikes, Birds and Booze. At that age, all my mates were earning 4-5 times what I earned just labouring, but I did want more, just couldn't see it as an apprentice. When I was 17 I got my 15 year old girlfriend pregnant (we both lost our virginity together) and she later became my wife. At 21 I was already married with my eldest son arriving earlier in the year, the bike had to go, but before that I bought a Reliant. Working on the Brakes one Sunday morning, I needed a slave (can't call it that now) cylinder, so jumping on the bike I shot off to Stockwell, South London, where a bike and car spares shop would be open. I only got as far as the bend in the road about 400 yds, when a car turned across my path and I went over the top. I worked for the Gas Board as an Apprentice/ Maintenance fitter for 6 years and then we moved to Northampton. I worked in lots of jobs, Timken as a bearing grinder, Trondex as a Tool fitter, even the post Office at one point, just to keep working. I had gained lots of experience working on bikes and various jobs around the house and when then opportunity came I jumped into contract fitting. Because I was an unknown, I had to build a rep from scratch, as you are only as good as your last job. The first 'decent' job I had was at Watney's North London refurbishing pump seals and refitting them (the last crew had walked off the job, leaving them all stripped down and in one pile, which was not good as the pumps were all slightly different). We got on the job and the Boss says "You have done pumps before?" We had blagged the job and we said "No, but we need the work." Boss was great, he showed us how everything went together and we only had two failures 1. where they had tried a different seal. 2. where the had machined the bearing housing out to beyond normal spec in order to fit a cheaper seal. I went to Nigeria for 6 months with this firm (coca-cola) and was asked to do Baghdad Airport, which I turned down. Helped build the conveyor system for Heathrow's new terminal, Worked in most breweries, bottling plants and car plants in the UK, even the Co-oP cheese plant in Loch Maben where we lodged in Lockerbie. I eventually worked for myself(Can't get a better or worse Boss) with 8 people working for me on a need to finish the job basis. We did ghosters, weekenders, and all sorts to get the job done, especially job and knock (finish) where I managed to earn 110 hours money in 6 days. The end of the contract engineering came when competitors staring using guys that were signing on, I was charging 4 an hour and paying most of that to my guys and they were paying dolies 2.50 an hour, I couldn't compete and stay legal. The final nail came with my divorce, by then I was buying and selling precious metals (mainly silver from film) and they came up with silverless film and later computer imaging, so I ended up working for KAB in my final years. Not bad for a chancer who had no qualifications until I worked for KAB. Graft is one way to go but somebody said to me... The more you sweat at work, the less you get paid. It took a while to realise that he meant, learn your job and it becomes easy, Digging holes does not pay in the long run......
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