One of the problems with writing a blog for as long as I have done is that when it comes to writing about my past, I’ve covered most of it already! So instead of writing about my favourite job (five years on cruise ships, which I’ve written about many times in the past on here), I thought I’d do a quick whistlestop tour of my working life since – gulp! – 1988, when I left university.
I’m going to split it into two posts, as it will be ridiculously long if I do it all in one.
Organising A Golf Tournament
My very first job was a three month temp position in a four star hotel near Bournemouth, organizing a quite prestigious celebrity/pro/am golf tournament. Golf is certainly not something I have even a passing interest in, and the job was pretty dull office work in the main, but it was quite interesting meeting the celebs. The pro golfers were mostly charming; Bruce Forsyth was delightful; Ronnie Corbett was late and not very friendly; Max Bygraves (who?) was deeply offended when I asked him his name, as I had no clue who he was. I still don’t, really.
I then moved to Devon, where I worked for a year at the (then) five star and quite well known Imperial Hotel in Torquay, as Conference Co-ordinator. I stayed there for a year, had a great time, made some fab friends, and even quite enjoyed the work – which was busy and full-on all the time. A big learning curve, but fun. One of my greatest memories from my time at The Imperial was that we had an old-fashioned telephone switchboard there, that looked like a bit like this:
I learnt to use it, and absolutely loved covering the switchboard operator’s breaks, specially when it was busy. Looking back now, it seems crazy that such a thing was still in use in the late 80s. We also had a telex machine there, which I used quite a lot. Whatever happened to telexes?
From 1989 until 1994, I worked for P&O Cruises as an Assistant Purser and travelled the world on board ships. I won’t write any more about that now, as I’ve written about it ad infinitum on the blog, but I will share a pic of me in my uniform instead.
Sales & Marketing Secretary
After five years at sea, the time came to return to dry land and I moved back to Bournemouth and took a job at a multinational technology company. My job there involved organizing lots of international travel for the execs, and was also my first experience of email. It was a very social place to work, and I met some great people. There was always something going on, and plenty of fun nights out. I only stayed for eight months, for two reasons: a) it was a maternity leave contract, and although they offered me a full-time post at the end of it, b) I’d got engaged to Ashley whilst I was there, and was moving down to Devon to live with him.
To be continued …