Friday, 1 February 2013

More Than a Job Part 1 - Getting There

One of my earliest memories is sitting on a wooden clothes airer and watching the moon landings (yes I am THAT old!). Even at that age I was fascinated with space, planets and aliens, and for the longest time I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. It was a bit of a blow to find that astronauts were meant to be physically fit, and have things like degrees in astrophysics - both things that I wasn't likely to achieve (this was in the days when 'everybody knew' I was rubbish at sport). To be fair, the whole glamour of being an astronaut faded somewhat when I properly realised I was going to be spending my time looking like this:

Rather than this:

So instead, I chose a profession where I get to wear lovely trendy clothes like this:


The sad reality is that I wanted to be a doctor really, but I didn't think I was clever enough or dedicated enough. Plus, physios mostly work 9 to 5, and when I trained it was a three year course, so that sounded fine - and maybe I could be a football physio and massage Trevor Brooking or something? Yeah, physio - that sounded just right. So for the last four years of school, that was my aim.

I sucked at being a physio student. 

In those days, it really was a 'twinset and pearls' sort of girl (and I mean girl - there were no facilities for men on the course I did) who became a physio. My dad worked in a factory and I had a Black Country accent - I was a distinct oddity amongst all the 'rich' girls. I later learned they weren't all that rich, but compared to my family, it was a huge gulf. So I very quickly felt that despite being part of the 'trendy' group (purely by accident of room location), I didn't really belong here, with these posh girls, training for a job only posh people did.

The course itself only compounded that feeling - there were regulations on what PANTS we wore for practical lessons even - can you imagine? Now I wouldn't say I was rebellious, but the thing was, unlike everyone else on the course, by the time first year was over, I wasn't sure I wanted to be there, didn't care if I was chucked out, and so didn't bother to follow all the rules.

I'd turn up for work placement in full goth make-up but wearing a physio uniform. I'd grow my nails and wear nail varnish on a Friday. I'd not bother to prepare for lectures or tutorials and would bother even less when I was told off about it. I'd be spotted by the Principal at 6am crossing the central reservation on Smallbrook Queensway with a bottle of Jack Daniels in my hand and a skinny would-be rockstar on my arm.

Certainly by 3rd year I wanted out, and since despite my best lack of effort, I still wasn't being thrown out, I spoke to my parents about dropping out and turning band management into a career (I was managing one at the time, in a haphazard studenty sort of way). Dad said nothing much, Mum went spare and said she'd never speak to me again, and I had no reason to disbelieve her as once, when I accidentally left a cake-tin at another house overnight, she hadn't spoken to me for two weeks, and only gave in cos I caught glandular fever.

Instead, I carried on with the course, but gave no thought or time to it. The day before the last of my finals I was in the recording studio with the Bounty Hunters, drinking JD and Coke while they recorded their eponymous album. Got in at 7am, got changed, went and did exam. There was one question I had no clue about so I handed in a blank piece of paper, to much glaring and tutting from the tutor who collected it. I didn't care.

I went back to Wolverhampton fully expecting to fail. When the day came to find out my results, my fellow students were doubtless on the phone to the physio school at 9am sharp, whilst I was still sleeping off the previous night's debauchery. I phoned in sometime after noon, to be told by Miss Kelly, 'Well, Miss Field, I am sure you will be as surprised as we were to hear that you have passed.'


Everyone else had jobs lined up already, that's the way it used to work (unlike now where there are hundreds of graduates chasing every job). I didn't because I'd thought that failure was a foregone conclusion. Yet the temptation to now make use of my new-found qualification was great. I had a £2000 overdraft (yes, I know, nothing compared to students nowadays) and a boyfriend in Wales. A job came up in Merthyr - I got it. 

Within one month my life course totally changed - but it was only temporary, only til I paid off the overdraft and the boyfriend finished his Polytechnic course. One year and it would be back to the rock and roll lifestyle.

But that was not to be...... 

No comments:

Post a Comment