Member: Refugee

It was the early 1980s and I was just about to make my first move to a new job that I had recently spotted in the window of an agency.

My first job had been good fun at times with a crazy boss whom always had a shine for capacitors. It was summer and annual leave time, it was Friday so off time for me. I had found that the best place to go had a free camp site and free loud music in another world. It was Stone Henge week.

It rained a lot more than it had ever done before and this is important to the story. I had a small workshop off to one side of the main one with the service library and mod detail files where I did all the little quick jobs. All the lads used to come to have a chat as it was away from the boss. I had reported three times before that the roof had been leaking, each time nothing was done about it. It was dripping on the bench in front of the power sockets. I was forever knocking the plastic cups over that had been placed to collect the drips, the drips annoyingly kept moving each time it rained.

When leaving that evening my little shop would be locked for most of each day as there would be nobody in there. I knew how to fix the leak all right!

I pushed a brand new Thorn TX9 over to where the leak was, switched off the breaker that does all power and lights and left with a smug grin knowing that if it rained the leak would be fixed….

While I was away the boss had a call for a service manual on a very rainy day, he went into my shop to get the manual, he flicked the switch to get lights on and before the lights started there was an electric blue light with a very stressed and loud bang!

When I got back as usual I went into the main shop to get the key and the boss said there was terror while I was away, that the roof had leaked, as if a hadn’t already told him! He said that there had been an explosion inside a set on the bench and it was a disaster, all the engineers were grinning. During the day all the stories of the boss running about like a headless chicken came spilling my way.

A few weeks and several more drippy days later the builders arrived, I was back on the bench by the main door where I could have all the quick jobs dropped off to me. The boss had told the big bosses that the leak had caused an explosion and it had been a major incident that had disrupted an entire day as he had been running all over the place talking about explosions in order to get it fixed. I think it made him jump pretty high , I had made sure I was not there to get blamed for it.

A few weeks later I had an outside call from the company that had the job advertised in the window offering 45% more money. They said, “can you start Monday” I had to say that it would be rude not to give them the weeks notice as shown in the company rule book. Later that afternoon we all stood round a bench that had been cleared with a sole company rule book in the middle of it, There was some confusion about the notice period, some engineers thought it was two weeks and it was if they made you redundant however as I had read correctly it was one week if you wanted to go.

The boss had spied us, it did not take long for him to call me into the office to offer me a big pay rise. You should have seen his face when I told him how much my new wages were going to be. I never did get to work in the new workshop. I had a new job with more wages and fancy test equipment with newfangled liquid crystal digital displays for my first time.

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