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Weird Workplace Stories 28: Curry, Socks, and Tape Recorders
It almost felt like a proper company for 30 months…
This is part of a series about my old workplace. I spent 20 years there, after leaving college in the 80s.
…eating egg-fried rice and curry sauce out of polystyrene trays!
Somebody Else’s Money
When I worked for John, nothing stayed the same for long. Even though he was always my boss, he was not always the owner of the business.
Two years after I started, everyone — including John — became employees of another company. Effectively, he’d managed to find someone in the South of England who was willing to take over and pay the bills.
They had some gaps in their existing product range, which the innovative industrial printers John designed filled perfectly. And they liked the idea of us becoming their northern office.
Despite all the changes, we were still based in the buildings John owned, and we were still doing the same sort of work.
The Best Summer
Being part of a larger organisation meant things were very different during those years. For the first time ever, I had a proper contract of employment, regular pay reviews, and a pension scheme. Unfortunately, there was also more commercial pressure.
The summer of 1990 was one of the best times of my life at work. I was around 22 years old, and I found myself working alongside quite a few people of similar age.
At one point, there were five of us in the same large office, including an older woman who assembled printed circuit boards. She had a shopping trolley and sometimes kindly offered to collect food from the chip shop at lunchtime.
Imagine a long table with four 20-something-year-olds, all eating egg-fried rice and curry sauce out of polystyrene trays!
One of the directors used to come up from head office every week, to see how things were progressing. I’ll never…