School, exams and real life

  spikeychris 19:24 15 Jul 2004

I'm very lucky as I was in the right place at the right time, I left school with nothing, not a sausage. I did not get one exam, I was the typical wide boy and didn't even have a pen for a few exams so I was sent home. I left school and wanted to be a motor mechanic, I started in that trade on a YTS (£25 a week) and loved it, things changed and I went into auto electrics.

Jump ahead a few years and I'm in a dead end job bored to death, I was doing some work for Lancashire County Council and was asked if I want to take up on the ILA (individual learning account) ahhh yeah OK. I went into computing and sat exam after exam. I went for the A+ then MSCE and got a job at the BBC.

The questions: (and I know that lots of members here are of the mature brand) How many of us went through the education system and ended up doing what they intended? Was there a move to computers? Did you always want to work with computers but were unable to?

  Dorsai 20:25 15 Jul 2004

I am doing a job that i did know even realize existed when i was at school. I enjoy it, sorta, well i could be worse off. But i would like to get a few more quid for my time than i do, but who (apart from Richard branson/Bill gates/the queen) can't say the same.

I have many qualifications (8 o'levels, 3 a'levels). But to be honest a 'C' in geography has absolutely no value whatsoever to me. 'b' in religious studies was earned in 30 minutes. The other hour and a half of the exam was spent asleep, head on the desk. the teacher woke me up when the exam was over. God (aptly) alone knows how i passed.

It was a complete waste of time, something i suspected at the time.

A 'b' in woodwork has served me well though, not at work, but it does mean i can build my own kitchen just as i want it, for about the same price as a fitted one costs. But it is made of real wood, not chip board. And looks like real wood too, and is just what i want, where i want.

I think the modern educational system fails to take into account the obvious fact that different people have different aptitudes. It tries to put all students into the same mold. We should have schools that are designed to focus on different areas. Some are good at thinking, some with their hands, some arty, some sporting, some this, some that. Send each person to a school that will let the pupil make the best out of what they can do, not try to teach them how to do what they will never be very good at.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 20:31 15 Jul 2004

I wanted to be a female stripper.


  Curio 20:38 15 Jul 2004

Wouldn't have exposed much with that beard!!

  Dorsai 20:40 15 Jul 2004

Plus the big staff would have put off the punters.

  Dorsai 20:42 15 Jul 2004

I meant the wooden staff that magicians use to do magic with.

  Sir Radfordin 22:28 15 Jul 2004

I've a string of GCSEs, the usual 3 A-levels (grades to reflect the level of work I did...or more didn't do!) and this time next week should have a BSc Hons to add to the collection. What does it mean in real terms? Experience thus far suggests very little.

I'm working in a dead end job in a dead end company doing what 5 years ago I always wanted to do (Technical Support Analyst). Started the job on Monday. Looking for a new job...!

Why on earth anyone wants to work in computing is beyond me ;)

  Eargasm 23:26 15 Jul 2004

I made a BIG mistake when leaving school,went into engineering,did 5 years apprenticeship(on crap money).
25 years later still working in the same dying industry (breathing in welding fumes,grinding dust,no pension,no sick pay)what a joke this country is.
Just compare this to your job,if i was off work for a week for any reason (illness,or injury) i would get statuory sick pay (nothing for 3 days then £12 a day) So for a week off work i would get £24 maybe enough to get me down the first aisle at tesco(assuming i don't pay gas,electric,mortgage etc).3 cheers for mr blair for killing manufacturing.

  Forum Editor 23:36 15 Jul 2004

of leading you to places you wouldn't have chosen to be, had you been in full control of the situation. My own working life is certainly an example of that, but I'm not complaining.

I left university with a shiny new English degree, and a burning desire to write ...........but that was the problem, I had no idea what I wanted to write about. I knew one thing, which was that I had to get a job to survive, so I did. I joined a huge brewing company, and worked my way through various departments before ending up wearing a white coat in a big air-conditioned room with a few other people and a massive mainframe computer. I had no idea what to do, but I was (so they told me) a trainee computer programmer, and anyway the other people had no more idea of what to do than me. The years rolled on, and on, and on, and I gradually realised that there might be a future in knowing how these machines worked.

Here I am, quite a few years later, and still working with computers. A little wiser, a little less confused, quite happy and still sometimes wondering quite how it happened. I'm writing quite a lot now too, so maybe there's a perverse kind of logic in the way it all worked out.

  Nellie2 00:44 16 Jul 2004

I wanted to be a veterinary nurse... I worked with animals a lot when I was younger... you know after school and in the holidays. I wasn't clever enough to be a vet but my dream was to be a veterinary nurse and to go to africa and work amongst the big game........ didn't get very far did I?? :(

  Chegs ® 00:57 16 Jul 2004

I wasn't given the option of leaving,as soon as the Headmaster(Grammar School)could boot me out,he did.He said I would never get a job.I started work a week later(Warehouse Op)which gave me the perfect excuse to miss all my exams.Within 3 months,I had managed to get myself sacked,I didn't care as I had received word I had been accepted for an electrical apprentice at Sellafield.I struggled through a whole six months of thrice a fortnight at college and theory that just floated straight thru my head and off into the ether,before I was discovered to be skipping college.The Instructors threated to report me for falsly claiming my traveling expenses,and then sacked me.I then had occasional employment on various government schemes,until I finally passed my driving test.I then became a taxi driver(for another firm)and after six months I started my own taxi company up.It rapidly increased in size until I was one of the larger taxi firms in the area,then I ran into planning problems.It cost me £5000 to discover that the local authority could interpret the rules to mean its against planning regulations for a taxi driver to live in a house.Around the same period,first one then another and another of my cars was damaged in an accident,with the cars only being covered by third party only insurance,and two of the accidents were caused by my drivers,the third was hit by an uninsured driver,paying out over a grand a time to get them fixed left me unable to pay for the insurance for them all.I was forced to sell off a car each time it was due,the taxman started twisting the screws and within 12 months I was bankrupt and homeless.The council quickly sorted a house for us,I got a job as a "pizza delivery driver" until I was sacked whilst off sick,my motorcycle has just been stolen and smashed up(it wasn't insured yet,benefits don't cover insurance payments)my cars off the road to as I cannot afford to tax+MOT it.My £5000 fine,I have to pay off at £7 P.W.I went off on an HGV training course(I had to pay part of the cost)but as soon as I explained I had a part time job to pay my share,they said the scheme I was on was only for the unemployed.Nowt like kicking a bloke when he's down.Still,I've hit rock bottom,there's only up left.I will eventually succeed in gaining a proper fulltime job,that I like and enjoy and can start climbing out of this crappy hole again.

As for PC's,I bought one without knowing a thing about them.I got sick of the £1.50 phonecalls to get my PC running again,so started digging for info online(if I could still get there)Then I "stumbled" on PCA,and found I could give advice(usually by google)occasionally.

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