My Ideal lathe
My Old Iron
Old Machine Pic's
When I was a lad of around eighteen I for some obscure reason decided to try a different job, I cant truly remember why now, but it was most likely for more beer money come evening and weekends. I went to this office block for the interview, and I have to describe the layout it's important, so bear with me. Inside the door was a flight of stairs up to a landing, and on each side was a door to the offices. For some reason I was shown into the right hand door where there was a further two rooms, one an office the other a kind of waiting room, where I was duly left.
Well I had ridden to the place on my BSA 250 and of course I was in my leathers etc, so I took off my jacket, helmet and gloves and waited, after a short while, I was asked to go to the office, but not the one on this side, the one on the left of the original landing, so leaving my bikers gear behind I went for the interview, which was conducted by a lady strangely enough, today that's not strange but forty odd years ago it was.
Well the interview went as many do, and that's not important its what happened afterwards. I left to get my gear only to find the rooms on the right had been locked by the person in the other offices. So back to the lady interviewer to see what she would do, which turned out to be I don't know I'm a blonde. Right I cant leave without my gear, she couldn't help, the manager as it turned out was the clown who had locked my gear in his anti room and he wasn't coming back till after lunch. By this time I had the joy of two ladies, the secretary had also turned up, but you guessed it she didn't have a key either.
After telling them quite firmly that I wasn't leaving without my gear and wasn't waiting three hours for the manager to come back they started to have a look for keys, but these two dilly's couldn't do anything themselves, so I was given one key after another to try in the yale type lock, the first few wouldn't even go in, then one did, and I turned it, and I turned it a bit too hard because I then found myself holding just the head of the key the rest of it was well and truly buried inside the lock and just as well jammed in there, oops.
Okay what next, they didn't have a clue. So I went outside and had a look around, there weren't any fire escapes, but there was an open window in the very office I wanted to get to, and as luck would have it there were builders on the next block, so I went back and told the girls I was going to borrow a ladder and climb in through the window, oh that's a good idea they both agreed. So off I went, but the builders only had one of those scaffolders ladders that are as high as a house, and here was me about five foot six, just a lad, trying to carry this bloody great thing around to the front of the offices, you see I couldn't lay it down as there was only a pavement and a lot of traffic as it was in the city centre.
So I struggled round and got within feet of where it had to be and slowly lost control, the ladder swayed, I fought with it, it swayed some more, and slowly and inexorably it started to go down like a tree being felled, right into the path of a double decker bus, oh shit, yep I managed to miss the upper deck, the driver slammed on his brakes, but still managed to break the ladder, oops, strike two. But he was okay and I dragged the wreckage out of the road and he drove off.
Okay, so I took the ladder back to the builders, and tip-toed away in the hope of making my escape before they discovered it was somewhat bent.. Back inside the offices, yes they saw it happen but didn't really say that much, I think by this time numbness had set in, and all they could think of was how do we get rid of this twerp. Right I said the only thing left try is the old knife down the side of the door jamb trick, got a knife I asked. Yes they did find a knife and as I remember it was quite a big one, something like a carving knife, never did figure out why they had it. Anyway I stuck this thing in, wiggled it about, but just couldn't get the lock to slip back, so I kept on trying, eventually after a mammoth struggle I managed to split the the timber completely away..oops. But the good news was I got the door open. Got my gear and as I was leaving I said to the lady who had interviewed me, I don't think you will be contacting me will you, the two of them just stood there in disbelief and I left. But when I got back to my bike I found some low life had siphoned the petrol out, so I had to push the bugger to a filling station. What a day.......I have often wondered what that manager thought and did upon his return, I remember sitting on my bike having a fag and laughing, a disaster it might have been, but funny, you bet it was. You guessed I stayed on as a metal worker..