Friday, August 20, 2010

Always The Wrong Choice

I was clever enough to get by at school. Despite having just about no interest in any of the subjects I was being taught I picked up enough from the teachers I did like, combined with a serious schooling in the "real world" by my dad I did OK. At GCSE level I bagged a full house of B's and C's, not spectacular but not too bad considering I did nothing special to prepare, to the extent that one of my teachers had to come and pick me up to get me to one exam on time because I'd forgetten about it!

When I'd finished my GCSE's it was assumed I'd stay on and do A-levels. How do I know this? Because I got a phone call on day 2 of the new school year from a mate who was contacting me because the school were wanting to know where I was. Where I was? I was where I said I'd be, at college, they obviously thought I was joking. Students like me don't go to college. College is for the deadheads and mentlers that can't behave themselves enough to do sixth form. OK, so I had no interest in school but that didn't stop me from behaving myself and respecting that other people were interested. My reason for choosing college was simple, the A/S level IT was taught on PC's not the toy Macs that every school on the island insisted on using. I knew that it was a waste of my time to learn anything Mac related. The other subjects I chose were just a filler, the only subject I'd been interested in was IT, there was no such thing as a GCSE in it back then and I was in the first year that an A/S level was offered.

The people who did stay on to do 6th form were mainly made up from people who I got on really well with. The majority consisted of my mates who I'd gone through primary school and then secondary school with. I think that most of them took full advantage of what was easily the best school on the Isle of Man at the time and got fantastic A-level results. Most went off to Unversity, some got jobs. Car share and some of the best days of my life.

What about me? My A-level career was short lived. The IT A/S level was useless, it taught nothing. I'd figured this out too late to change course and so I had to see out the rest of the year including the other subjects I was doing as filler. That year wasn't a total waste because I did end up with some A's at A/S level including one in business studies (which I came to really enjoy, cheers Paul Martin). I decided that I needed to do something more practical, the obvious choice was a GNVQ in IT. What a strange course that was! Made up of a combination of school leavers, house wives and men in the mid 30's.

Seven months into my new GNVQ IT course and I can see that once again this isn't really aimed at me. It's not their fault. I ask what I can hope for when I've finished this course? "Well you could go straight in to work as an IT technician or the preferred option is to go to university and do a degree". Ahh, I'd already released several games by this point. I was 18, I did my best to explain. I wrote them a special little graphical something in C that made the lecturers go WTF. They decided that I was wasting my time in education and would be better off getting a job. Most of the poeple on that course lasted out the 2 years and went on to Universtity. I've seen plenty of them around since. Some work in IT support, some drive delivery vans. I left college after 2 years and 2 incomplete courses and got a job. It was right in the middle of a recession. I didn't have the first clue what a recession was! All I knew was I got offered 2 jobs, 1 government and 1 private. I took the private one (for half the pay - software developer £7.5k per annum) because I figured it would help me learn. It did, I owe a hell of a lot to a lad called Michael Ferguson. I was never the easiest person to employ but as a senior developer he looked out for me a lot.

Jump forward to today, I'm 31, I've ran my own business for the last 4 years. One of my creations is still treated as one of the best 100 pieces of freeware ever written. I don't really have to worry about money. I've jumped from job to job, been fed up with IT several times. I don't really keep up to date with all of todays technologies, not only that but from time to time I even have to TRY to learn and take things in. Still I've done ok for myself despite making it up as I go along.

What has become of my friends that stayed on at school to do A-levels? Well most as I said went on to Universtity and eventually returned to the island. You'll find the majority now in paper shuffling none job government positions. Exactly the same as the majority who left school at 16 with bugger all. Bitter me? Perhaps a bit. But wouldn't you be if your "first job at 18" taxes were paying to put your peers through University only for them then to get dead end jobs. If they had drive, a goal, any career ambition - no worries. Then 10 years later I have the increased taxes from my success helping keep them in jobs whilst all the time getting screwed all ways up by a left wing government. Do I have any right to be a bit bitter? This was all my personal choice wasn't it? Yes it was, born out of a sense of wanting to contribute to society. My dad, school of life, remember?

Anyhoo this isn't about me blowing my own trumpet. I don't give a flying fuck what people think, never have, never will. The trumpets that deserve blowing are the people that did their A-levels at school but then spurned University to take jobs. I can't tell you how much respect I have for those people, to have turned their back on Uni must have taken massive balls. I don't know anybody who hasn't gone on to have a successful career in whatever they decided to do. Remember they left school (when I left college) at a time when the economy was tits up.

So when I turn on the TV and all I see is news program after news program filled with students who can't get a place on their social studies with post modernist drama course all I can think is fuck you. Shut the fuck up, knuckle the fuck down and get a fucking job.


Ben Royle said...

Your rants have gone downhill since you've stopped typing the word "cunt".



PaulB said...

You're right, but ever since I heard a rumour that there might be some ladies reading I thought I'd better not use naughty words for lady parts.

The next rant will include enough cunts for all of us.

Ben Royle said...

Why, do ladies not have cunts? :)