Sunday, 18 August 2013

Oil be back

Ooops...usually I write my posts in a block, and then schedule them for posting...this means they get written when I have time, and then magically appear at regular intervals.  Last week, I must have been on dope, as they've all pretty much appeared together...oops, even I would find that a bit tedious....

Sometimes I get random Facebook friend requests, and usually I just ignore them, sometimes I'll delve a little further and find they are from the mother/father of one of The Boy's friends and just occasionally they distinctly dodgy.  I had a request a week or so ago, and without thinking...we were in Scotland...I just accepted it.  Shortly afterwards I received a message from the person concerned.  They are the PA to someone who was a fellow graduate trainee at Austin Rover and had been trying to track me down. Ridiculously, it appears to be 30 years since I left the safety of the educational system.  How does that happen?

In case you have forgotten, Austin Rover was the purveyor of the finest in British automotive engineering - the Metro, the Maestro and the Montego.  I had ended up there because having gained a 2.1 in Economic and Political Development since 1800 from the University of Exeter, I had no idea of how I wanted to earn my crust, so went on the Milk Round to find a company that would have me.  I liked cars and in the toss up between  Ford, Vauxhall and Rover, my misplaced loyalties took me to Coventry.

Even with my limited knowledge of the real world, I realised we were back in the dark ages.  In the factory, if you did well, it would take a decade to move up a grade.  A robotised production line for the Metro required two burly blokes to bend the panels over their knees to make them fit.  The badge for the MG Maestro wouldn't fit the space on the rear door, and the then soon-to-be launched Montego had to have the interior redesigned because the ashtray was positioned just by the air vent, ensuring that ash was blown everywhere.

And so on.

Once I was asked by my boss to drive his car to pick up a VIP from the airport. He drove a metallic blue Rover.  I went to the car park, saw another couple of hundred of them so just clicked on the remote control until one flashed at me.  Only after I returned did I discover that I'd taken the wrong one...there were only a few remote lock combinations, which may have been a slight security issue.  My own brand new MG Metro had three changes of engines, and even then couldn't manage the journey from Coventry to Edinburgh without a top up of a few litres of oil.

And so on.

Anyway, the twelve or so sales and marketing graduates are meeting up.  I will be fascinated to see what we have to talk about...hopefully lots.