00:00:02 My name is Michael F. I’m a conductor for First ScotRail. I operate the train doors, ensuring the platforms are safe for passengers to board and leave the train. But also are required to look after the safety of the train. It’s an extremely rewarding job that we do. It’s quite a lot of work involved in it. I think the public appreciate the job we do, as well, because an awful lot of people actually thank us when they board or leave the train, which actually makes you feel quite good.
00:00:32 I was actually in secondary school when I was actually doing my subjects and I’d seen people round about me actually getting work and having money coming in and I thought, “Well, yeah, I want to earn money.” You know, I wanted to go holidays, have money so I could go out at the weekends and that which obviously I’d never been able to do. That was my goal in life at that point in time. When I left school, within a week I had a job in a textile shop and from then I’ve always worked. Never looked back.
00:01:00 I was there for about three, four years and after that I ended up actually working for the Council doing gardening which I really enjoyed. I enjoyed being outdoors, out working in the sun, virtually your own boss. I think that was the aspect of it, there wasn’t someone looking over your shoulder saying, “Get this done, get that done,” which I really enjoyed. After that I got a chance to work in a factory which I took. Although it was night shift I took it because the money aspect was double what I was going to earn doing the gardening work.
00:01:34 At that point in time we had a family so I was looking to actually buy a flat. You know, we had car, wanted to get a newer car and again, go for good holidays. So that helped in that aspect. I had the family quite young, I was 18 when my daughter arrived. That really changed things. I then knew that I had to go out, have a good job, bring in decent money so that I could support my family. To me that’s really, really important.
00:02:00 One job in particular which I really enjoyed was working in the telecommunications industry. We’d actually started off just fitting phone lines into people’s houses. We then had training to go onto fit, like, data cabling, cat 5 etc. It’s a great job. You’re mobile, no bosses on your back, money was good. But unfortunately, come Christmas time people looked at the money that was coming in and the money that was going out and decided it wasn’t enough. No warning whatsoever. Come back from Christmas holidays to be told, “Well, that’s you finished.”
00:02:31 It was a big knock, particularly to my family as well. But, as I say, I didn’t let it get me down. Just look again, papers out, internet, what’s happening out there? I started phoning up people, “Give me a job, I can do this, I can do that.” I immediately joined a job club and within six weeks I had another job and the thing that stuck in my mind was the woman at that ran it said, “Well, I’ve had people here for six years and not had a job, and you’re away in six weeks.” But I said to her, “To be perfectly honest, I expected to have a job within two weeks, not six weeks.” You know, that’s my outlook in life, just keep going.
00:03:02 I started off part time in the railway because then that was the only way you could get full time in the railway and I knew then that it’s one of the jobs in this country, it’s one of the few jobs left where you may have a job for life. My job means to me security I think, first and foremost. The chance to help people and also further chances to learn. In this type of job you’re always learning. You can never know enough.
00:03:30 There’s always something different happens. You think you’ve seen it all until one day something else happens and you’re like, “Oh, I need to learn from that.” ENDS