Mr Vassell, the strangely camp music teacher and supposed career officer at the school called me into his office.
"We need to sort you out a placement for your work experience. What would you like to do?"
"Anything with computers" was the unsurprising reply.
"Do you want Anything or do you know what you're doing?"
"I know what I'm doing," came the cocky reply, "I want a proper job."
The following Monday (and only 4 days after the chaos caused by the Great storm of 1987) saw me report for duty with Steve, the salesman. Our first task was to make tea and coffee, and after an hour of bacon buttie and sitting around chatting, the two bosses appeared.
"What should you do?" they asked.
"I dunno," I replied. "How about something computer related?"
"I know," said one of them, "what about you format these new disks for me." And he hands me a fresh box of 5.25" floppies, in need of formatting.
It is at this point that I should point out I know how run Command.com. That was my sum total of experience of MS-DOS. I had an inkling of what to do, but not how to do. So, in the corner of the big boss's office, I sit down at his behemoth Apricot PC, insert a newly unwrapped disk into the drive, and type Format.
"This will format the disk in drive c:. Are you sure? (Y/N)"
The other boss says "You haven't... That was over 9 years worth of work on there. This isn't good."
He was, of course, right. Realising I shouldn't be left unsupervised, they then get me to complete the task with a boot floppy. I get relegated to the front desk for the rest of the week with the young bimbo Madeline. By the end of the week, I'd learned to make tea and coffee, been shown the stash of their playboy magazines, and done a lot of typing. I had not, however, done much else on the PC.
I returned a year and they confirmed they still hadn't recovered fully from my faux pas. Another year later and another revisit showed they no longer existed. I'd like to say they were a victim of the 1990 recession, but I suspect my little mishap with all their customer's data going missing hadn't helped.
Start as I mean to go on?
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