I wasn’t sorry to leave United Biscuits. I had been there just over 3 years and in all that time I don’t remember learning a single new scientific skill. I did take away with me an absolute determination that when I became more senior I would never use the “management by favouritism” technique as practiced by my first boss. I don't even recall having a leaving event although I suppose I did?
I left to take up a lecturing position down in Somerset. It was our next door neighbour who mentioned that you didn’t need to have a teaching qualification to teach in Further Education and I can remember calling in at the tiny public library in the town to look through the Times Educational Supplement.
I saw a job advertised teaching food technology, I applied for the post and in due course I was called for an interview. Somebody clearly wanted me to get the job because when I arrived at the college I was greeted with relief because all the other candidates – I think there were 3 – had dropped out. So it was a matter of appointing me or re-advertising. To call the recruitment process casual would be a fair comment. A tour and a short chat was rapidly followed by “when can you start?”.
They actually offered me the job on the wrong money because once I had started they redid the sums and I ended up 50% better off than when I had been at United Biscuits. They even offered me a college owned house to rent while we house hunted. My holiday entitlement was 14 weeks which compared rather well with the 22 days at United Biscuits.