Tale from a pork pie factory

October 22, 1999

Like many students, Charles Bratton went to work during the Christmas break because he needed the money. "I couldn't have continued with my studies without a Christmas placement. The only job I could get was in a pork pie factory. My job was to package the pies in boxes. I wasn't thinking about this as work experience that could help me with my career after graduation. I did it just for the money, and to make it worthwhile, I had to put in double shifts. For four weeks, I worked 12 hours a day.

"I wouldn't say I gained anything from the experience - it was mind-numbing work. There was only one thing that happened that was educational.

"One day, I cut my finger on a machine while working. I asked my supervisor for a plaster. I told him I didn't think I should be working with food while my finger was bleeding, but he just told me to carry on. It didn't really matter, he said. I was really surprised by his attitude, and it's the one thing from the whole experience that has stuck with me."


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