Never having been overseas before and only been on one domestic return flight, I decided to head to England on a one way ticket on my own. I guess I wanted to prove to myself and others I could do this. I did have some plans, I had booked a hotel for 2 nights in Earls Court and I had got my bank to open an english account for me several months before - just as well, turns out you have to have the account 3 months before you get issued a checking/atm card.
The travel agent had told me about emplyment agencies I could approach for work. They suggested Manpower which got me work at UKCC doing VDU work. The wages were crap. Found another agency that paid more and I got work at Neasden electronics also doing VDU work.
Accomadation was harder to find. Had to stay an extra night in the hotel but finally found a place in Westbourne park around the cormer from Nottinghill.
I had always wanted to work in Harrods, and saw and advert from a French company wanting a sales consultant to work for them in Harrods. Most of the staff who worked in the big stores (in the 1980's) actually dont work for that shop, they work for companies that are desparate to have their products in those stores. I had to ring from a pay phone and me not even thinking about it asked the potential employers if they could ring me back as I didnt have any money - they did! Turns out the english manager for the french company likes kiwis. I got the job and started at Harrods in their stationary department selling writing instruments (posh way of saying pens) for S T Dupont. Luxury pens that started at 50 pounds going to several 1000. Well I did a good enough job tripling their sales that I got promoted to sales rep for S T Dupont , Area um the whole of Great Britain including the Channel Islands.
First company car was a bright red Renault GTX 5 and yes I did get speed tickets. Second company car was a Peaugot 405GL, bit of a beast with no power steering. I drove 30 thousand MILES in that car in just one year.
Posted: Wednesday 6 October 2021