Here’s a story. Twenty five years ago or thereabouts I was a trainee solicitor waiting the results of my law finals exams. I had managed to scrape a training contract but had been told that if I failed my finals there would be no second chances and they would be letting me go.
The day before the results came out I had to go up to London to do something at The Royal Courts of Justice. Living in Oxford I got the bus to Notting Hill and then the tube into the city proper. On the way back I was walking down Notting Hill and went past The Notting Hill Record & Tape Exchange. There was a Situation Vacant sign in the window. I considered for a moment. I was pessimistic as to my chances of passing the exams and was reasonably confident I would be without a job and without much of a future sometime the following day. This seemed too good an opportunity to miss. So I went in.
I must have looked incongruous in my suit and tie straight from court but I went up to the counter and asked about the job. The manager came out and gave me an interview. It was probably the best interview I have done and I passed with flying colours.
He asked me the name of the singer in Marillion. He asked me what band Van Morrison had been in before he went solo. He pulled out a record sleeve and asked me what is was called – it was Led Zeppelin IV. He asked me to name Peter Gabriel’s first three albums. He offered me the job.
We discussed starting dates and I took his number so I could give him a call when I knew I would be finishing in Oxford.
That evening I got the results of my law final’s and heard that I had passed. So I never had the chance to give the man a call.
Twenty five years later I am still just about a lawyer.