Way back in July I posted about the training organisation that I worked for in the ten years after I left the army. Yesterday evening a few of us met up again after almost twenty years. It was actually unbelievable because within minutes the years had rolled back and we were as we were.
The evening progressed and unfortunately I was 'under the weather'. I expected to last about an hour and make my excuses but suddenly everything took off and we had a great night. Heh nothing spectacular but it was comfortable, enjoyable and it made me think.
Why after 20 years do these people all feel almost like family? It took them minutes to adjust and then the banter began. Now remember we had only 15 people and their 'generations' spread over 10 years but they all trained under the same regime. They were taught discipline, respect, manners and above all team spirit. They were taught army values in a civilian environment.
They know that it was never an autocratic regime. Rules were set and were enforced but were maintained by the trainees. In those days all the lads wore ties and all the girls dressed decently... nobody wanted to argue because we all loved it. We were a family.
So now last night I met products of a production line that I (I hate to say this) put into action. I instigated a plan to assist the decent kids who were not university material...the kids who were not academic but needed an opportunity...the decent majority who just needed someone to bat for them.
Now here is the clincher that the politicians are useless. This scheme was sensationally successful in gaining employment for their trainees. It was closed down at the end of the nineties along with all the other county council training schemes. At one stage a local prominent Labour councillor called Mike Jones presented the prizes on a presentation evening (I have it on video) and it was blatantly obvious that this was a success story. When it was closed down he never raised a finger to save it!
I was involved with these people for 10 years...at the end of the evening a guy who had been rejected for Information Technology by his school pulled me to one side and bought me a double Glenfiddich! His earnings are in the stratosphere "mortgage paid...Porsche in the garage".
As regular readers of this blog (if any) will remember I lost my beloved Iain (son) last year to an RTA but when one of the most successful of my trainees even links me as a 'parent' he will never know how proud I was. It is the ultimate accolade of any 'supervisor' and fictionally I would adopt him tomorrow (but I do like Glenfiddich!!).