We sat in the ‘spare office’ normally reserved for injections, nit inspections and meetings with parents, it was a grubby uninviting room but in those days “careers advice” was a relatively new concept so the interviews were held anywhere, I was lucky we had chairs.
"Now Shawn, (no-one ever pronounced my name correctly ‘Sharn’) what would you like to do when you leave school?” He leaned across the desk with his practiced ‘care in the community, I’m here to help' smile.
I already knew what I wanted to do but I thought a delay for thinking time would make sure that he took me seriously.
"I want to work with animals”, I said, “I want to be a dolphin trainer”.
"Have you thought about being a hairdresser or a nursery nurse”, he replied “or you could be a secretary, according to your teachers should get some decent grades”.
I repeated my answer, “I want to be a Dolphin Trainer, I have always been interested in dolphins and I think I would be good at it”.
He was visibly confused and tried to pull a pen out of his top pocket causing a cascade of pens and pencils to hit the desk, he selected one and I tried not to laugh as he tried to cram the rest back in his pocket. He then scribbled something in his pad and I strained to read upside down – “Dolphin Trainer, no common sense, a dreamer”. I listened as he continued....