I’VE had a lot of jobs in my life, and lately I’ve been thinking about how different my life would’ve been if I’d pursued one of the many career dreams I had when I was younger.

My maw used to work in a card shop on Shettleston Road and during the summer holidays from school I’d sometimes to go to work with her when I was about 10. This involved just sitting about and being a general pest. 

Sometimes I’d go through the cards and study the jokes in them. They’d mostly fly right over my head but I decided that one day, thanks to my early start in the industry, I’d go on to design greetings cards. This notion quickly left me however. 

In order to stop me from being annoying and putting the cards back in the wrong place, my maw gave me a big encyclopedia to read during a shift one day, a cunning plan to make me sit at peace. 

The book was so big that even if I didn’t get lost in the words, I’d be trapped under the weight of it, rendering me immobile. This book was about animals, just a big list of what must have been every animal on the planet. 

An old woman came into the shop as I leafed through it and clocked me, a small boy sitting behind the counter while my maw was through the back making a cup of tea. 

She was quite surprised, obviously, to see a small card shop seemingly utitlising child labour. ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ was her opening gambit to me, as she put a christening card down on the counter in front of me and rummaged about in her purse for change. I panicked and thought I’d have to try and work the till here so thought I’d better delay her with conversation until my maw reappeared. ‘Eh, a scientist,’ I said. ‘Oh,’ she replied. ‘Is that why you’re studying?’ 

I had a pen in my hand which I planned to use to circle interesting facts but was instead drawing something very crude onto the groin of an orangutan. ‘Eh, aye,’ I said. But then I thought, here, maybe I could be a scientist. This was just merely another fanciful notion that came and went however.

The next time someone else asked what I wanted to be when I got older was a few weeks later and the question came from my granny. This became a weekly thing she would ask me and my answer would change every week. ‘I want to do monoblocking on driveways,’ I said one week, I still have no idea where I got this from as we didn’t know anyone who had a driveway, I must have seen it on the telly or something. 

The next week I wanted to be an ‘air hostess’ and the following week an estate agent. My granny would always smile and encourage me, even if she was trying not to laugh.
I left school at 16 with my heart set on a career in the navy. 

The idea of getting paid to travel the world hugely appealed to me. ‘What if there’s a war?’ my pal asked me. I repeated what my granda would say to me about the navy: ‘I’ll be on a big boat on the sea, miles away from any actual fighting, it’ll be a laugh.’ 

The reality of joining the navy was soon laid out to me by a guy in the careers office after I’d passed an entry test. ‘Remember, pal,’ he said. ‘You’ll be away from home for months, sometimes over a year, at a time. It’s cramped, it’s hot, it’s hard graft, it’s intense and it’s dangerous.’ I said to him, ‘Aye that’s fine,’ walked out the place after my test and never opened a single letter or answered any phone calls from them. It sounded absolutely terrible.

I soon landed a job in a sports shop and found that I loved it. Well, I loved everything apart from serving customers, the main part of the job. From then on I tried a lot of things, I worked as a labourer, tried to start my own business (failing spectacularly), learned how to cut hair then got a job in a barbers (I lasted a week doing that), I worked in a call centre (lasted another week at that) and even became a crime scene cleaner (still the best job I ever had). 

I’m glad I seem to have finally overcome my career confusion and now write for a living but there’s one job I’ve not had that I’ve always wanted. I’ve always wanted to work for the clenny. 

If you ever see me behind the wheel of a dust buster, know that I’ll have finally found inner peace.