Stories from the SHIFT Lorry

From sailors to guitarists, the work stories collected by the SHIFT Lorry on its tour throughout North Lanarkshire have been plentiful and inspiring.  These stories have been curated to be part of the SHIFT Lockers lights and sound installation, also touring North Lanarkshire, from 8 – 13 December 2017.

Here are snippets of stories and portraits of local residents and their individual worlds of work, collected from the SHIFT Lorry’s North Lanarkshire journey, and a taster of what to expect from the SHIFT Lockers in December.

John, Dublin, Retired Sailor

“Most people are Scotsmen by accident, but I’m definitely a Scotsman by choice. I moved here for work after living in London didn’t pan out. I’ve worked all over the country – I had a job at the Falkirk Wheel for a while. The biggest shift in my life was when, as a young man, I got my girlfriend pregnant and I had to get a sensible job to support us both. I became a postman in London but we couldn’t afford to live there for long. I was a sailor for a long time as well – I don’t know if I was that great a seaman though – I found myself shipwrecked once off the north coast of Scotland during a storm.”

Sandra, Larbert, Customer Loyalty Assistant

“My main job is dealing with customer complaints. We get a lot of silly issues about trivial things at work and there often isn’t enough time in the day to deal with them all. For example, last week there were a lot of people coming in with bashed tins or packaging and they wanted their money back and a new, pristine product. But strangely they wanted to keep the bashed one too…”

Norman, Cumbernauld, Sales Director

“If I could do it all again I’d without doubt be a Scuba Instructor. I’ve done scuba diving all over the world, most recently in the Seychelles and in the Maldives. I’ve swum with hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, all types of amazing animals right next to me in the water. That feeling is unforgettable. It’s something that truly makes me happy, and if things were different, I wish I could have made my career out of.”

Alek, Cumbernauld, Guitarist

“Our band is called Magik Trick and guitaring in the band is definitely what I love to be doing most. We do old school rock stuff – our main influence is Guns n Roses. In five years’ time I’d really love to be touring the world with the band, let’s hope that happens.”

Nathan, Cumbernauld, Bartender

The great thing about working in my pub is that I know everyone who comes in. Most of the time it’s just catching up with my mates on the other side of the bar so it doesn’t feel like work at all. The only downside is I come home stinking of booze and feel like I’ve been on a night out without the benefits of having had a drink myself. I’d have loved to have been a footballer. It was a dream of mine until I got injured when I was 18. Otherwise, I’d maybe like to try out a band – I know there’s a guitarist in Magik Trick who’s not that good, heard they were looking for a replacement…”

Clare, Coatbridge, Collections and Exhibitions Manager

“I’m so passionate about local history and I love that I can preserve local heritage through my work. I’d really love to be an archaeologist – doing what I do now in a way, but on a larger scale and travelling all over the world, unearthing loads of cool artefacts. Like Indiana Jones!”

Dave, Glasgow, Technical Assistant

“I enjoy that my work is so varied. No two days are ever the same in this industry. I love working on different shows and projects and I can’t say there’re any I haven’t enjoyed being a part of. The best part about my job is the people – when you’re working such long hours together you begin to become like family – you’re all in the same boat.”

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