before their big break

The first of a series asking Uni lecturers about their grim jobs before their rise to stardom

Our lecturers have all been in our shoes at one stage in their lives and many of them would have sought out any work they could find either to fund their studies or during the holidays to keep them busy.

It seems likely that the more senior the academic the more horrid the jobs they’ve suffered so to make you all feel better about waiting on, market researching and being a chugger we’ll bring you the high (or low) lights of our revered academics’ careers.

Helen Berry, Professor of British History was kind enough to share her terrible memories with us.
The job: Christmas Temp at Marks and Spencers.

The worst parts: Not only did Professor Berry suffer the tyranny of a terrible nylon uniform but she was also a vegetarian who had to spend large chunks of her days handling turkeys. Once management realised she was a bit reluctant she was moved over to the women’s wear department where her inability to fold things properly caused her final move to the returns department. Most returns were stained, worn and disgusting.

The job: Customer Assistant in a Fancy Dress Hire Shop

The worst parts: Lots of the costumes were hired by stag and hen parties and were returned in carrier bags (which usually contained not only the costume but bits of unidentified food and vomit.)

Thank God for student loans.