It was February 1982 when I walked into Sullivan’s Greengrocers in West Wickham and asked if they had any Saturday jobs going. It wasn’t much of an interview process. They asked me my name and if I was over 14. “Yes,” I lied (I was actually 13 and 6 months). I can’t remember whether I didn’t know you had to be 14 or whether I chose to ignore that piece of information, but either way the deceitful deed was done.
And so my working career was underway. As was a bizarre few years of celebrating my ‘fake’ birthday with colleagues at work, whilst desperately hoping that none of my family or friends visited the shop on my real birthday to wish me many happy returns.
My secret was finally outed by Betty (a full timer) who was seriously into her astrology. I broke under interrogation – a school-boy error to have not worked out my fake zodiac sign.
LESSON: DON’T LET AGE STAND IN YOUR WAY.