Dear Diary – Page 60 (Mid 1960’s – Career Crash)

During my time at Cardiff my parents had sold the house in Peterborough, and moved  to a building site in Essex where Dad had started to build another house.* The caravan had been moved down much earlier.

Shortly after I went there, I received a letter from Blue Star Line advising me to join the “Scottish Star” in Glasgow at the beginning of January.

1965 Scottish StarThe “Scottish Star” was on the UK – Australia run carrying refrigerated meat, and so it was a very exciting prospect. They also made an appointment for me to have a final medical in London. The medical was a basic physical, which included me verifying that I had received all the necessary immunization shots for a number of tropical diseases, and a very exhaustive eyesight test.

The eyesight was critical because, being a Navigation Officer in a time before computers and satellite navigation, most of one’s time was spent on deck. The British Merchant Navy at that time had a policy that “deck officers” were not allowed any form of optical aids. I can only assume that this was to avoid potential issues with water spraying onto the lenses at inopportune times!

After the eyesight test, I was advised that I had not reached the minimum criteria.

Blue Star Line were immediately advised and they asked that I go directly to their offices as I was already in London. They made an appointment for me to see a specialist there to determine if anything could be done. The specialist advised that nothing could be done to bring me up to the standard required, and noted that I was so far off that he had to question how I ever managed to pass the same test when applying to get into College a year earlier.

Blue Star Line were extremely good and offered me an Engineering Apprenticeship with them but I was so disheartened by everything that I gave them a “Thanks …. but no thanks answer.”

*See “Dear Diary – Page 16” – June 25, 2015 and “Dear Diary – Page 27” – July 26, 2015

15 thoughts on “Dear Diary – Page 60 (Mid 1960’s – Career Crash)

  1. What a hard blow! You did so well in college and then everything collapses. Like the carpet is pulled out from under your feet!
    But the important thing is that you made it over that mountain of disappointment, thought it was a hard one to climb!

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  2. Well! I don’t know what to say. I’m sure it all turned out for the best but…bugger it! What a disappointment!!! And wouldn’t you know, my young human (that I am always comparing you with) was diagnosed with nearsightedness in one eye and farsightedness in the other! When he is older Mom and Dad will get him the laser surgery. Another opinion stated that it is due to severe astigmatism. Either way, when he was four, he couldn’t catch a ball to save his life! So there is another parallel for you. I like your stories. Woof!

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  3. I really feel for you, even though it was a while ago! Must have been horribly disappointing, especially as there was nothing you could have done about it. I have an old friend who joined the Navy, I know he would have been devastated if something had gone wrong – his heart was so set on it.

    When my early career plans went horrendously awry, it was mostly my own fault and I certainly paid the price.

    I’m intrigued to see what happens next! Something good I hope!

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    • Something good always comes from those types of events, although sometimes it is difficult to see it. If it had not been for that eyesight test, I would not have had the opportunity I did to move to Canada and end up with a wonderful dog and some beautiful blog friends!

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  4. I get it. My vision kept me out of military flying and nearly out of law enforcement. But 20/20 corrected was acceptable to many agencies and I found a beginning. I even got to fly and own my own sailplane. I’m waiting for the rest of “your story.”

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