People who go to uni to study marine biology don’t usually end up getting jobs as window cleaners, it’s true. The two aren’t even slightly connected. Still, I like to think I found my way onto the path of life…I just took a strange and wonderful detour.
I guess we can thank my year 11 physics teacher for that one. I wanted to do marine biology all the way through school, and I just randomly picked physics because I needed to fill the sixth spot and any science will help you get into the course. Turns out that I had a real knack for it. I especially remember the lesson on the chemical compounds of glass and how it undergoes a radical change from raw materials to the thing we look through. Great stuff.
Then I stuffed up my career placement form and ended up working for an elderly guy in my road who did aluminium window repairs around Melbourne. I dragged my feet to the first day on the job, but Esteban turned out to be one of those old folks with a million stories to tell, and I actually got into the window repair and replacement business in that one week. I still applied for and got into a marine biology course, but by that point I’d already begun to question if it was what I wanted to do. I’d lived the tradesperson life for a week, and I liked it. I liked working all day and seeing the difference that you made. I liked coming home and not bringing work with me, instead collapsing on the sofa and knowing that the job had been well-done.
Sure, I could do that stuff with marine biology, but it’s such a stressful job with uneven work hours, and all that scientific research could take years with no payoff.
So I finished my course, went to Nauru to do some soul-searching, and eventually made up my mind. The Melbourne window repair industry seems pretty full, but I now get all my fulfilment through washing windows. Same basic principle. And I have lots of great ocean trivia to share.