Matt's Story: Spots, Trots and Parking Lots...
Transitions Program Coordinator
I was a pimply faced 14 year old year 10 student when I was approaced by a friend to work along side him as a car park attendant an Gobe Derby Park Trotting Track in 1985. For months prior to this I had kept him company (and helped a little) as he went about his work - so I was very excited at the prospect of earning $9 / hr to do what I'd been doing for free anyway!!
Whilst on the surface the job appeared pretty mundane, looking back I can see that I started to develop problem solving and people skills, conflict resolution, how to survive freezing conditons in inappropriate clothing and techniques to cope with extreme boredom and isolation. My boss was a very stern and old fashioned leader who did not give compliments easily. My desire to keep him happy by ensuring the cars were parked in perfectly straight lines with adequate space to ensure ease of departure for the customers helped me develop a strong work ethic and understand the importance of "getting it right". I'm sure it is also the reason I suffer OCD to this day!
Most importantly though, it was the beginning of my journey to independence and becoming a "grown up" - a journey that clearly may take a lifetime.