When I was sixteen years old and still at school, I went to work, during the summer holidays, in the offices at the steelworks. I was so proud to have got this job. I felt really grown up now. One day I was asked to take a huge pile of papers from one office to another, but to alter the pile so that the sheet of paper on the bottom was on the top, and so on. I do not know why, but this task freaked me out and I just could not figure out how to do it. My brain simply froze. I think I was in awe of the place as the steelworks in our town is massive. There were at that time lots of offices. I had to walk down the road in the steelworks a little way to deliver these papers and I began to walk, wondering what to do about these papers. In the end I returned to the original office to try and sort the papers out, and I put the whole sheaf of papers on the top of a tall filing cabinet. Suddenly the whole sheaf slid off the cabinet to reside on the floor behind it. Panic stations. There was little space between the cabinet and the wall and there were things right against the cabinet at either side of it. There was no way that I could reach over the top of the cabinet and get my hand to where the papers were to retrieve them. I had no idea what to do at all and it was now home time.

That evening I told a man who went to my church and who was also a neighbour about this and he was a bit of a joker. He made me a long instrument by fixing some things together and gave it to me. He told me to put it behind the cabinet to try and push the papers out. I was horrified, wondering how I was going to do that. How would I get to be alone in the office. I said this to the man and he said,

“Tell them it’s a snobtrundler, specially designed to retrieve fallen papers.” I told him he was mad.

I do not know what happened because the next day I was moved and could do nothing about it. I expect the papers are still there.


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