My first job was printing from film at the local photo development centre. For 8 hours on a Sunday, I'd feed 35mm film into a machine and press some buttons to ensure the correct sizes were printed for the order. Rack after rack of film would come through to me from the development centre and roll after roll of peoples' treasured memories would blur into one monotonous muddle of middleclass suburbia.
Recourse would be found from the mundane task in the occasional classified medical film, we'd clamber around the proud finders' machine while a supervisor looked on in distaste. Once, a film in my order queue contained such indecent images we were required to hand them over to the police. Often, the weekends' personal antics would be sneakily printed while the powers that be were out on break; there's huge boxes of prints in my loft that serve for reminders of now forgotten teenage years.
I often walk past the now derelict factory and wonder how many other industries will disappear so quickly. There's something magical about waiting to get a roll of film back from the developers, making a cup of tea and laughing at the shots that didn't work so well, and the joy found when you managed to capture a corker.
While it's certainly not the most hated of jobs I had in my short time before self-employment, it certainly taught me one thing: I loathe and thrive on juggling tasks, and fear repetitive monotony. I for one am going to make more of an effort to document my life through photographs as I once obsessively did - and actually give these memories the importance of physical presence that they deserve, too.