My Story: Part 1 – Getting my dream job, then losing it all

Albert_Dock_Liverpool

Where it all began

I go back to the beginning and for that, I have a person called Nathan to thank who works for Prolific North. When I released the first episode I asked for feedback and I wanted honest, constructive feedback that I can use to make the podcast even better. So, Nathan gave me some, some fantastic advice and I’m going to use that today for this episode. So, enjoy.

I absolutely loved school. It was the most exciting, exhilarating place for me to absorb as much information as possible and it’s something that I, unsurprisingly love to do today. I’d love to get myself ingrained and really get to the bottom of why and how things work. School really fulfilled that need that I have and that thirst for information. When I left school, it was quite a sad time.

Even though a university wasn’t on my radar at the time due to, my mum having six boys, it didn’t seem like a, an economical thing that was possible. Although looking back, throughout 2008 I did end up going back to university. What happened after school was a really exciting time. I wanted to get into the big wide world of working hard and that’s always been something that I’ve been passionate about. Working hard. It feels like you’re really making a difference. At the time when I went to work at a local cafe, which was just around the corner from where I lived, the cafe had previously been owned by my granddad and then my uncle. It was a nice place. It was a safe place where you could go and enjoy being around your family, but also you could serve people. 

And serving people for me is really, really special and it really does mean a lot. There’s something about helping other people that I get really excited about and it’s no surprise. It’s still something I’m doing today. What was interesting about being at that cafe on Birkenhead Road, was that it was a really busy place and that meant that there was always tons and tons of people around and even though I’d always felt a little bit out of place and a lot of the time battled confidence issues, it felt safe at the same time. So, I put that down to having my family around me. So, it was quite an easy option for me to work there. Actually, I would have found it quite difficult to go and work in a larger place or somewhere that there were managers that I didn’t know and so it was a nice and safe place. 

But I guess I always felt out of place there. The opportunity came up to work in Liverpool and for me, that was a really exciting place. It was a big city compared to rural Wallasey, where I lived and it was much more developed. So, there were tons of bars and restaurants and it felt like a grownup city compared to Wirral. And so, the opportunity came for me to apply for a job at, at that time it was an NTL, NTL was a cable company that served half of the UK and Tele West was serving the other half. I attended an interview at NTL and, I remember specifically being in the interview. It was a really grown up place with glass booths which were offices and I remember walking into one of those glass booths and having an interview with a lovely, lovely person. 

NTL Telewest

I remember it as it was yesterday and I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt like a brand-new person in a fantastic, exciting new world. And this was the start of a fantastic journey for me, which would have been in tech as they were a cable provider. I will be working on tech support. And that’s where I got my first job working on first line support for NTL. It was super, super exciting and it was a fast-paced environment. There was always lots going on. There was also a lot of individual teams of people who were always engaging with each other, and it was quite an exciting place even though previously at the cafe I felt there were some issues with my confidence for some reason during that time. 

And as I got further and further into the job, my natural abilities for technology meant that I began to become this person that everybody relied on regarding tech, how the systems worked and whenever there was a problem, Mylo used to know how to get out of it. And my thirst for information was the devil there because the more I wanted to know, the more and more people came to rely on me. What slowly happened was my confidence begin to shift, my competency in one jar and my technical know-how in the other, it felt as if my confidence was depleting. My technical ability was increasing. Over the coming months this is what happened, and looking back, it’s very easy to see that that was happening, but at the time it was quite difficult. 

And being 19, 20-years old, you don’t understand a lot, but what’s going on inside your mind at that age and what happened throughout the next few months was my confidence hit rock bottom. I felt I couldn’t go into meetings. I couldn’t go into the dining room, or I couldn’t go out for lunch with people without feeling embarrassed or flaring up and my whole face turning red in front of people. That affected me. That gave me a reason to not to be there and not to surround myself with people. It was quite an awful time for me, and I didn’t quite understand what was happening. One day a job opportunity came up on the second line support, which is a little bit more advanced regarding what the support people knew and the types of work that they dealt with. 

Being a 20-year-old at the time, I applied for the role that, for a thirst for information and technology. I applied for the role with leaving my confidence issues aside and I went up against a lot of different people within virgin, some that had been there for quite a while. When I finally got accepted for the job, it was a relief that I was able to get that job against so many other people. It gave me that confidence boost that I so much needed. This was a small team. It was energetic. There were the usual challenges you face with coming into a new team, but also there was a friend that I’d made called Neil, who I later went to university with. 

I enjoyed being on that team. There were a lot of elder people there, and I was pretty much one of the youngest. But I didn’t let that stop me. I wanted to make a mark. I tried to find out as much as I can about the systems and processes to be able to help the different teams that we supported. It was a fantastic experience. There was lots of learning. I got chance to work on the first digital video recorder for NTL, Tele West at the time. So, it was undoubtedly one of the first in the UK. That was an exciting project that we took part in with all those fantastic things that were happening. There was a lot of internal pressure for me to be like those other people and be grown up. 

A lot of the people working there had apartments in the city centre, and they had quite active social lives. So, a lot of the team went out together to enjoy time after work. And so naturally I felt that pressure to also perform in that way. This slowly started to eat all that confidence again. Even though I thought I had battled it before, it seems that it was just lurking in the background waiting to be revitalised again. And so, this pressure to perform kept on eating and eating and eating. And ultimately it meant that I had to conform. So, I did. I began to go out, meet with tons of different people. The team that was in at the time was fantastic, and we had lots of time out or around the Albert dock. 

Liverpool Nightlife

It was a beautiful, beautiful place. But what happened was I then began to increase my social network, and that meant I was partying even more within Liverpool. There was plenty of times when I’d be out for hours and hours and hours and just about scrape the time to make it in the next day for work on a Saturday. And this was for a job, I absolutely, this was my dream job. And yet I found that I was increasingly cutting it closer and closer for the time I got into work. And so over the next few months, which was summer at the time, I had lots of amazing time out with lots of friends and my social group began to slowly diverge into a completely separate group away from those at the, at the Albert Dock. And this meant that I was going out on a Saturday at six or 8:00 PM, and then it wouldn’t be till at least early hours of Sunday that I would be getting home. 

And with a lot of the clubs in Liverpool, staying open all the way through the night and into the morning. This was quite an easy thing to do. And I slowly felt I was losing grip of the world that I’d come to love and that the world that had come to create. And this world consisted of a fantastic job that I loved. The people there I loved, my friend Neil, who I absolutely loved. And I had an amazing place where I lived in Birkenhead lovely, lovely area. I did all the things I wanted to do, but yet this Liverpool Mylo was slowly losing the grip and that ultimately came from using alcohol and drugs, which further clouded my mind and further stopped me from being able to see the real world

That is what those things do to your mind. I remember walking into a meeting at NTL; I think by that time it was called Virgin. Being sat there in a meeting. I remember being told that I was being disciplined for not getting into work. I remember the time specifically when I was meant to be in, and I didn’t see clearly at all that I was expected to be in work. Yet my mind was telling me. Otherwise, my mind was telling me it’s going to be okay. You have a great job. And so being at that meeting, I was told I was being disciplined. I spent two weeks away from the office essentially on garden leave before being pulled in for the final time and being told that that job of my dreams and that job that I’ve always wanted is no longer available and that I am no longer required for that job and this was a result of my actions and nobody else’s. 

And so, it was at that point I began to think what has led to this situation, the alcohol and those drugs that you take to stop you from seeing anything. I couldn’t see what was wrong. I couldn’t understand why this had happened. And that carried on for weeks. Until then I lost the place where I lived. I started to notice my friends disappearing. I had less and less money, and I had no sense of the real world. I remember walking not too far from where I used to live. I’m walking into a pretty old wooden door into a reception area, in my hand I had two black bags, and in those black bags were pretty much everything I owned. The rest I had to get rid of. Opening that door and walking into that reception, there were signs over the doorway that said hospital. I realised at that point that my entire world had fallen entirely in inside of itself. And there I was, successful Mylo, a golden boy, Mylo, a tech superstar, presenting himself at a hostel and saying, I need somewhere to live.

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