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That monkey looks familiar. I used to have a pet Lengur monkey back in Bangladesh. It's name was….Monkey. This photo was taken in Simla, India.

This is a short story of my life as well as a concise account of the good and bad times that I have experienced. Of all the people I know, I am the most fortunate because I came to Britain when I was only 9 months old. I won’t go into the details but the bottom line is that if I was still in Bangladesh, I would not be in the position that I am. Although, I used to live in my motherland back in the 80s, I have spent most of my life in Liverpool. My destiny has meant that I have a much greater knowledge of the world than I would have had if I was still living back home.

My mom & daddy gave me an absolutely brilliant life in every way; guidance, friendship, love, education, etc. Of all my friends and peers, I have the greatest and most tragic destiny of all.

When my daddy died in front of me, at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital on June 26th 1989 of bone cancer, amongst other complications, things started to go seriously wrong. I was finding it extremely hard to cope in every way; academically, socially (a lot of people change when one’s dad dies), & emotionally etc. What do you say to a very young teenaged boy who only has his mom to rely on? As head of the family, my responsibility was to my mom. I had to do everything on my own i.e. maintain the family's image in every way whilst being Man Of The House.

Academically, anyone in my position would have found it incredibly hard to concentrate on their exams. All the other kids achieved brilliant grades because they never had to struggle like I did. Most of my peers would have failed in my position because they lack the morality required for survival. The same people even said to my mom that I would never go to university (so much for respect for my family name). My family name was the most revered in the land until my daddy’s death. No one would have dared to mention that I would not go to university if my daddy was still alive.

Socially, I could not really go out that much because I had to take care of my mom as well as being man of the house. This is a responsibility that none of the other boys and girls in my community have had to deal with. My mummy and I are still struggling as time never heals tragedies of this magnitude. One goes on living with hurt.

Emotionally, I was still a baby. I was not strong enough to handle the pressures of this new life without my daddy. This is why one needs both parents at this age, where both parents are equally important in different ways. There are other factors that affect one’s life at this age which I will not discuss as they are very complex to discuss. Perhaps I should write a book?

Eventually, I gained admission to the University of Liverpool when I was in my twenties. Although I bitterly regret not being able to be fulfill my parent’s dream of being a consultant eye surgeon, I have gained so much in other ways. For example, I met my very good friend Shahram at university. As a pharmacologist, I worked for many employers. However, I was fed up with short term contract research work. As a consequence of this, I decided that I needed a fulfilling and outrageous change in career where I could interact with people because I am outrageously good at talking.

It was at this time that I started browsing on the Web during my spare time which one does. It was to my delight that an unbelievably famous company were recruiting in Manchester. I had never considered a career in retail because I was a scientist. However, after two cool interviews, I was in business. I was now working for a company with the most difficult selection process in the world. In other words, it is harder to be selected by my employer than it it is to be offered a place at Stanford/Harvard University. The next page discusses why I had to change my career to retail. Be prepared for controversy!!!



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© Mostafa Karim 2011