5. Sheptonhurst Ltd
 
I made a couple of calamitous decisions while at university. One was to fall in love with a woman on the other side of the world, and the other was to try to launch a newspaper to take on the very dull, self-satisfied incumbent, which was called Varsity. Both failed and cost me hugely. To pay for this recklessness I needed cash quickly and - against the strict regulations of the university - found employment in the city`s only sex shop. David Sullivan`s Sheptonhurst Ltd was the company who ran 38 Chesterton Road, and I worked happily there until my debts were paid off. 10 pounds an hour plus 10 percent of whatever I sold, if I remember rightly. I was even offered the managership of their Leicester shop. The term I graduated, I was approached by one of my tutors and given the old Oxbridge line, Have You Ever Considered Helping Your Country by Working for the Government? Aside from the fact I wasn`t clear which country had a call on me, I was terrified any check by the security services would reveal I was in paid employment and cause me to lose my degree, a real possibility. So I declined, and the free world was thus saved from whatever damage I might have wrought.
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Things I learned at university