Hannah Gonzales is a resident of Southern California and has been in the Program for 3 years. She is a commercial artist and illustrator and can bargain in Thai.
For advice for new targeted individuals, you can read her blog at
President of the Bournemouth Rotary Club Preparing for speech
In 1977 I started working in the leisure/entertainment industry, I started to work in the slot machine industry, specifically Amusement arcades (I am not too sure of the American equivalent). I began making tea, working in the cash desk, repairing slot machines including video games, pintable's, slot machines, basically anything to do with games that you could feed money into. I worked for this establishment for over seven years, becoming the manager after around five years or so. I would like to add that the company was owned by a Jewish family, so I believe this was an excellent education for my new working career, which I started in before I was 16 years old.
After seven years or so, I decided I wanted a change, so I worked in various arcades throughout the south of England, Swanage, Weymouth, Worthing etc. But I was only working in engineer/mechanic capacity in these establishments. I then applied for a job working as area coordinator for a very large brewery called Bass, they owned the franchises to the amusement arcades on Pontins Holiday Camps, I had three arcades to look after.
From this job I went to work on the Cruise Ships in the casinos. I was cruising around the world for around four years, when on the last ship I worked on, I met a lady, and we got married. Sadly, this is when things started to really go wrong. When my son was three weeks old, she left me to return to Bratislava, Slovakia (she was a politician's daughter).
During the period of my wife leaving me, I had started a business with a partner, repairing slot machines to the industry, sadly this was not a particularly good venture, as the person I was in business with, was not as good as I had been led to believe, so we had a gentleman's agreement, I handed the keys over, and that was that.
I did not know what I was going to do with myself, so I started working as a private hire driver, I worked long and hard hours, I then managed to buy myself a brand-new Hackney Carriage (London cab) and was working the streets of my hometown to pay the bills.