During High School, I got a job as a game technician working for Chuck E. Cheese, a Pizza restaurant and video arcade for kids. For the most part, this meant a lot of crawling around on hands and knees, cleaning large mechanical games, and handing tokens out to kids who, 'lost a token in that.' However, there was also a more detailed side to this job. I occasionally got to get into the guts of games. (More on that later).
At no point did I ever even think of making a career of computers. My father's QA work seemed possible, but computers were miniaturizing, and hand testing of assembled boards is a job that, even then, was shrinking. I didn't know of anybody who made a career working on computers. Only people who used computers to do their jobs.
I went to school for Mechanical Drafting. I thought this to be an exciting field, and a stepping stone for later training to become a Mechanical Engineer. I was excited because, these were the early days of Computer Aided Design and Drafting, and I got formal training in AutoCAD.
Before the Chuck E. Cheese opened in the morning, if I was finished counting and bagging tokens, I could actually work on fixing games. The contraption that sizes, and weighs coins, is called a coin mech. One of these would go out, about one a day. Triggers are the switches in a mechanical game that indicate a score or loss event. Repairing and replacing Mechs and Triggers was well suited to my natural abilities. I even got some professional experience on soldering (why designers put triggers on moving platforms, I'll never know... broken wires are a common result).
While I had a certification to work as a Mechanical Draftsman. Jobs were fairly scarce, and it was difficult to find an interview, especially in South Florida. I was very lucky that I knew how to type well and had kept up the practice, because my first professional job opportunity was doing data entry, this was back in 1993.
When I finally got an interview for Mechanical Drafting work,
I was already making two dollars more than what the Mechanical
Drafting job was offering.
Obviously, I had gone to school for the wrong career.