A valuable life skill: making the best of a bad situation.

I am a Social Media apprentice. Being an apprentice involves completing an NVQ course for college (which equals two A levels, if you were wondering.) For most people this means going into college once a week or once every two weeks to complete work for said NVQ.

Although for me, this has not been the case. I’m not going to come right out and tell you which college I am doing this apprenticeship with (I’ll give you a clue, I live in Manchester) but I will say their service and organization is diabolically and mind-bendingly terrible. How is anybody supposed to complete a course that nobody has bothered to set up?!

You see, I started this apprenticeship in December and it took until mid August for anything productive to start happening (if you could even call what happened “productive”) I was given no work for months and every time they sent a “tutor” in it was always the same outcome: they would have no work to give me and it was basically a pointless and frustrating endeavour. And I’m pretty sure these people were an accurate manifestation of the college they were representing: confused, unorganized, senseless and totally making it up as they went along.

This was aggravating to say the least, but low and behold, somebody turned up one day with some actual work for me. They amazingly had a course set up… A real actual course, with an official name and official units and a mark scheme… the whole shebang! For the first time in my life I was actually happy and eager to receive work. (This is relevant to my life after all, unlike Pythagoras theory and Trigonometry.)

“Great!” I thought. “Now I can get on with all the work that I am 8 months behind on.”


It turns out I have to email them (many, many times, I may add) for them to send me my next unit of work. The last time I asked for work was over three weeks ago and I still haven’t received it. I now have a years worth of a college course to complete in a very short amount of time. This is a very bad situation indeed. But instead of complaining about it (yes I know I have complained a lot here, but I’m getting to the important bit, hang on) I decided to make the best with what I’ve got.

Since the nice woman from the college gave me the official name of the course and the units I am supposed to do, I decided to Google it. You can actually see the units and some of the work online but you cannot access the file to see what the content is. But, using my initiative I realised I could kind of teach my self the content. For example, one of the units it called “Use of digital and social media in business.” So for a short while I simply researched this subject. I’m not going to have learnt all the content I need for the course by doing this, but I now have a much better idea about it and will be able to do that unit relatively easily and quickly when they finally send it to me.

This has taught me to be more independent, that you can only rely on yourself, to take everything people say with a pinch of salt, and that *Insert college name here* are a pile of *cough*cough*


Recently I also very cleverly managed to somehow break our company’s website. (Sarcasm) I have no experience with web design and coding and HTML and all that jibber-jabber so I was confused as to what I had done… or if it was in fact even something I had done (I suspect it was.) As Shaggy said: “it wasn’t me.”

The website was down for days and this was bad for the business for obvious reasons but also bad for me as it meant there was a lot of work I couldn’t get on with. To compensate for this, I took it upon myself to learn the basics of web design. I wasn’t trying to fix the website myself as that was obviously way out of my skill level, but just trying to gain a basic understanding of how websites work so in the future I could avoid this sort of problem. It’s also just a valuable and desirable skill to have; it looks good on a CV and gave me something productive to do for a couple of hours each day. Again: making the best out of a bad situation!

Obviously this is only two instances. But from now on I (and hopefully you) will apply this way of thinking to all bad situations. Nothing is as bad as it seems, and you can always learn something from it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to email the college (for the 5th time this week!)