February 28, 2021

Keith Hampshire: "Big Time Operator" by Bruce Atchison

I was in high school when this song was in rotation on Canadian rock radio stations. It resonated with me because I had a dream of being a radio and TV repair man. After much resistance from counsellors, I was able to enrol in an electronics course.

Check out Keith Hampshire's hit here:

One career I never believed I'd end up having is writing. Back in the seventies, nobody had personal computers with screen readers to speak what was on the monitor. Neither were there electronic magnifying devices like the one I have now. In fact, I began that decade using two weak magnifying glasses held together to read with.

My dream of repairing electronic equipment fell through when the course had us work on televisions. The voltages inside them were far too dangerous for me to touch the components. That was the first of many course corrections I had to make.

God certainly had different plans for his people throughout the Bible. Noah doubtless never thought of building an ark before God called on him. Neither did Moses figure he could go back to Egypt and free his people. Jonah hated the Ninevites and never expected the Lord would send him to preach repentance to them.

My job history wasn't nearly as expansive as the man in Keith Hampshire's song but it did have a few surprises. I never figured I'd be a security guard. Neither did I expect to work for the Government of Canada.

When I was laid off in 1995, a career counsellor suggested I become a freelance writer. Though I didn't succeed at that, and my memoirs didn't sell, I'm glad I followed that man's advice.

Now I look forward to retirement and to enjoying all the bounty the Lord has given me. I might still write but I'll have no more pressure from disability counsellors to find paying work.


  1. I enjoyed seeing these glimpses into your past and how you have had to adapt to challenges. God bless!

  2. Thanks for commenting. I sure did get lectured at church about my love of rock music and how it was wrong to have long hair. High school was a time for picking career paths but my poor sight limited my choices.

    1. Bruce, I still love rock music and I have long hair as well. Rock on, brother!

  3. I hadn't thought on how God had different plans for many in the bible like Noah and Jonah, and how these changes must have been a surprise for them like many we also can experience. You've reminded me too, to expect the unexpected with God!

  4. Thanks, Bruce, for sharing details about your varied work career, which was not without obstacles and challenges for you. But you have persevered. What you say in your closing paragraph shows a remarkably positive attitude. I pray that all will go well for you in the time before and after retirement. Perhaps, when the pressure is off to earn a living through your writing, you will find more enjoyment, fulfillment and success in writing as a career. Blessings, Bruce.

  5. Hi Bruce! I appreciate getting to know more about you through this post. I encourage you to keep writing even when you "retire." I look forward to your next post.

  6. Was singing along to this song when it came on the radio the other day. Hope you will always write. Love the honesty and vulnerability in your posts. Always a wonderful personal touch that I appreciate. If life’s roads were straight and narrow, would we recognize our need for God? Thanks so much for your post. Lots to think about.

  7. Hi Bruce. Thanks for sharing your limitations with us. There are so many people in the world with all sort of limitations and their life stories show so many encouraging things that we would never have thought about. Some of the disappointing moments can weigh us down or help us to press on and yet either way we can usually look back see something positive that God had planned for us. I love your outlook on life!


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