One of 18 year old Jake Anderson’s ice-shattering techniques is to fold his hand upwards so it grasps his wrist, like some species of rabid tarantula. It’s an unsettling sight at first, but his warmth and intelligence immediately puts you at ease. The double-jointedness is merely a bonus.  Jake also is proudly one of 20.2 million young people in employment today. So what does he do?

Currently, he works as a healthcare assistant at the local Campson’s pharmacy. He jokingly informs me that he took the job to fuel a burgeoning Netflix habit, and it is evident this vice taught him how to tell a good story. Jake manages to make the most mundane matters, such as how he snagged the job (One of his friend happened to be a branch manager of the business, who in turn referred him another branch manager, who then handed him the post) sound interesting and urgent.

His role demands a certain amount of responsibility. He works the till and is the first person a customer turns to when they collect their prescription. It’s a lot of weight to bear, since Jake simply cannot afford to make a mistake;giving the incorrect drug to a patient could be deadly.  Nevertheless, he has enjoyed his tenure there, even though it does admittedly have its “Ups and downs”.  His colleagues are always agreeable, and the work is rarely that taxing . But what has he learnt from the experience?

“Well, I know how to treat myself” he beams. “I know what’s good for something, and I know what’s bad”.  Still, he does not plan to handle cough drops forever. Jake is an avid cinephile, just embarking on his second year of film studies at Sussex Downs College, and dreams of a career in filmmaking someday. But Jake is not overly concerned with the future. When I ask if he ever worries that his abnormal flexibility will cause trouble later on in life, he chuckles and shrugs. “I was worried about it, but not anymore. I’ll deal with when it comes.”

Whenever his future comes, I’m sure it will be a great one.

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