Provision of interpreters had always been a problem at the local community relations council, so when Mahboob volunteered to interpret for a family with a housing problem his services were much appreciated. Mahboob, who had come to England when he was eight years old, was then twenty and working with his father at the Austin Rover car factory in Cowley. Mahboob's evident diplomatic abilities and the ease with which he dealt with British bureaucracy led both the community relations council staff and myself to encourage him to leave the factory and apply to train as a social worker. Convincing him of the value of such a job was relatively easy: he appreciated the difficulties experienced especially by those of the first generation of Pakistani settlers in Britain, and spoke enthusiastically of how he would help them. The community relations council staff gave him their full encouragement, wrote him the best references they could devise, and spoke highly of him to the Polytechnic to which he eventually applied.