Ann Harris – 10 Years at Reality Training!
Last week we celebrated a milestone for Reality Training. Ann Harris our Operations Manager, has been with us, for better, for worse, for 10 years!
When I first met Ann she had two young children and was looking for flexible work, near to home. Now she has two teenagers and has flexible work, nowhere near home!
Over those 10 years, so much has happened. We started in a small office, barely big enough for 2, then transferred to a lovely, larger office. We then moved to a smaller office again when it was clear we didn’t need the space, and then the big move came, to a tiny office in Hawkhurst, and a hellish commute for Ann. After less than a year I saw a new place Cranbrook – another lovely office with a view of the rooftops.
So over those years there’s been moves, meetings, almost buying an office, then not, then building furniture, and everything else when it comes to IT and telecoms.
I’ve been through loads of office chairs in that time – they just collapse under me after a while.
So that’s the logistics – what about the practicalities? Employing anyone is a difficult proposition. There are not many people who get it right all the time and we certainly haven’t with Ann. In any small company, especially over 10 years, it is inevitable that you become friends and what you remember, most of the time, is the funny happenings. The day she got ‘off her face’ on coffee. The day I fell off my chair. The day(s) when I have a little nap. The difficult clients, the patience one has to exercise, the weekly news quiz on a Friday, the funny videos and jokes shared, the constant management of chaos. The support during tough times. The occasional meals out, the fag on the street corner. Reminding us to do our expenses, meetings at the club, the egg mayo sandwiches, the coffees, the endless spreadsheets, mail shots, late night calls from lost people, Jeremy’s wrong passport saga ‘Bob, are you sitting down…’, the great projects, roadshows, planes, trains and automobiles, contracts and trainers, actors and costumes and temperament and occasional foul language.
Jeremy has been continually impressed by Ann’s memory of all of his number plates including his wife’s and also the way that when he muses on having some time off, she always knows when the rest of his family are available – a fact lost on Jeremy. She manages all this as well as her own busy home life.
Thanks for everything Ann – let’s make the next 10 years slightly less chaotic shall we?