Elmtree Garden Services
May 1997 — Present
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My role is varied, and changes from day to day. Tasks involve, opening the warehouse, taking delivery of stock, organising and motivating the team, ensuring health and safety standards are adhered to, monitoring standards, productivity, security, attendance and sickness, making rotas, carrying out basic staff appraisals and disciplinary issues, looking for cost efficiencies, along with assisting the organisation of major events, such as our end of season sales.
I was a self employed landscape gardener, taking on a range of jobs, from a simple lawn cut, to a full design and build project, for both private and commercial clients. I built the business up, and had some prestigious customers, to include various primary schools, McDonald's fast food sites, and a large conference and wedding venue in the centre of Manchester, along with a large number of private jobs.
Unfortunately, owing to the economic climate, and a poor winter, this venture became no longer viable.
I joined Virgin as a Steward initially, slowly rising through the ranks to Service Manager. Working in partnership with the train manager-my job was to ensure our customers had a safe, enjoyable and timely journey! Although, a large part of my role involved managing a small team of staff serving upto 140 freshly cooked meals to the first class section of the train, there were many other demands made on me-from dealing with straight forward queries, to dealing with drunk and violent travellers, often in volatile situations.
Working in a small team of staff, we travelled all over Avon and Somerset, working mainly on new build houses and show homes, landscaping, turfing and planting small gardens. We did however, work on some great projects, one of the most memorable was the Eagle Star Insurance headquarters in Cheltenham.
I worked on this farm for many years, both as a hobby as a school boy, but also for two full seasons on this mixed animal and arable farm. Duties included all kinds of animal care ( cattle and sheep ), aswell as all tractor driving tasks involved in the harvest of around 150 of cereals.
Eight GCSE's-grades A-C
A three year course, with the middle year as a work placement ( Elmtree Garden Services ). All aspects of landscaping were undertaken, including design, building styles and methods, maintenance of machinery and techniques, and limited tree surgery.