What does your job entail and how did it all come about?
Making sure that all the Imports & Exports via Air & Sea run smoothly - I originally started as a filing clerk for a Publisher distribution company and worked my way into a shipping position. I originally had no idea as to what I wanted to be in my life and I let fate take its course.
We live in an electronic age, what is it like being surrounded by books all day, when information is only a click away?
Working in the Logistic’s department you are not actually surrounded by books, but you are surrounded by all the paperwork to maintain, track, and ship all the books into the country. By the amount of books coming in I would have to say that the smell, and opening the first page of a brand new Patricia Cornwell thriller still seems to appeal to millions of people, rather than clicking to turn the next page !
What’s an average day at work like, (yes and coffee breaks can be included)?
An average day at work is always beginning with a good strong cup of coffee to get the motor running(FirstStep says: Finally a coffee drinker!!), then it’s like reading a book, you have your introduction were I overview all the shipments coming in, then we meet the characters in the books, these are the logistics team , freight forwarders, clients, then we have the plot, the clients want the books, the freight forwarders do the physical loading of the cargo and the logistic team make sure the customers get the stock. As in all good books you have a twist to the tale. Logistics Twist is either the stock never made it to the shippers on time or by some act of God your ship is sinking off the coast of a Heritage site and leaking oil. Every book has an ending whether it is a good or bad ending. In our average day the same thing applies - you can have a good ending where you get your cargo on the next available flight and everybody is happy or a bad ending where the sharks are dining on “Cook with Jamie” and the insurance companies are crying. It basically boils down to that everyday has its ups & downs...
Best part of your job? (no, coffee breaks cannot be included!)
The best part of my Job would be Costings - Maintaining & ensuring that we are charged the correct freight, working out prices for the incoming books & liaising with freight forwarders
Worst part of your job?
Having big differences on Month end Reports – and you can’t find the difference.
Funniest moment of your career?
I have learnt never to judge a person as to what their voice sounds like on the phone. I once thought a certain gentleman customer that I speak to frequently was gay and when I found out he was away on honeymoon I had such a shock that the other person I was speaking to on the phone thought I had the “hots” for him. Being married myself I was quite embarrassed. (FirstStep says: Charming!)
Highlighted moment of your career?
Highlight of my career would be that I was “head hunted” from the one company to come and work at Penguin Books. (FirstStep Note: One of the better ways of being recruited!)
If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you be doing?
Lounging next to the Pool sipping on a Strawberry Daiquiris.
Your message for young South Africans:
Always be positive in the work that you do and try hard. Once you have successfully achieved that you will reap the rewards, weather it be a “thank you” from your Managing director or an unexpected gift, or a little bit more respect from your co-workers. All of this adds to a good days work and you feel good as to what you have achieved in the day, now all you have to worry about is the traffic back home.