Lynn Smalley – Contract Manager
What did you do before you joined Atalian Servest?
My working life started off in a shoe factory working on a line doing what was known in the trade as “skiving” My job entailed pushing hundreds and thousands of “toe puffs” through what I would class as the most dangerous looking machine ever. There wasn’t a lot of health & safety in those days either and things have changed for the better over the years. The supervisor was so strict as well and scared me so much in those days, but I feel it taught me to respect them and my work and keep my head down and work hard for my wage. Whilst my three boys were growing up, I always looked for part-time cleaning jobs so that I could work around my family. I used to clean up all day so why not have a cleaning job? I felt that this was what I did best. I hadn’t really done that well at school and was only 19 when I got married so never really aspired to anything other than concentrating on my family. I did think about joining the Police force once but never got much further than entering the recruiting bus. Little did I know at that time what was to come next.
What opportunities has working at Atalian Servest given you?
In 2003 I got myself a new job working in the residential building at a Police site and I absolutely loved it, I loved the atmosphere and the people. It wasn’t long before my life changed for the better either. I was meeting a totally new group of people and then came the opportunity to increase my hours and work experience. My new work entailed totally different aspects of cleaning, I underwent a forensic cleaning course and learnt how to clean up a whole variety of crime scenes. These would be anything along the lines of murder scenes, suicides or sudden deaths. It is difficult work and can be very mentally and physically exhausting but I put my heart and soul into it to alleviate the pain of the families so they wouldn’t have to see how their loved ones had ended their days.
When Atalian Servest came on board in 2015, I was already in a management position but never really had any formal training. It was just a case of I knew most aspects of the job having been in situ for 12 years. However, that has changed since then and in 2016 at the grand old age of 54 I was promoted to Contract Manager.
How has this helped you grow?
My line managers have helped me tremendously with my role and I feel I have come on leaps and bounds and I grow in confidence every day. Having 30 staff members can be difficult to manage but I have made sure I have got to know each one of them and a little about their backgrounds. I thought I was doing my job as best as I could as any Police contract can be very demanding and decisions need to be made quickly, and then I learnt I was put forward for a training course which I am still currently undertaking. Although initially I thought ‘it’s too late in life for me’ I decided to buckle down as Atalian Servest have deemed me worthy of investment. I have learned a lot about myself throughout this course and how people look and think about me and my actions. I am a much more conscientious person now and my thought processes are really developing the more I learn. I am more confident in my approach to my job and my own personal life. I still have the greatest respect and am very thankful for the people who have helped me to get to my current position, a position that I would have never ever thought that I could ever have possibly achieved.
How does your future at Atalian Servest look?
I feel that my future with Atalian Servest will continue to be a positive one and I look forward to working for them for a good few years yet and strive to be the best I can be with their help.