20 years ago today...
Wow, being asked to think back over the last 20 years has taken me back to secondary school. Year 10 to be exact, preparing for my final year and the completion of my GCSEs. It was around then that I was spending my spare time working at a bakery where I learnt the value of money and realised how much I wanted to stand on my own two feet; being in charge of my own destiny without having to rely on anyone.
Knowing this from a young age led to the decision of not progressing with further education, albeit something I would come back to. So, whilst my fellow class mates went on to continue into sixth form, I - with the help of my Deputy Head - very quickly had an interview at an insurance company. One week later I was told I had the role within Credit Control, which I was due to start a week after my GCSE’s.
With a step in the right direction, I started my new role which was based on Ambrose Street. Now to anyone who’s familiar with where the Bamboo office is currently situated, you’ll know that we live opposite where my career first started – it feels strangely nostalgic working here all these years later.
When I look back at the technology that we were using at the time, it was probably considered advanced. We all had a Macintosh PC, the back display was black with green or white writing but you were very limited on what you could access, there wasn’t email as standard within the business and all customer contact was either by phone or letter. Imagine there being a role within a company in today’s era where one-person logs returned post manually as ‘addressee gone away’, each and every day. This would now be managed by a machine and that is only if you opt for paper correspondence as most correspondence is now electronic or stored on portals now.
My first introduction to Telecoms/Systems was when there was a huge amount of excitement at having new call centre software installed at the insurance company I was then working at on Shurdington Road. This software made it clear how many calls were waiting; average response times and call drop offs. It was displayed on large screens around the floor where several hundred staff worked day-to-day. When we have sales opportunities of this kind within Bamboo I often think back to those days.
By 2001 I had been working for a number of years and had managed to take a few trips, one of which included a trip to Australia where I climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Taking a few more steps forward to September 2003, the day after my 21st birthday and my journey at Bamboo (formerly Total Telecommunications/Total Network Convergence) began as Sales Ledger Clerk. Over the years I continued to learn and apply the skills I had learnt along the way to become Deputy Finance Manager and then Finance Manager.
2013 marked the 40 th Anniversary of the first mobile call. It was during this year that I entered and won a competition on the local radio which asked when the first mobile call was made. For those of you that are interested it was on April 3rd 1973 and made by a gentleman called Martin Cooper. Martin called a competitor to gloat that he was calling from a mobile, albeit the mobile was the size of a brick and weighing 1.1KG. Compare this to a Samsung S9+ which only weighs 190 grams and you can visualise the difference in size and weight.
My role and life today is very different to that of 20 years ago. I am now Director of Commercial, overseeing both the Commercial and Billing Teams. I own a house and have two cats. It’s hard to say if that is how I envisaged things turning out when I was at the bakery all those years ago, but what I do know is like technology and there will be many more developments over the next 20 years.
Happy 20th birthday Bamboo!